I've been wanting a cute wooden chair to go on my porch as a centerpiece for some plants (which I'm sure I'll kill within a week, but that's totally beside the point). I got this great idea from my babysitter's mom. She's super artistic.
So I hunted on Craig's List and found an adorable wooden chair for $15. Here's how smart I think I am about all of this stuff with the corresponding true/false verification of whether I really am all that smart:
1. I knew that I was contacting a stranger so I simply signed my email with my initials, thinking that I could prevent the recipient from knowing if I'm a man or a woman. Intelligence verification status: FALSE - I was so un-smart because I forgot that yahoo mail is really friendly about putting my real name on my email. So he (yes, it's a he that is selling the chair) replied "Jennifer, I do still have the chair and you are welcome to buy it." Ok. Well. Hmmm.
2. I didn't want to tell my husband in advance about the chair. It's not a surprise or anything BUT he'd want to have a big discussion, see the pictures, and then (within 5 minutes flat) he would find a much BETTER chair for a much CHEAPER price and that would completely annoy me. Plus - I like to occassionally make gut level, spur of the moment, impulse purchases. It's somewhat therapeutic. I figure that as long as I'm not spending $400 on Cole Haan shoes on a whim (I have been known to do that) but am just spending $15 on a used chair...what's the harm, really? However.....even naive Jenn understands that if noone knows I'm going to some guy's house to buy a chair I found on Craig's List, I'm sort of setting myself up for problems. What to do?? Well, I actually came up with a great idea on that one. I'm going to email my husband the pertinent information (address, phone number and name of the guy....the guy is actually named "Guy," ironically) RIGHT BEFORE I leave. He's on the road, taking my daughter to Waco so he won't really check his email right away and presumably won't call me to quiz me about it - but on the off chance that I am buying a chair from a serial murderer, at least my husband will have the address. You know - kind of like those people who are in ship wrecks and write their name and SSN on their arms in permanent marker. Intelligence verification status: I think I'm pretty smart about this one. But....I am writing this part of the post before I've sent the email and picked up the chair. So I suppose there is really no intelligence verification one way or the other at this point. If you see this email posted, then you know I've survived the great chair purchase episode. Of course, one could question the amount of effort I'm taking to purchase a $15 old wooden chair secretly from a strange man just so I won't be annoyed by my husband doing a better job than me....but one would annoy me if one did that. So I wouldn't advise it.
3. Other safety issues - I'm not going to go into his house (duh). I'll make him bring the chair to his front door. He won't even have my phone number unless I get lost and have to call him but I've got my TomTom so I think I'll be fine. As long as a tornado doesn't swoop down on me (it's looking really dark and nasty outside now) I should be fine. Well, unless the chair doesn't even fit in the back of my convertible. In which case I'll be super annoyed.
- I'm still alive, obviously, as I've posted this report.
- I tried to ignore TomTom, to my detriment, on the drive to this guy's place but finally gave in and followed his directions. (Sigh.) Luckily I keep his voice set to the "British Male" option so I'm more likely to do what he says.
- The house was actually a sort-of-junky-looking-mobile-home-ish-thing down a dirt road. I was a bit glad it wasn't dark.
- The guy seemed ok (kept calling me ma'am even though he was clearly 20 years older than me, which is always odd) and luckily had the chair right inside his door. He sort of stepped aside as if offering me the chance to come in to see the chair, but I just said "no, that's ok, I'll just take it" - so he carried it out to my car for me.
- My husband seemed fine with the whole escapade.
- I think it has potential - it's a lot heavier and more solid than I expected. I've posted a picture - just try to ignore the dead plant sitting on it. I plan to replace the dead one with a pretty live one in the near future.