Thursday, February 25, 2010

The one that got away…

Throughout the years I’ve started to collect elephants. I don’t know what it is about them, but it’s rare to see me pass up purchasing a new one.


Now don’t worry my house does not look like a safari, but throughout my spaces you’ll see one, or two or three.



I’ve now started to pick them from places were I have visited. This way I have a memento from a trip that does scream, “You were here.”


I don’t share my love for elephants with everyone, because I don’t want have it be the token gift for me, but family members know and remember me on their travels, which leads me have a rather larger elephant family in my living room.

elephants 010

Now I like most of my elephants to have some sort of story, but at times I can’t pass up a pair from a home decor store, which is where these guys came from:

elephants 001

Other times they come from Thrift stores so even though I don’t their story I know they have one.

elephants 007

Two days ago I was out at one of my go-to thrift shops and what should stop me in my tracks, but a pair of elephant lamps.

Don’t worry I wasn’t going to jam them in my living room. I wanted them to live in my bedroom.


I was in love! I didn’t however love the $58 dollar price tag for each. They even a greek key pattern in between the two elephants.


I sadly walked away. I didn’t need new lamps. I went home and just kept thinking of them. When Jon got home that night I was going on and on about them and even though he gawked at the price for thrift store lamps I decided I would go back the next day and buy them.


I should have gone bright and early and picked them up, but I figured I was the only crazy nut in love with elephants and that most people would pass them by.


So after lunch I went out to pick them up. What should happen when I arrive? They were gone. Fingers crossed I hoped they had just been moved  so I went up and down the aisles in the hopes that I would see them.


Nope. Nothing. My mom frantic to get answers started asking around and we found out that they been purchased about an hour ago from an Antique dealer who mentioned he would probably get around $300 for them and oh yea didn’t you know they were 30% off!!!!


I could have died right there. I know they were just lamps, but I’m kicking myself for second guessing my decision to pick them up the first day. Never again!


Has this ever happened to any of you? Please share misery loves company!



Blogger Michelle (Three Men and a Lady) said...

I'm so sick for you! I can't tell you how many times I've walked away from awesome thrift store treasures and then haven't been able to get them off my mind only to find them sold upon my return. MADDENING! My condolences.

February 25, 2010 at 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Jami said...

Yes! Similar story with a $15 bar cart at a thrift store in Fargo ND. Arghhh!!!

February 25, 2010 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Brand New and Beautiful said...

I hate that! Goes to show that it's usually safe to go with your gut instinct when it comes to thrift purchases.

February 25, 2010 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Abbie said...

Oh no!! I too am an elephant lover (I get it from my grandmother), so I feel your pain. It makes me just sick!

February 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Rebecca June said...

Several yaers ago I was at one of the few H&M stores in the country in NYC and there was the most wonderful high waisted skirt ever. It was back when that was not very popular and to top it off the skirt was $50. I thought I am not paying $50 for something that was from H&M. I have longed for it for years now. I would pay triple that for it now. SAD.


Rebecca June

February 25, 2010 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Pink Wallpaper said...

love your first pic! so cute. and thanks so much for the cheerful message.

February 25, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Design Darling said...

i love elephants too! you have quite an enviable collection. i'm sorry about your thrift store mishap — at least next time you know to follow your instinct!

February 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Flavia @ Estilo Home said...

Sorry to hear that! What a bummer. A similar situation happened with me and a coffee table - I was admiring it, walked away to think about it, and when I came back the lady tells me they were just sold. I stil think about that table!

February 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

oh I hate that! I still haven't found a good balance between walking away and then losing something to snatching it up and then having buyer's remorse ... ugh!

February 25, 2010 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger bluehydrangea said...

oh honey, I am so so sorry for your loss. those were fabulous!!!! I passed up a giant calm shell for $25 years ago before they hit the big time, I just couldn't decide and when I knew I couldn't live with out it it was gone!!!

February 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Sometimes I wonder what "thrift" stores are thinking when they mark stuff up so high.

Thrifting has become so popular that it appears we are now going to see higher and higher prices. Takes all the fun out of it!

February 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

I wish my thrift store had lamps as cute as those! Two of my mottos apply here: it was a pair- always buy in pairs, and never end up "too bad so sad; buy it now" You'll know next time and I'll bet the next ones you spot will even be better!

