Trash or Treasure?

Remember my post two weeks ago, when I was so pleased with myself and my organization efforts and my clean-up? Hahaha WHAT IS MY LIFE. I had juuuust about gotten things the way I wanted them downstairs in my little house. Then overnight we sprung a leak in the upstairs plumbing, and over the course of the following morning the ceiling came down – not on anybody, and not all at once. But what a mess – wet lathe and plaster all over my living room, my tax papers and other documents, my carpet and silk curtains, blah blah blah.

IMG_3721The good news is nobody’s hurt, and my perfumes (which I was getting ready to move to that corner!) are unscathed. The bad news is: that’s all the good news I could come up with, and believe me, my look-on-the-bright-side skills are pretty advanced. I have no patience with self-pity, not in this house.  Which is why my inability to humor myself past this mess has caught me off guard.  I guess I’ve always had a very strong sense of home as a safe place, a nest. You know those folks who are all, eh, home’s wherever I hang my hat and go to sleep! I’m the opposite of that. So having a large part of my tiny house an unusable shambles that won’t get fixed for weeks is something I can’t defeat, no matter how much Murphy’s oil soap and wet mopping I deploy. A bunch of my furniture is now in storage and my perfume’s tucked away. This sucks.

IMG_3758xAnyway let’s talk about something else. Sorry for the craptastic lighting and general mess, here’s a picture of my new dresser (Anita and I nicknamed her La Bruta), which showed up two days post-disaster. I’d been looking for awhile to replace my curbside special, and this was not at all what I’d been picturing, let me assure you, and then I saw her on Craigslist and lost my fricking mind. I still can’t decide whether I think she’s fantastic or hideous, but hey, deal’s done! It was quite a chore to get her delivered, and then I had a few minutes of panic when it looked like they weren’t going to be able to maneuver her up the turn in the stairs to my bedroom. She’s massive, and even with the drawers out she’s really heavy.

So. Setting aside our, ah, perfume acquisitions, what’s the most impulsive, ridiculous thing you’ve purchased? How’d it work out for you? Or are you not prone to those feats of madness? Do you pull stuff from people’s trash? My kids used to want to die whenever I pulled over to grab something but now they think it’s awesome. I’ve gotten great things from the trash, including the two Clifford Pascoe chairs in my kitchen, which almost makes up for the Paul McCobb dining table my dad must have set out for the trash pickup a few years ago. Almost. I’m looking to replace it. Wish me luck.


  • Diana says:

    I had spent months looking for a sofa after my ex and I split and he took the old one with him. Couldn’t find anything I liked despite looking EVERYWHERE. Finally ended up in a store that custom makes leather furniture (non-refundable) and created a sectional via leather swatches and pictures of legs, arms, etc… Spent WAY too much on the purchase and when it arrived I absolutely hated it. Can’t afford to buy anything new as I’m starting renovations on my recent “fixer upper” house and all funds are diverted to that effort. So, every time I sit on it, I hate it and hate knowing that it will be around for another 10 years just to get my moneys worth of use out of it. :-/

    • Queen Cupcake says:

      Aw, sorry that happened to you! Would it help if you covered the sofa with a pretty throw, an India print, or some such?

  • maggiecat says:

    Not a purchase, exactly, but almost 10 years ago I was in Starbucks trying to get a coffee and this guy kept trying to talk to me. I was doing my best bitch impression, but then he made me laugh, we ended up talking for a couple of hours, and then went out to dinner. Oh, and we’re married now. So impulse decisions can work out very, very well!

  • Tara C says:

    Love La Bruta! I hate the cheap crappy furniture they sell nowadays made of toothpicks and particle board. Terribly sorry about your ceiling though, that looks painful. Spritz some really good perfume to soothe your frayed nerves (as if you needed me to tell you that!).

    I am the queen of the impulse purchase, but it usually involves expensive handbags and not perfume. Not that I haven’t impulsively bought a lot of perfume as well.

  • Ann says:

    Oh, no, sweetie! So sorry to hear this. I know how depressing it can be (our house flooded a few years back and it was waaah), but hang in there and know that the repairs will go quickly, you’ll soon be back to normal and all this a memory. My most expensive and impulsive purchases involve Chanel, I fear; among them, a caviar petite tote and a black caviar wallet. The wallet’s still going strong even after 16 years, but alas, I’ve had to sell most of the other pieces. But heavens, I felt wonderful with them on my arm. Anyhoo, utilize those comfort scents in the meantime — sending you big hugs and prayers for speedy repairs.

    • Ann says:

      P.S. La Bruta is waaay cool! She’s definitely a unique gal and a real conversation piece! Enjoy!

  • HeidiC says:

    Ugh — I’m like you — my home is my retreat, and when it’s in disorder, I feel like my entire life is in disorder. I hope the leak and ceiling get fixed and order restored quickly!

    What pops into my mind as my best impulse buy was when I was a poor grad student. I was in New Orleans for a convention where I was being interviewed for a job (it’s the only place they interview, and the travel/hotel/conference registration is crazy expensive for a grad student, but if you don’t go you can’t interview). I was doing a little window shopping during lunch and wandered into Trashy Diva and found a beautiful vintage black cloche hat. At the time, I had a Louise Brooks bob, and it looked amazing on me. It was $95 dollars, which seemed like an impossible amount to splurge. But I bought it, and loved that hat until it fell apart about 15 years later.

