Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day 240's fun story


My faith in humanity was restored this weekend. Not only did we have several generous friends and family members totally sacrifice their weeekend to help us move, but I experienced a little home-decor kindness from a complete stranger.

After we unloaded everything into the house and ate lunch, the fellas headed to Home Depot for supplies, and my mom and I headed out to buy a rug for the living room. Wes and I spotted an 8x10 basketweave seagrass rug at HomeGoods the week before for $150, and decided that we needed it only after we left the store. A quick internet search revealed how great of a deal it was (the same rug is going for about $400 elsewhere!), so I was anxious to get over there and bring it home to mama.

So mom and I drive to the other end of town for this rug, and when we arrive at HomeGoods, we decide that we should take a look at what else is in the store while we're there. Mom finds a pretty hem-stitch tablecloth and matching napkins and I find some serveware that I've been promising to buy her for her birthday. So far, the trip is a complete success.

As we walk up to the wall of rugs, we spot it. The rugs are hanging on rods from the ceiling, and it was like the Red Sea parted and my rug is hanging front and center in all its discounted glory. I'm elated that it's still there, until we find out why my rug is out in the open. Literally, just as we're walking up, we hear a woman say, "well, for $150, I'll take it." Crap. "This rug?" we ask the salesman as he removes the price tag from it. Yes, this rug. We ask if he has another. He might, so the woman leaves to find the cart full of items she has apparently left somewhere in the store and the salesman heads to the back to check for another rug. Twenty minutes later, he drags out a rug that isn't the same, and isn't the right size. Darn.

At this point, I am much more devasted than I ever thought I could be about a stupid rug. Yes, seagrass is the easy and obvious choice, but it was just so ... well, easy and obvious. And CHEAP. The deal cannot be beat and I'm already dreading spending more money. We were in the store for at least 30 minutes before we walked over to the rugs, so this is clearly our fault. If we had just stuck to the plan, we would already be on the way home with the rug safely in the car.

Mom and I are thinking the same thing. This woman clearly doesn't need the rug like I do. We watch as she fills out an application for a HomeGoods credit card (really?!) to save 10 percent on her purchase as we formulate our plan. We're not going home empty handed.

We decide to approach her. Okay, to be fair, Mom decides to approach her. "What can she say? No?" Mom asks. This is way out of my comfort zone, but Mom's right, and I really, really want that rug. So we scour the store, and there she is on the towel aisle, with a cart full of other items.

"Excuse me," says Mom. "Are you the woman buying that seagrass rug?" She looks slightly frightened; she obviously didn't see us walk up behind her and the salesman 30 minutes ago. So we plead our case about me being a newlywed and having just moved into our first house and driving all the way down here from Vestavia just for this very rug. I can see she's sympathizing, but I didn't really expect her to actually volunteer to give the rug over, but she does. It's a HomeGoods miracle! We act surprised and thank her profusely and make small talk until she hands over the price tag. And no, she didn't need the rug, but decided she could use it somewhere since it was so cheap.

I still can't believe she actually gave it up, and I'm really not sure what I would have done had the tables been turned, but I did learn a valuable lesson: it never hurts to ask.

4 comments:

Katie and Matt said...

amazing! if only memphis had homegoods! birmingham has TWO locations. can't just one move up here? lucky you!

erika said...

YEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
I'm such a total dork - your story gave me goosebumps. I was in total suspense... my mother would have done the same. SCORE! I wish I had been there... send us pictures when you get it laid down in its new home!

Lauren said...

I just found your blog through another girl's blog that posts on thenest. So I was reading along and I knew EXACTLY which rug you were talking about (my mom and I saw the same one, for the same price this weekend). Anyhow, I get to the Vestavia part and realize you're a fellow Birminghamian! We just got married in December and just signed the papers on our house yesterday. Anyhow, just wanted to say hello. such a small world...

and we plan on getting that same rug once we get all moved in :) glad you got your miracle!

My Notting Hill said...

Love the happy ending! Thanks for having a link to my blog - I've linked to yours too. Michele