Whenever I plan to shop a thrift store or two and possibly a salvage shop along the way, I tend to justify such shopping as “Research and Development.” You know, a little inspiration for the blog, all in hopes to find that one unique piece that will become another project to my list, and will ultimately land in a special spot in my house that, for some reason, needs a little extra something. It’s funny how my mind works; basically, all of this is just an excuse to go shopping.
This is true. And while I’m speaking in truths, sometimes I just need a little time to myself and shopping thrifty is one of my favorite pastimes. Just me and a bunch of old stuff. Trash to one, treasure to me. Well, some of it anyway.
About a year ago, I went on an R&D trip and I had about 6 thrift stores on my list. I scored a place setting of monogramed bakelite at one shop, a milk glass footed bowl at another. And at my last stop, I found this lamp.
Cool and retro, I knew it would be the perfect lamp to display on our bar cart. The bamboo stem would compliment the bamboo cart. The globe it had was cool; nothing needed to be done to it except to clean it up.
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the train. The globe got bumped and broken and I was beside myself. Annoyed. Mad. Beyond. I was upset because this lamp that only needed cleaning up now needed a new globe and the switch now needed to be replaced.
I went straight to a lighting shop that has hundreds, literally, of globes. With the lamp base in hand, I found the perfect, most amazing globe for the lamp.
The Sales Guy: “Yeah, no, we can’t sell it to you. Even though we have 51 of them, they’re slated to be featured in a courtroom scene on Law and Order.”
Me: “Really?? Really?? I can’t buy just one? You need 51 of these for the courtroom scene?? There’s no such thing as a courtroom with 51 fancy lamp globes. Really, I can’t buy one? You’d still have 50 left.”
I went home empty handed.
I shopped around and no globe I came across even came close to being as perfect as the Law and Order globe. I even sent Sean back to the store, thinking he could talk “trade” to them and he could bring home the globe.
Fast forward a year and some serious globe hunting later, and I’m still thinking about this Law and Order globe. So, I sent Sean back to try again.
I begged Sean to beg them. I told him to lay it on thick about how I’ve been looking for a year and this globe is still the only perfect one, yadda, yadda, yadda.
My phone rings and our conversation went something like this:
“I got the globe.”
“Really? OMG, thank you so much! Tell me! Tell me! What did you say to them to convince them to sell you the globe??!!”
“Brooke, I showed them the picture and asked if they had this globe. The guy came back with the globe and I bought it. Twenty bucks.”
Lesson learned. Sometimes it pays to keep words at a minimum and shopping, simple. No need for drama and long stories, just show the picture with a straight face and no enthusiasm and just get the job done.
The globe did cost 5 times more than I paid for the lamp, but with an all in cost of $25 and a year’s worth of persistence, the lamp was still a good deal.
So, from a supposed appearance on Law and Order, to our cheery bar cart, this lamp will be signing autographs in our dining room from here on out.