Last weekend my DH flew to a far-away location to visit with his 82-year-old grandmother on her birthday, and join the related family festivities. I fled to my mother's house (locally) because I am a BIG CHICKEN and am afraid to stay in my house alone.
I thought I would get lots of blogging done, but I didn't anticipate one obstacle: Brother. I set up his Pak-N-Play in my mom's guest room/office and every time I could have gotten on the computer, he was sleeping in there! So, I had an unplanned vacation from the Internet. It wasn't a bad thing, but I missed you guys!
Anyway, this weekend was also our local school's consignment/rummage sale. I love this sale. It's HUGE and is geared towards all things kid-related (baby stuff, gear, equipment, toys, clothes, books, etc.) I always score some awesome deals and have so much fun shopping. This year I consigned some things and also signed up to work the sale on Saturday. If you consign or volunteer, you get to come shop the pre-sale Friday night (and cherry-pick all the good stuff!)
So here comes the story:
Friday morning I was helping with the set-up and I spied the golden prize: a like-new Schwinn double jogging stroller with a bike hitch! Now, this is not something I wanted. This is something my sweet sister-in-law has been wanting (and talking about non-stop) for months. She and my brother are teachers and live on peanuts, so buying a $300 stroller is out of the question. She's been scouring yard sales and the Internet forever, but hasn't found the stroller in her price range.
But Friday morning, there it was- shiny and in great shape and only fifty bucks!!!
I was so excited. And when I told my SIL, she was ecstatic. We were both on pins and needles all day, waiting for the pre-sale to start.
Now, here's the deal. The pre-sale started at 7:oo on Friday night. In the past we've had problems with people starting the shopping before 7:00 and pushing things to the side and marking them "sold" throughout the day. Not fair. Not cool. So this year the girl running the sale made a point to say that nothing was to be moved or sold until 7:00.
So, SIL and I arrived at the building at 6:30- we were first in line!- and stood there waiting and looking at the beautiful stroller gleaming at us from across the cafeteria. We had 30 minutes to kill, and so we chatted with the other women who were there finishing the set-up. Suddenly, at 6:50, SIL looks at me and says, "Susan! The stroller is gone!"
I looked. She was right. It had disappeared. I was stunned. And then I got angry. Someone was breaking the rules. I stepped into the room and saw what had happened. There is always a wall of tables set up for vendors (selling new things like monogrammed clothes, Discovery Toys, etc.) One of the vendors had left her table and snaked that stroller- pushing it over to the wall near her spot!
So I said something to one of my friends who was setting up. She went and said something to the woman in charge, who went and told the vendor she couldn't do that. So the vendor apologized and pushed the stroller back into the room- about 3 feet from her table! Meanwhile SIL and I are about 30 yards away at the door.
I knew exactly what would happen. As soon as they opened the sale at 7:00, she would just step out and grab that stroller. My SIL looked like she could cry. "Oh, well," she said, "I guess it's gone."
I was TICKED. "Um, no- not yet." I said through clenched teeth.
I stood there and tried to think what to do. I am not an aggressive person. I do not like confrontation. I am not good at approaching people in situations like that. And I have reached a point where material things are NOT worth relationships. But my SIL deserved that stroller. And we were following the rules. If one of the women who busted her fanny organizing and working that sale had wanted the stroller, that's one thing. But for some random vendor to take advantage of her ability to be in the building before the start of the sale and snake that stroller- well, I just couldn't let that go.
Next thing I know, I'm walking across the room to the vendor.
I smile sweetly, "Hi. I am so sorry, and I hate to do this, but I saw you push this stroller over here and I need to tell you that I've been here for 30 minutes at the front of the line so I could buy it."
The vendor (a very lovely woman) stared at me and said, "Oh."
"Then you can have it."
I said, "No- I want to be fair. The sale is starting in 3 minutes. You want the stroller and I want the stroller. What if we flip a coin?"
She was very nice. She smiled and said, "OK. That sounds fair!"
I called heads. (I wasn't feeling nice enough to let her call it.)
She was very gracious in defeat and laughed, "I guess it was meant to be yours!"
We talked another minute and then I started walking back across the room to my SIL. Then I noticed another woman swooping in on the stroller! Geez!
So, I went back and planted my hand on that stroller and waited until the sale was officially open. The look on my SIL's face when she saw me pushing that stroller toward her was priceless. And I had so much adrenaline pumping from that little encounter that I shopped like I was on Speed for the rest of the night.
SIL has spent the last 5 years playing Melanie Wilkes to my Scarlett O'Hara. Tiresome, I'm sure.
But sometimes it's nice to have Scarlett on your side.