Friday, August 27, 2010

A First Time For Everything ...

I am a Craigslist virgin no longer!

My brother Paul is like The Craigslist Whisperer. Whenever he's in the market for something, he pops by Craigslist, and voila!, there it is, just waiting for him.

I find that very nifty, but I've never had much luck on the site, whether looking for writing gigs or anything else.

Then again, I had never searched for anything specific.

Until yesterday.

I went looking for a floor lamp. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find this:

Note the unfortunate shade. Note how it leans. It knows it doesn't belong on that base. It is the lampshade equivalent of being picked last in gym class.

But the base. Oh, I dig the groovy base.

The posting was very brief: "Table lamp up for grabs."

And the price?

A whopping $5.

Which made me think, "Really? $5? Why would anyone bother to sell anything on Craigslist for $5?"

Never mind that I'd seen things advertised for $3, which makes 40 percent less sense.

But $5 is was, so I sent an e-mail off to the poster to ask if it was still available, as it had been posted for a couple of days.

"Yes it is," came the reply, with a name and phone number.

So I called.

And left a message.

And he called me back.

And we made a plan for me to swing by his place and pick it up.

And he asked me to call when I was heading over, just to make sure he and/or his wife would be home.

So I called when I was heading out later.

And he asked me to call when I was close, so he could talk me to his place. (Which seemed odd, but OK. I put his number in my cell phone.)

So I headed over. And indeed, I couldn't find his place, so I called him, and he did indeed talk me over to where he was.

And I parked and he met me outside his building and said their place was a mess (they're moving - to England! Lucky!) but that there was an outlet in the staircase that he could use to show me that the lamp worked, so we went inside and he plugged it in and the lamp lit.

Groovy.

So I reached into my pocket and pulled out $5 and handed it to him and thanked him and wished him well on his move and got back in the car and drove home.

And when I checked messages on my home phone, he had called to see if I had gotten lost, I presume thinking that my home number was also my cell number because who has two phone numbers anymore, right?

It all seemed like an awful lot of effort for $5.

But now I own the $5 lamp. The shade is leaning in the photo because it doesn't fit right on the harp. And one of the welds on the frame of the shade is broken, anyway. As if I needed a justification to replace it.

It's a bigger lamp than I expected it to be (remember, the posting gave no details and I didn't think to ask in all the phone calls that transpired), at least 24 inches from base to top of harp. Maybe 26. Maybe I should get crazy and break out the tape measure.

At this stage, I have no idea where he'll go. (It's a he in my mind. I don't know why.) Maybe I'll give him away. Maybe I'll start a collection of things I can use in clients' homes once I start designing spaces on a regular basis. Maybe the right spot in my home will become apparent when I go shopping for a shade.

In any event, I'm very pleased with him. And he's rated for 150-watt bulb, so I'll have three levels of light from which to choose. Right now, he's sporting a 60-watt bulb, which the seller might have put in just to demonstrate the lamp, or perhaps they liked insufficient light in their apartment.

Regardless, I'm sure my lamp and I will be very happy together, for however long our relationship lasts.

And however long that may be, I've now officially had more success with Craigslist than any dating site of which I've ever been a part.

I'll post an update when he's outfitted in a proper shade.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

You should try to sell the old shade on Craigslist for $2!

8:52 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Heh.

If it wasn't broken, I'd add it to the garage-sale stash in one of my closets. But nope, I think it's time to let it go.

8:56 AM  
Blogger bansley said...

You lamp needs a name. I vote for "Slim Shady."

12:16 AM  

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