Posted by: A Part of the Solution | February 23, 2010

Bedside Tables, Alarm Clocks and Stuff

I hate  shopping. No really, I get antsy and bummed out by the lighting and annoyed when I can’t find something, or discover that something I feel should be there isn’t.

It’s ironic, since I was a retail girl for so, so long. And good at it, either. It’s a funny thing: I just have to be on the other side of the counter or aisle and I’m fine.

I prefer shopping by internet when it’s non-food, non-clothing items. I can do the research, compare the prices, see what the variables are and make a good decision. And I don’t have to get a ride or go with someone else who’s looking for something else and isn’t going to take the same amount of time as I do.

I most emphatically do not shop as a pastime. I don’t shop for therapeutic reasons. I don’t shop with friends as a bonding activity (I’ve been under some pressure the few times I ever did).

The exception to the above is the whole used/thrift paradigm there on the fringes of retail. I can shop my parts off in a Thrift Shop of any stripe or denomination. I can shop like a demon at rummage sales. I can shop like nobody’s business at flea markets and yard sales. Mostly I don’t. I look at all of my stuff and truly believe I have too much of everything already. It’s not conducive to an acquisitive spirit.

But now I need to outfit five rooms with everything anyone could want to be comfy overnight. Now I need bedside tables to put lamps on. I so hope I already have enough lamps, but I haven’t counted (and at least one of them needs a replacement finial).

Green shopping has its drawbacks. I made an agreement with myself when I got started setting up a B&B. I promised I would get new mattresses and linens and towels. And I determined I would try to use existing stuff to fill out the rest of the roster. After all, the world just doesn’t need another mess of poorly made furniture from an emerging economy constructed from limited resources using semi-toxic materials.

Small bookshelves and alarm clocks and little corner chairs are showing up, one at a time (on a good day two at a time). But the day beds are kind of a bugger. I saw a nice one on Craigslist, once. Only I wasn’t ready to buy. Since then, there’s been nothing but second hand Ikea.

I considered going regional and buying a freshly made Amish daybed. But those plain folk are sticking it to the world with their wonderful hand-crafted furniture price-wise. I mean, I can see how if it’s made with limited tools out of native wood it should cost more than press-board laminate from China, but still. I would be blowing my budget so badly there.

So it’s back out to the truck to tool around looking for the perfect, and possibly non-existent, fittings and furnishings for the rooms at my inn. Wish me lots of luck, but not happy shopping.



  1. Have MAP make your furniture!

    • If only that were his forte

  2. You might really enjoy going to farm auctions and, if things haven’t changed much, I bet you could furnish your whole place in antiques and cute vintage stuff for a couple hundred bucks. Just look in your local paper for weekend auctions. Winter isn’t really auction season but it’s worth a try even now. In the summer they are really fun. Often they have food, including good Amish sausage and pie. We used to go with about $50 and buy enough good stuff to sell in G-town to get us through a week or two with money left over to buy more stuff.

    • Auctions are indeed thin on the ground this time of the year. But we get the Bedford Gazette every time we head up to town. I’ll keep looking. I did find a chicken dinner at the Kiwanis, or was it the VFD, for only $8. I just don’t trust biscuits from north of the M-D line–unless they’re mine!

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