February 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Oh, I feel for you....and they were great lamps. I am sorry. Mine was some chromolithiographs (sp?) of french silverware last year at a flea market. They were $60 a piece and I needed 4 and thought it was too much.....I have searched high and low since then and haven't found them anywhere else. I am just hoping they will show up at the same flea market when it returns here again. Hang in there....

February 25, 2010 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Centsational Girl said...

Oh no ! That's just awful... you never forget those losses ! I feel your pain. This has happened to me many times. *sigh* We live to thrift another day....

February 25, 2010 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Cristin said...

Oh no! Hopefully they will get them back in soon.

Also, I didn't know you loved elephants so much. I blogged about some darling bookends not to long ago:


February 25, 2010 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Anna See said...


10 bar cart at the thrift shop. What was I thinking!!!!

Plus, a wrought iron patio set by the side of the road. Waaaahh.

February 25, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

It was an antique table cloth decorated with daffodils and soft green. It was a few inches too short of the 'ideal' for my table length, so I thought I'd look around the rest of the weekend and go back on Sunday. Literally had dreams of it for two nights. Went back. Gone. I sat in my car and cried.

So sorry!!

February 25, 2010 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Tammy@InStitches said...

You missed them by an hour ? Oh no ! You'll find something better.

February 25, 2010 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Laura@JourneyChic said...

I went to HomeGoods at lunch one day, spotted a rug that I loved, but hemmed and hawed for the afternoon. I got my butt back there first thing after work and snatched it up, and I'm so glad I did! I love your elephant collection - it's unique and not cutesy. Such a bummer about the lamps!

February 25, 2010 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Daniela said...

I can't believe you haven't posted about your love of elephants yet!!! You could have an entire post on elephant jewelry, as could I. Sad, sad story about the lamps!!
Don't forget to get some elephant goods for this client of yours.


February 25, 2010 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Risa West said...

another similar story with a side table that would have been wonderful in my living room... don't know why i didn't just get it {$14.14} i was going to "think" about it...husband says i have too many unfinished projects at the moment anyway. but now it bugs me that it wasn't there when i went back.

February 25, 2010 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

My friend collects elephants! :)

This happens to a lot with clothes at like Forever 21 or TJMaxx- I see something I like and say oh I'll wait and of course, after i cannot stop thinking about it and then go back and it's gone :(

February 25, 2010 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Kelly Green said...

so sorry you missed out - these were fantastic finds! hopefully it was 'karma' and there is something better around the corner for you! KG

February 25, 2010 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Averill said...

That sucks! And yes, those lamps were/are awesome.

And yes, a similar story has happened to me. But to be honest I'm more likely to buy on impulse and regret it later than NOT buy and regret it later.

February 25, 2010 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

The same thing happened with a TV armoire. I still think about it, I still have the picture I took on my phone to send it to my roomate in hopes that she liked it. She did, and when we went to buy it, it was gone! Now, we're stuck with some ugly 80's looking one.

February 25, 2010 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Ubu! said...

I also have a elephant fascination! I don't know what it is about them, but if I see anything with an elephant on it, I want it =)

February 25, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Raylan said...

This post was like deja vu for me.
See this post:

February 25, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Adrianna said...

Oh NOOOOO!! I have to go back tonight w/ the hubby because I want a $200 bench. Hubby knows it's kind of (that means "too") expensive for us. But I have to get the okay after he sees it in person. Will this be my fate too? I've bn eyeballin it for weeks now!

p.s. Elephants are good luck as long as they have their trunks up. my mom loves chic elephants too.

February 25, 2010 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger paula said...

just sad. Hate when things like this happen.

February 25, 2010 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger PaintLover said...

I had to read your post twice to fully comprehend what happened!!! AARRGGHHHHH!!! I would have had a tantrum right there in the store!

But you know, when it does happen to me (often bcz I tend to walk away and 'think' about it), I just tell myself that it was never meant to be.

But you know, one day down the track you will come across them again. I promise. They may be for $300 (!!!) a piece, but if its meant to be its meant to be!

I know I am not making you feel that much better but I have a little story. (For my first comment I'm doing well!!)

There was this one time that I bought a chair for $15. I re-did it and I absolutely loved it. I always wished I could find another one just the same, but knew that my chances were slim.

I was thrift shopping one day and I actually came across the exact same chair. It was in better shape than the first one I purchased, but for $30, I just couldn't buy it. Its silly now that I think about it, but I just couldn't spend that.

I stood there for a good 15min debating with myself, then I just walked away. I thought about it for a long time, and even visited it once (!!crazy yes).