    • March says:

      I love this. Just want you to know. I totally relate to going for that splurge and feeling it’s like it’s one of the best purchases I ever made. Thank you.

  • MMKinPA says:

    I love the dresser! We have two dressers in our bedroom from the same furniture line (bought back when we thought that is what you did) but I wish we had a more interesting mix of styles. I probably don’t impulse buy enough (at least for things over $100)… an obsessive researcher I tend to agonize over every decision.

    • March says:

      You have two?! That’s hilarious. The only thing I’ve seen are side tables and I can’t imagine them in the same room. And I’m also a control freak who agonizes, when I’m not going WAIT I NEED THIS NOW

  • MaureenC says:

    Once went out to buy a doorbell and came back with a dark blue Saab 900, loved it for many, many years. I like to think of my many impulse purchases as decisive purchases, I rarely regret them and find it’s the decision making I faff around with that often ends up with regrets. Been there with ceilings down a few years back, it’s shit.

    • March says:

      Now there’s a great story! I’m so glad to read this. I can’t be the only loony who responds to these impulses, right?

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Oh, March, so sorry this happened–yuck! I love the big ALL WOOD dresser, La Bruta. I would pick up an old dresser (in good condition) any day rather than buy what is passing for furniture these days, unless you have megabucks to purchase real, all wood furniture. And yes, recycling big, lovely (?) items is where it’s at!

  • Kathryn says:

    Yikes. So sorry you’re going through this. I’d offer up similar domestic catastrophes of my own, but I don’t think they would be consoling. Suffice it to say that eventually all will be repaired and the memory will fade. Pull a few favorite perfumes out of hiding. They’ll help.

    I’m a great believer in keeping an eye out for flotsam and jetsam. Decades ago I lived in a Boston neighborhood where I’d find the most amazing architectural salvage set out on the sidewalk on trash day–a clawfoot iron bathtub, a Federal Period mantelpiece, double walnut doors with arched windows. All got passed on to friends and neighbors who were restoring their houses. The cobblestones I scavenged from road reconstruction rubble I kept for myself. When I moved I lugged them along with me and they continue to give me great satisfaction edging my garden beds. I wish you the same feeling of contentment with La Bruta.

    • Kathryn says:

      Strange–some weird hyperlink to the word perfumes is showing up on my post. I didn’t put it there and have no idea how to remove it. How odd.

      • Maya says:

        This hyperlink to the work perfume happened to me too. It was only the once. Definitely weird.

      • March says:

        That happens to me occasionally on here. At first I thought it was WordPress, but apparently it’s the browser interfacing with a sneaky advertising widget that gets past the ad-blocker software. I’ll go weeks or months without one and then there they are.

    • March says:

      I am SO GLAD you recycled all that salvage, it kills me when beautiful things like that wind up in the trash. And you lugged cobblestones?! Now THAT’S commitment! I’ll admit to lugging slate pavers (what a PITA that was) twice, from garden to garden, although I’m not sure I’m up for a third time. La Bruta is this hilarious maw I throw things in until I organize her. It’s hard to tell, but that teeeny space (less than the width of a door) to her right is my closet.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Right now, I am dithering on quite a few purchases. Do I go for the bee bottle of Liu, spend the money on SDV or go for L’Heure de Nuit? The bee bottles of Liu or L’Heure de Nuit are probably the most cost effective but do I really need 4.2 ounces of anything anymore? I had to e-mail Saks Fifth due to the fact that both Liu and L’Heure de Nuit are back ordered and might be discontinued. Might dictate a few things for me. But perfume is the only reason that I am looking at book cases right now. But they won’t hold books but perfume.

    • March says:

      The bee bottles! Hey, you’re never going to use it all anyway. Those bottles are divine. And if you lived near me (or a major city?) I’d say keep an eye on Craigslist. Bookcases along with couches are two items people end up literally giving away before moves, usually toward the end of each month.

    • Ann says:

      What? L’Heure de Nuit might be discontinued? Oh, no, say it ain’t so!!

  • Tiara says:

    Hurricane Matthew damaged a bedroom ceiling in our condo but it wasn’t nearly as bad as what you’re experiencing. It is tough to see your way through a mess like this, especially when you were so pleased with how it looked. So sorry you’re going through such upheavel, hope resconstruction goes quickly. I’m not an impulsive buyer–too much remorse later but we have scored a few great dressers from the curb. I am amazed at what our neighbors toss out.

    • March says:

      Another trash diver, woohoo! Yeah, I live in a pretty upscale area and the stuff people set out kind of blows me away. Our “heavy pickup/extra items” days are locally advertised and people from all over come through and grab stuff, which is the way it should be.

      • Musette says:

        the little triangular bookcase in my bedroom corner? Trash picked it from your Chevy corner! Yep! I have a great rocking chair that El O picked – and rode back home on his motorcycle! lol! First DH picked an incredible little bronze table that I kept in the divorce. Gorgeous, Art Nouveau-inspired piece. I’m typing this next to a little wire 2-shelf piece I ‘picked’ from my neighbor’s giveaways. PICKER!!