Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogtober 16 - Sometimes I get greedy...

The Mister does not understand my love of textiles. For a long time, he thought that having a ‘fabric stash’ was some sort of personality disorder, benign for the most part, and rare.

Little by little, though, he has come to accept that it is not particular to just me and a few other ‘eccentrics’. And, though he doesn’t understand the attraction, he knows that it brings me joy when I find a great bargain on fabrics. So, he keeps an eye open for opportunities.

The other day, he saw a classified ad in the paper and clipped it out for me. The ad began “Quilting, complete supplies, Singer Sewing machine, best fabrics. $2600 worth, All must go...$600 cash” I thought to myself that was a lot of money, but…what if it was a Featherweight and a fabulous stash! I put the advert in my pocket intending to call a bit later in the morning, and promptly forgot all about it, until he asked about it when I got home from work. By then, the tiny clipping was long lost, so I looked it up in the on-line classifieds and called both numbers and left a message, assuming that someone else probably had already snapped up the prize.

To my delight, I received a return call from ‘Estelle’ a bit later. After exchanging pleasantries, the call went something like this:

Me: Can you tell me about the sewing machine?

Estelle (in an Elaine Stritch voice): No


Me: Is it a newer machine?

Estelle: Honey, I don’t know old from new!

(kind of odd... but maybe that means there is vintage fabric!)

Me: The ad mentioned fabric, can you tell me about how much fabric you have?

Estelle: Oh honey, you can’t imagine! A closet full, and it is all top shelf stuff!

(ooooh, my heart skipped a beat!)

Me: It sounds like something I might be interested in, would it be convenient for me to come and look at it?

Estelle: Oh no – I’m not home.

(silent pause)

Me: What might be a good time?

Estelle: How about Saturday?

(Saturday! I can’t wait for Saturday! The suspense would kill me!)

Me: We might be going out of town on Saturday. (which is really true) Is there another time that would be convenient?

Estelle: Well, I am pretty busy!


Me: Is there any day this week that might work?

Estelle: I am busy all day Thursday and I bowl on Friday.

Me: Would tomorrow work?

Estelle: Maybe. I am busy from 10 to noon.

Me: Would the afternoon work for you?

Estelle: Maybe give me a call tomorrow and I’ll let you know!

Anyway, after all that, I played hooky from work for a couple of hours (now I probably will have a filling fall out!) and met her at her house.

Estelle, who wears her hair bright red, and her eye shadow bright blue told me she is 80 years old and has moved to an apartment. She is selling her lovely home (it really was!) and planned to move to a one story home in a very upscale ‘over 55’ development. (Trust me, she needs to live somewhere with no stairs!) She met me at the door and after introductions, she asked me if I wanted to buy any furniture. I told her that I really didn't need, or have room for any furniture.

She led me from room to room in the house.

As we entered each room (slowly, as Estelle does not walk with any urgency or spring to her step) I thought to myself “this must be the sewing room”. But, no.

We would walk in the room and Estelle would say, “You don’t want to buy any antique chairs? Expensive wall art? China figurines? Day bed linens? Curtains?”

Until the eighth room. A small bedroom upstairs, with a 20 year old sewing machine and a small fiberboard door chest with maybe 20 or 30 yards of fabric, a few fat quarter packs and some small packages of batting scattered about.


I told her that I really didn’t need the machine and would she consider a separate price for just the fabric? She said $500? I said would you consider $400 for the fabric and the machine? (I was thinking that maybe the machine might be worth $100 and maybe there was more fabric in the cabinet than my estimation, and it wouldn’t be the first time that I had overpaid for something and it all comes out in the wash, after all, right?)

Estelle’s reply – “I would rather give it to the trash man!”

Well, then!

I told her that I certainly didn’t mean to insult her and that I understood that the fabric had undoubtedly cost $10 a yard (probably in the early 90's) and that she would like to get that much out of it, but it wasn't something that I felt I could pay that much for. I wished her a good day, scampered down the stairs and out to my car.

Disappointed, I drove back to work.

The upside? I went home with the money that I had taken with me, in case it was a fabric jackpot.

And, as Dearest Sister pointed out, she wasn’t an axe murderer!

I should know by now, most things in Las Vegas turn out to be too good to be true!

(I will announce the winners of the Blogaversary give-away later today! Thanks to everyone for playing along!)


Iron Needles said...

I don't think you told me her name was Estelle! I wonder if she is 'Aunt Sissy' to someone!

Lynne said...

Estelle sounds like the perfect name for her. I have a clear vision of her in my head thanks to your description. How uncomfortable was that? Geesh. I enjoyed your story!

See how much money she saved you?

Kate said...

What a great story...

And, you're tough! I have a hard time negotiating with old ladies. Especially when they're wearing blue eye shadow. :)

Allie said...

Oh golly this had me rolling on the floor - I can just picture Estelle! I don't know if I would have the gumption to bargain with someone with bright red hair and blue eyeshadow, lol. This is a story that should live on as an example to us all, lol!!!!!

Martha said...

That was a very suspenseful story -- I was just sure it was going to end with a Featherweight and a closet full of feedsacks. Too bad about Estelle -- my daughter's first grade teacher had dyed red hair and blue eye shadow. She always wore a plastic flower in her French twist (color coordinated with her outfit). Emily thought she was beautiful!

Tish said...

That is too funny-- and scarey! Sounds like the time Den and I wanted to just take a quick look at a car for sale in Dodge City and ended up wasting our whole evening with some little lady that had to tell us 15 times every little "good" thing about the car and why we should buy it....never again...hopefully.

jan said...

After writing this post and reading all the comments, I can finally 'detach' and let go of the experience. I felt badly about having been so frustrated by a little old lady! But now, it is just a story!

You all are my free therapy!

Anonymous said...

wish I could've. Been there for this one. Wrapper