Patience is a virtue…that which I do not possess. I am convinced that right about the time this goal is achieved, I won’t be far from the grave. Ask anyone of my loving family members and they’ll tell you when I decide I want something, I will pretty much stop at nothing to get it. That can be a very positive trait or a negative one, depending on which way you look at it. Wanna know why my preschooler can’t wipe his own bottom?! EASY! It’s SOOOOO much faster when I do it! Lines? I don’t do lines. I’ll go shopping at the crack of dawn to avoid them. I have given up Starbucks completely. There are a couple reasons for that, but one of the main reasons is that I abhor the lines in the morning. You expect me to wait 10 minutes for coffee? For REALS, yo? Do you have any idea how much crap I can get done in 10 minutes? It’s just coffee…and I will brew it at home thank you very much.
That being said, I’ve written before about how important it is to be patient when looking for something you really want.( https://midcenturyobsession.com/2012/08/21/how-much-did-you-say-you-want-for-those-glass-grapes/ )
In light of my ongoing struggle to practice what I preach, I have a great story to share with my readers about how patience is rewarded….and revenge is sooooo sweet. I made mention in one of my September blogs about a particular shop owner Henry of Vintage Treasures Antiques in Hemet who was friendly and passionate about his furniture. I must have caught him on a bad day at my last visit, because he wasn’t the same gentleman I’d met before.
I’d been looking for a mid-century men’s valet rack like the one pictured below found on Ebay. It would be a great addition to our guest room-but I didn’t want to pay Ebay prices. I was delighted when I spotted one in Henry’s shop. However, I knew he was a bit steep on his furniture, so naturally I was reluctant to hear the answer when I asked how much the unmarked wooden valet was.
My butt has great instincts, because it was puckered in waiting for the bottom line. Henry began by explaining how “this piece” was in his private collection and he’d brought it from home to put in his shop. I was a bit confused, because I’m not sure how that adds value….but I’m certain that was the point of the explanation: to idolize it’s worth. He paused to think for a second, and said, “I will sell this to you for $79.00.” I politely smiled and said, “Well, thank you but that’s a bit out of my price range.” I started to move away from the pricey valet, and he added, “or you could make me an offer.” I said, “No thank you. I really had no idea of its value and I was only curious how much it would cost.” He again prompted me to make him an offer which I made a point not to do for fear of insulting him with my comparatively meager budget.
As I perused the shop, I recalled that on my last stopover when I inquired about an unmarked table, he had given me the same story about how it was a piece that he’d used in his home. I looked around and noted that I was the only customer in his shop as was the case last time I visited. I quickly took inventory and was struck by the fact that the same merchandise that was in the shop three months before, sat there still. Perhaps I’m not the only one that thinks he’s a bit steep. But wait! Just as these things were running through my mind, in walked a customer and he and Henry engaged in lively conversation about old German record players. A few minutes later, I decided to make my way to the exit, and Henry interrupted the discussion to turn to me, “So why don’t you make me an offer on the valet? Do you want it? Make me an offer.” Reluctantly, I made him the offer he’d been pestering me for…damn the fact that he may be insulted because by this point I remembered that we were in Hemet, not Hollywood. “Okay. $25?” It was more of an apology than an offer. He snickered, and nodded to his gentleman shopper while replying to me disgusted, “$25 dollars? Those are Wal-Mart prices.” As I pushed through the doors to leave, all I could think to say was “Sorry….Thanks anyway.” I was furious after I left and went back over our exchange in my mind. What a jerk! Wal-Mart prices?! First of all, there’s NOTHING wrong with Wal-Mart, and second of all, your shop is in Hemet, a**hole! It’s not exactly crawling with rich people in the market for overpriced mid-century valets! I tend to think there are more of the populace concerned with making the mortgage or feeding their kids. Also: those who have been dealt a better hand? Not coming to Hemet for a visit. Did I say any of this to our Henry? Of course not. I shooed the angry thoughts from my mind and decided to let it go and just wait. This would be an exercise in patience, and I would find a stupid wooden valet some day.
This week on a family adventure day in Idyllwild, California, I did just that. Again, I found myself looking through an antique store mostly disappointed by the frilly crap I was seeing. Then I spotted it. A wooden valet almost exactly like the one I’d seen in Hemet. Only this one was sturdier. Not quite as delicate…certainly this ones cost would be about the same, or possibly more because of the wood? There was no way of knowing because it was unmarked as well. So I half-heartedly asked the gal behind the counter how much she’d want for the wooden valet in the back. She walked back with me to inspect it and said “$15 dollars?” I pretended to think about it for a nano-second and replied, “Sure. I can do that.”
Friends and fellow hunters…I happily pass on this nugget of knowledge once again: patience and persistence pay off eventually. Revenge via redemption? It tastes of sweet, sweet honey. A revision to my September post is yet another gem for you: Should you be passing through Hemet; skip Vintage Treasures Antiques. Walk directly across the street to Finders Keepers on Florida Ave. I walked in after my little visit with Henry and found a gorgeous mid-century modern amber vase and the gal behind the counter actually offered me two dollars-off the already reasonable asking price. When I shared with her that I was looking for mid-century modern wares she candidly offered that Finders Keepers had a shop in Beaumont that I should visit, being that most of their MCM stuff is sent up there because of the market. Finders keepers indeed.