Thursday, April 02, 2009

How I saved $1,300

We have a lot of crap. Even after two years of admirably herculean efforts to de-crap our lives, we still have a lot of crap.

Unfortunately, we have very little storage. Which in theory will help deter us from accumulating more crap over the years. But in the mean time, we have a lot of crap.

For instance! The domestic partner’s china. Though it’s not entirely my taste, it’s quite lovely. And there’s enough of it for us to host a state dinner for 18 with two salad courses and three dessert courses. And oysters! And sorbet! And clarified butter! But not on the sorbet! Because that would just be gross!

Unfortunately, we never use our quite-lovely-but-still-not-my-taste china. Even more unfortunately, it takes up three cupboards in our kitchen. Which is why I’m forced to store the majority of our cookware (which I actually use) in our oven (which I also actually use). (On occasion. OK, about once every other month. Which is still six times a year more than we use the china.)

So! I decided to spend a thou-plus on a fabulous buffet we could put in our dining room and display the quite-lovely-but-still-not-my-taste china we never use. And I thought I’d found the perfect buffet on the Crate & Barrel web site:
I liked it because it had square elements like our Asian-inspired dining room table and swirly elements like our gay-ass inspired chandelier. And potential peek-a-boo elements behind those swirly elements so we could show off the china. And it had slight hints of blue-gray in its finish, which seemed like they’d fit well in our Wedgewood-y blue dining room.

I’ve been visiting the buffet online for over a month to see if it ever went on sale, but it never did. So we were gonna just bite the bullet last weekend and make a trip to Crate & Barrel to check it out and—if we liked it—buy it at its full $1,300 price (less $100 we have in unused housewarming and birthday gift cards). But we got lazy and never went.

And guess what! It went on sale this week! Laziness triumphs again!

I finally found time to stop by Crate & Barrel last night to check it out and possibly buy it … but when I finally saw it up close it proved to be what we will euphemistically call “too ugly to be in our house.” In person, it’s way more rustic than the web pic implies, it’s poorly made with cheap materials, and apparently it’s very easy to knock paint off of. And the scrolly stuff on the front is just flimsy plywood with another layer of non-scrolly flimsy plywood behind it. So you couldn’t even see the quite-lovely-but-still-not-my-taste china inside it if we put it there.

So I’m back on the hunt. And I’m temporarily $1,300 richer than I’d planned to be today. But I have a friend who gave me a lead on an antique wholesaler who’ll sell me stuff at cost (how does one determine “cost” on an antique?) if I drop her name. So I’m going there this Saturday. And I won’t be lazy about it. Because even though laziness saves me money, it doesn’t get the stored cookware out of the oven. And I’m already overdue for my every-two-months cooking obligations.

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