Thursday, August 21, 2008

Drowning in a Sea of Packing Peanuts

So anyway, I bought these two bookcases off the internet, ebay to be exact, because I made a vow to try and stop buying things new if I could buy them used.

Especially when it comes to furniture. Where this came from was an antique store my mom and I went to several weeks ago. I'd always seen it and been curious about it and when we went inside it was like a magical other world. A magical other world that you couldn't even think about affording. Not even a little bit.

But it was so beautiful, there was really unusual furniture and items in there. We passed by this massive baroque dining room set - huge table, massive sideboard, dark rich wood....it had just sold for half a million dollars. Yes, that would be HALF A MILLION DOLLARS. After that I was afraid to breathe in the place, but I couldn't help myself. Once we'd made it to the back room, the owner, who was ensconced in a leather library chair next to a bear rug, yes, a real bear rug, head and all, started talking to us, and I guess he doesn't get that many people to talk to because boy would he not stop. But anyway, he was talking about the quality of antiques, and the way wood used to be versus what it is now. He pointed out that furniture made generations ago was made from old wood - huge oaks for example. Nowadays, they have tree farms and they use young trees for wood because no one has the patience to let them grow for a few hundred years. And he said that totally affects the quality of the wood.

I pondered this for a moment, and you know, I think he's right! So right then I decided from now on, used stuff for me (when reasonable of course).

So I've been wanting a couple of small, narrow bookcases for the house and decided to go look at ebay after a few trips to local antique places (that were reasonably priced) didn't pan out. I found these two that just happened to be from the same seller and after MUCH angst I put in my bids. I was so nervous about buying something important like furniture on ebay; I hadn't seen it in real life, the seller was in Louisiana of all places.... But I figured this could be an experiment, after all, I researched the seller's ratings and all and they seemed reputable.

My two little oak bookcases arrived, originally from England, early 20th century, shipped to Louisiana, and now shipped to me. The seller did a great job packing and shipping, they sent them via UPS freight.

Of course, I then had much angst about that for a few days when I realized UPS freight means a UPS 18-wheeler. How was an 18-wheeler going to deliver to my house on my little cul-de-sac? There was no way!! But it all worked out, the guy parked on the main road, and used the little handtruck thingy to bring my box to the house because (and this is a quote) "it only weighed 100 pounds".

Boy do I need to start getting more exercise.

Anyway, after it was in my house, I realized I was staring at a 6 foot tall, 3 foot wide box. Well, two boxes that had been taped together. I opened the top (bottom) of the box on top and looked in. All I saw were packing peanuts. Millions and millions of packing peanuts. I managed to get the box sliced partway open, then put it on its side and drug out my bookcases. It then took me about 2 hours to get the packing peanuts back into the box.


Now what was I going to do with a 6 foot high box full of packing peanuts? And that's the weird thing...despite those two bookcases being in the box with the packing peanuts, they still managed to mostly fill up the box when I put them back in...how is that possible? I've always had trouble with volume, just never quite mastered the concept, and I think because of that, it affects me differently.

No, really. I'm serious.

ANY-HOO, online (where all solutions are), I managed to find out you can recycle your packing peanuts. So.......moral of the story is....uh, recycle your packing peanuts! They don't dissolve nicely or anything. Oh, and buy used!!!

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