Shaindle’s Shpiel – Just $39!

Shaindle’s Shpiel – Just $39!

Shaindle Schmuckler

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

The reason HMD is my favorite brand of all things is because all HMDs have stories to tell.

On a recent weekend Paula (my first granddaughter and first grandchild) and Raina (my first child and the mom of my first granddaughter) were on the hunt: looking for little things that might be of interest and little ways to spend our hard-earned dollars. We had a list of a few retail establishments we planned to explore.

Paula and I hit pay dirt at our first stop. A number of new items had been placed on the floor just the day before we arrived with a few precious dollars burning holes in our pockets, so to speak. We were in total awe of our luck.

Shaindle Schmuckler
Shaindle Schmuckler

Two old HMD chairs, in near-perfect condition, faced us as we entered and drew us to them like bees to honey. We were mesmerized and could not find the will to walk past them. So we didn’t.

We gently caressed the beautiful, original fabric. Paula was drawn to one; I was drawn to the other. Our fingers ever-so-gently caressed the gorgeous original wood, dark and lush.

We checked for imperfections in the fabric or cracks in the wood to help us with the big question: Should we, or shouldn’t we? No flaws big enough to be of any help jumped out at us.

Uh-oh, we silently cried, looks like these two fabulous finds have found new homes.

I could only imagine the stories these chairs could tell. Who so lovingly cared for them? Who sat on them? What room did they adorn? Why were they given away?

Oh, but wait just a New York minute. Having been on many hunts, we could guess the approximate year and worth of these chairs. We hesitated, slowly turned the price ticket over, and, lo and behold, these chairs were $39.

Silently we communicated: I should be the one to check this out to be sure we weren’t just dreaming. I walked over to the manager of the Goodwill store and coyly asked about the price, hoping against all hope the ticket was correct but knowing it was just not possible.

Yes, he said, every now and again we receive these precious antiques. The chairs are indeed $39.

I could hardly get the next two words out of my mouth, but I powered on and replied: thank you.

I walked back to Paula. I could tell by the look on her face she was anxiously awaiting the verdict. I smiled my broadest smile and quietly told her these chairs could be ours for a mere $39.

I walked back over to the manager and asked whether we could put the chairs on hold. After all, we had just begun our search, and this store was huge.

Yes, just take the price ticket with you, I was told. Afraid I might drop them by accident, I gave Paula both tickets to hold in a safe place.

We meandered around the store, meeting up with Raina, and, with childlike glee, we conveyed to her that we were the luckiest shoppers ever. Finally, we schlepped the chairs to the checkout counter, while Raina went to bring the SUV to the front of the store.

Suddenly, oh, no, Paula noticed that the chair I was salivating over had a tiny flaw we missed. Really and truly, a tiny flaw. Besides, the space where said chair would reside would not be seen by the public.

I felt betrayed by my own eyes. Had I purchased the chair, taken it home, then noticed the flaw, my attitude would have been: “Oh, well, it was only $39.”

However, given that I noticed — actually, Paula noticed — the flaw before I even got my credit card out, I determined that $39 was too much to spend on a flawed item. I can hear you snickering, but don’t tell me this experience is foreign to you.

OK, now what? Now I am riddled with guilt that I did not bring that pretty baby home. I will have to persuade Raina to lead the way back to this particular Goodwill and hope that every other person who spotted the chair hated it. What are the odds, right?

Lest I forget: HMD stands for hand-me-down.

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