It got to a point where I just couldn't take it anymore, I went back to finally buy it. But guess what, IT WAS GONE. I was devastated!! I went back expecting to find it.

A few months later I was driving around (bcz the baby wouldn't sleep!) and guess what I found on the side of the road FOR FREE?!?

You guessed it! The chair!

Sometimes it is just meant to be. Other times, it is not!

Love your blog!

February 25, 2010 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Aaahhhhh!!! That story just KILLS me! I've lived similar tales (usually not for anything that I could've resold for more moolah), and the only thing I can say is, I doubt you'll ever walk away from something like that again.... {sigh}

February 25, 2010 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

Oh I just hate it when that happens! And elephants are too cute. I have a collection of little people...not as strange as it sounds, I promise!

February 25, 2010 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Jeannie said...

Oh that is the worst feeling! I was looking and looking for a window treatment in the living/dining room. At Target, I picked up a panel on clearance, the only one left. It was perfect, I checked 3 more stores and ebay they were sold out. A few months later I found something even better at Anthro., they were beautiful! Also, on clearance. The next day I went to buy them online, gone all gone. It still drives me crazy to think about it, even two months later!

February 25, 2010 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger LindsB said...

I hate when that happens to me, and it has happened more than I would like to admit. I feel your pain.

February 25, 2010 at 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Christine said...

Yes, my heart was once captured by an amazingly gorgeous and crazy cheap crystal chandelier at a thrift store and I STUPIDLY HAD TO THING ABOUT IT! Naturally it was long gone the next weekend when I went back because someone else DIDN'T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT! Yeah, I'm still a little bitter over it. But take heart because I recently had a similar experience with a mirror and ended up with another a few weeks later that was a fourth of the cost and that I absolutely adore. I'll just bet there are a couple of elephant cuties out there waiting for you and next time, you'll be giving them a happy home.

February 25, 2010 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

That sucks! Yes, I asked this guy at a thrift store to hold the largest mil glass stemmed compode dish for 10 minutes, because they only took cash...when I returned, he said I was 20 minutes, and he sold it. GGRR. I still think about it.

Elephants remind me of Babar. So cute!


February 25, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel for you! It has happened to me. About 20 years ago I found a lovely antique secretary desk that I just loved. I walked away from it that day only because of the $300 price tag. When I decided $300 was not enough to keep me from getting the desk I love, I went back, money in hand only to find a "Sold" tag on. I've never forgotten that desk, so now I never pass on something I fall in love with unless I truly cannot afford it.

February 26, 2010 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Laurie Jones said...

Oh that totally stinks and I don't mean to make you feel worse but those lamps were killer cool! You'd think by now us girls who love interior design would start listening to our hearts when we find something that makes a swoon, I'm completely guilty of walking away of too many things to even list!

February 26, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous katy.west said...

I read your post on elephants and couldn't resist sharing this bag with you that I found listed on ebay...

Maybe buying this will take some of the sting out of missing out on the lamps:)

Happy Friday!

February 26, 2010 at 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Bailey @ peppermintbliss said...

UGH! Non-buyers remorse is always the worst!!

February 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Pemberley said...

My stomach hurt reading your post. Yes this has happened before to me and it will never happen again. Forget the meant to be moto, it's a lesson we all have to learn the hard way - see a bargain and grab it! I once saw HUGE blue and white ginger jars for less than $20 each. I hemmed and hawed, but bought 2. I figured there must be something wrong with them. When I got them home I was kicking myself for not scooping up the whole lot. When I went back the next day they were all gone. Of course they were!

February 26, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Marija said...

This is so sad. But just think, now you have something to hunt for. And isn't part of the thrill in the hunt!? Have a good weekend! Marija

February 26, 2010 at 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Magchunk said...

My mom also collects elephants (they are in a box though - I'm always telling her to put them on display!)

Ten years ago I was really really into vintage clothing, especially poofy prom dresses from the '50s. I saw a BEAUTIFUL sky blue dress at a thrift store but didn't have any money on me. My mom wouldn't get it for me since I had nowhere to wear it. A few weeks later we were driving past the same thrift store and whole building had been torn down! There is a Walgreens there now. I'm still sad about that dress.

February 26, 2010 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Bummer! That happened to me at homegoods not too long ago!

February 28, 2010 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger ashlina said...

oh wow.....
i collect elephants too. love them!

i would have died.....


March 2, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

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