On a whim one day I went into Marshalls (conveniently located next to the grocery store .. yeah they knew what they were doing when they built it). I found the PERFECT lamps (because I wanted a matching pair). The heavens opened, a light shown down from above and a chorus of birds sang out, cheap, cheap, cheap. They were $39.99 each. A great price for a lamp, don't get me wrong. But out of the $0 budget I had and further than it would stretch that day. So I walked on by and didn't purchase them.
The next day I went into Marshalls, my pennies counted and saved. If we didn't eat that week, I could purchase the lamps (kidding - sort of). Well, as expected they were sold. Gone. Not even a tag left that I could have them search other stores for another set (BTW Marshalls stores aren't connected by computers so they can't search inventory, only call the other store and have someone go check the floor. An important piece of information).
Still I was haunted by the ones that got away. Obsessed now. After several weeks, I started to call or visit every Marshalls in a 50 miles radius (25 I kid you not) of my house. No luck. Time passes. Then I get a call from Alison in Indianapolis (150 miles away) that she has spotted one lamp in the Marshalls by her house. Since I'm going to be in Indianapolis, I'm excited. As soon as I arrived I went into the store and purchased the lamp. Only one. Singular when I wanted a pair, determined that I would find another to complete my set. And if not, after a valiant effort, I could return the lamp in defeat.
I couldn't get a hold of one store in Valparaiso Indiana. It was about 20 miles east of my route back home, but I was determined to find another lamp, so I drove to the store. As I drive I pass a massive strip mall of stores. A TJ Maxx sign seems to shimmer on the horizon. Focus I tell myself. You are on a lamp crusade and don't have time for random shopping.
I'm at the Valparaiso store (after getting lost) and they don't have the lamp. Of course. The Manager calls the other 3 local stores and.... no lamp. As I'm walking out the door the manager says, "There is a TJ Maxx by the mall. They are a sister store and sometimes have the same items. Why don't you try there?" Well, in my great shopping experience I've NEVER seen the same items at a Marshalls and a TJ Maxx store. Never. I think they lady is crazy. I'm tired and grumpy and still have 2 hours of driving through Chicago traffic until I get home. I leave the store.
OK, so not quite the end. I got the lamps home, plugged them in and ... didn't like the way they looked in the living room. They were short and didn't give off as much light as the old ones and had weird shadows. I was hugely disappointed and thought about taking them back immediately. Live with them awhile, the friend said. I learned to love them in the room and got used to the more muted "mood" lighting they provided, just don't try to read a book with small print. This week I finally sold the two old vintage lamps on Craigs List (heart) and almost made enough money to pay for the new lamps.
OK, now The End.
Have you been obsessed about a decorating object? Do tell!