I recently discovered that I have another passion besides writing. Because we are moving house, I needed to find a few items of furniture. When someone suggested that I try the second hand furniture shops, I was a little surprised. As weird as it sounds, I had never really set foot in one before.
When my family went to visit one the first time, it was closed. I looked through the windows and saw a lot of things that I really liked, so I planned to return. The next time I went on my own, and I could browse to my heart’s content. Instead of one shop, it was actually two. I enjoyed it so much, that I almost began to feel like I was doing something illicit.
A myriad of emotions went through me as I browsed. First of all there was sadness because I saw the type of furniture that had been in my grandparents’ home – well-loved and well used. Then there was joy at knowing that such pieces were still being given life and then, as I browsed further, I felt totally amazed at what bargains I could find. I was like a kid in a sweet shop – literally. I went from cabinet to table to sofa to drawers to mirrors, looking over each and every one, trying to picture them in my new home. It was heady, and I spent longer in those shops than I’ve spent shopping in quite a while.
I wanted to talk to my husband about some of the pieces before making a final decision. I took a few photos and could hardly wait for my husband to get home from work. The anticipation of sharing this discovery with him felt just like Christmas Eve.
Not unexpectedly, he liked the idea that we were saving money, but he didn’t share my joy and enthusiasm. I, however, wasn’t deterred. When I went back the next day, accompanied by my eldest, I felt such a ridiculous sense of excitement, I almost skipped inside. I re-visited the items that I had seen the previous day, but then I started searching again. I needed to check, in case I had missed anything. Initially my son was much like his father, but before long, he began to pick up on my enthusiasm. Soon we both hunted around like pirates searching for treasure. I showed him furniture that I remembered from my childhood, and we looked nostalgically at a few items that are no longer in fashion.
The table that I had spotted the previous day was a real winner. When you pull the table apart, a hidden panel opens in the middle to provide extra space. When I first saw it, I was amazed at the clever design and the smoothness of the mechanism. On this day, when I showed it to my son, it was love at first sight.
As we approached someone to pay, we passed the most adorable little sofa. I didn’t need a sofa, I had no place for it, but I fell in love with it. I sat on it. My son sat on it. We talked about it. Then I decided, “What the heck! With a bigger house, I’m sure we can find somewhere for it.” So we bought the sofa as well. In the meantime, while we still prepare for the move, you can bet your bottom dollar that the little sofa is going to be squeezed into my current lounge even if it doesn’t fit.
On the day the items were due to be delivered, I walked around with a ridiculous smile on my face. I can’t believe how this experience has affected me. I have discovered a new passion, something that feels like part of me. So even though I don’t need more furniture right now, I plan to continue to browse – on a very regular basis.