By Curtis K. Shelburne: CNJ Religion Columnist
My wife and I got a great deal the other day on an old china cabinet. At least, that’s what she and our close friends who discovered it for us at a garage sale tell me.
We paid 50 bucks for it.
On the day I drove to Lubbock and picked it up, I’d have paid 60 bucks not to have had to, but . . .
A table purchase started this. My wife has long been due a new table. She says she’s never had a new one, but I know that’s wrong. I distinctly remember going to Fingers Fine Furniture when, married but not yet 20, we were living in Houston. We bought a square 70s style (the ghastly stuff that’s all the rage now and called “modern”) breakfast table with “square” chairs whose bottoms were covered with banana yellow plastic. I didn’t say it was beautiful. But it was brand new, and it was a table. I rest my case.
Long story short, we just bought another one. It had become clear we were going to. I had already asked all the pertinent rhetorical questions.
“Pretty, yes, but what, pray tell, does it really do? It has no cool-sounding engine with straight pipes. The only time it’ll make zero to sixty is in the truck on the way to the house. It won’t crunch numbers or process words or tell you “Good Morning” if you program it right. I ask again, what does it really do?”
She glared at me over the first table we looked at. She liked it. Our girls liked it. Our boys liked it. The guys were praying we’d buy it so we could quit talking about it. After trips to a thousand more furniture stores, we went back to the first one and bought it. (The table, not the store.)
I get shaky in furniture stores. I think it’s post-traumatic stress syndrome. We’ve not spent much time in such stores over the years, but I still remember the financial wrecks (by my reckoning) that occur there. I feel like I’m going back to the scene of a terrible accident. The furniture store needn’t be named Fingers for you to feel its fingers filching deep in your pocket.
So I should be thankful for the $50 garage sale china cabinet that has saved us from paying much bigger bucks for the mega-shekel model made to go with our table.
I thought we had a perfectly fine china cabinet. It was given to us also in the 70s by church friends in Abilene, who took pity on a starving student ministerial couple. Seems like a slap in their face to so lightly toss it aside after only 30 years.