November 4, 2011

Serendipity

No one's life is perfect. There are ups and downs, of course, and you never know what's going to happen from one day to the next. Every once in a while, however, God smiles on you and you get to experience a day in which virtually everything goes right. For me, today was just such a day.

Nearly 8 months ago, we upped sticks and moved out of state for my husband's job. While I have gotten most of the house in relative order, progress on my office upstairs has been painfully slow here in Brigadoon, the land that time forgot. I finally got the walls painted and now half of the shelves I had put in are painted as well. My next step (aside from painting the rest of the shelves, which I have been assiduously avoiding) was to locate a new desk. The one I have currently is perfectly serviceable but isn't really wide enough to hold my printer and other office-y sorts of things (nor are any of my new shelves) and running back and forth between my office and the guest room where the printer is currently housed is beginning to lose its charm.  So the plan was to find an L-shaped desk for me and then donate my hand-me-down desk to my husband, who is presently using a desk far too small for either him or his office (never mind the fact that its styling is on the distinctly girlie side). Besides, I figured that by the time I sold off all our old furniture--which is mostly housed in my dining room, otherwise known as the "Furniture Depot"--I would have sufficient funds to purchase a new desk, theoretically breaking even.

I spent several days researching desks online, in between wielding my paintbrush. Because I have basically truncated two feet of my office by adding all the shelves, floor space is at a premium and trying to find a desk that will meet my needs and still fit the room was seeming more and more difficult. Eventually I found a few possibilities, but nothing ideal. I even considered a glass L-shaped desk, but it lacked drawers in which to stash my junk. And it would just be awkward to spend all day sitting in my office without my drawers...

As luck would have it, last week I received an email from Office Depot which included a 25% coupon good for any one furniture item. On my prior visits to Office Depot, I didn't see anything that I really liked, but with that big an incentive I returned and found a U-shaped desk that looked like it might work. And, being the incredible geek that I am, I went back to the store on Friday with tape measure in hand to determine the actual dimensions of the desk and compare them to the space available in my office. The spacing will probably be a little tighter than I'd like, but it still seemed like the best option. Besides, I'll be the only one in the office 95% of the time, so I'm the only one who really has to deal with it.

And that brings me to my very serendipitous day. After sleeping in and having a leisurely breakfast, I did a bit of final research on desks, ultimately deciding that the one at Office Depot was the winner (with the added bonus that its list price was $300, as opposed to the $500+ of most of the comparable models I'd seen online). With the coupon bringing the price of the desk down, I could afford to get a new office chair as well, both of which would then cost about the same as one of the desks online. So with the coupon due to expire at the end of the day, I dragged the hubs off to the store after printing 2 copies of the coupon, figuring I could make him use one to buy the chair and I could use the other to buy the desk.

I tracked down a sales associate to purchase the desk, which turned out to be "delivery only." Next, I had to decide whether to have it delivered to my house or whether to pick it up there. Shipping turned out to be cheaper than expected at only $25, which the sales associate and manager then wrote off. So now not only have I gotten the 25% off the desk, I've gotten free shipping to my house as well. The sales associate also offered to ring up the two items separately so I could use both coupons, which made my husband infinitely happier because then he didn't have to talk to people. The heavy-duty chair I'd selected was originally $270, but when I went to retrieve the pull tag on it, I noticed that a black version of the same chair was on sale for $100 off, as were many other chairs in the store. I asked about it and was told that the sales tags had been placed in anticipation of next week's sale, which didn't begin till the next day; however, since the tags were out and visible, they still had to honor them. So I got my chair for $100 off and the guy still let me use my coupon. By the time I had purchased a case of paper and a couple of other minor items, my total bill came out to what just the chair would have been on sale, without tax. Score!
Better yet, having to wait till Wednesday for the desk to be delivered means that I still have three days to finish painting the rest of the flippin' shelves in my office before it comes.

Needless to say, I was quite pleased with myself. But the day didn't end there. I also forced the hubs to go to Payless for more shoes, since he has a penchant for wearing his previous shoes until they are literally flapping in the wind. He was less than thrilled about spending money on three different pairs of shoes (gasp!), but when I pointed out that it was still less than most people spent on ONE pair of good sneakers, he conceded the point. Besides, spending $30 on a pair of shoes that he will make last nearly 3 years means he'll more than get his money's worth out of said shoes. At any rate, when we went to pay for them, I noticed a sign by the register advertising a savings of 20% off if you texted "shoes" to the listed number, which would then enable you to receive texts advertising sales. So I did, knowing that I could disable the texts later, and saved yet another chunk of change on the shoe purchase.

Once the transactions were completed, we decided to stop at a local restaurant for dinner. The wait was supposed to be 15-20 minutes, which isn't bad for a Saturday night in town. All around the restaurants were televisions broadcasting the Butler-Florida basketball game of March Madness. When we sat down to wait, we noticed that the game had gone into overtime and had a tied score of 67-67. We watched avidly as the game wound down, with possession changing hands several times until ultimately Butler won (yay!) over Florida by 3 points. Now I've never been a giant basketball fan, but I have to root for little Butler, not just because I love a good underdog (or "Dawg," as the case may be), but because I actually attended Butler my freshman year of college. It was a great school, and I was sad that I had to transfer for financial reasons. But you have to love rooting for a little 8th seeded team knocking down superior powerhouses right and left. And I would have been so annoyed if had been seated before the game finished. Instead, literally seconds after the buzzer sounded on the television, our beeper went off and we were seated. I especially loved the roar that went up in the restaurant when Butler won; it seems that Georgia fans and Florida fans are bitter rivals; in fact, on the wall behind us was a large painting of a Florida Gator being set on fire at the stake by a Georgia Dawg. I guess all "dawgs" have to stick together.

As it happened, I had coupons in my car for the restaurant at which we stopped, making today clearly Coupon Cornucopia Day. Not that I'm complaining, mind you...I have no problem saving a couple of hundred dollars in one day. Not only that, my stoplight karma kicked in (even with my hubs in the car--he has some bizarre electrical ability to make all the lights change to red) and I made most of the lights on the way home.

So it has been an amazingly good day. While I sometimes have days in which one or even two good things may happen, I have rarely, if ever, had a day in which a string of multiple good things happen one after the other--particularly good things which end up saving me lots and lots of money.

I could get used to days like this.

EDITED TO ADD:  Actually, I wrote this post over 7 months ago now, at the end of March, but then got busy with other things and promptly forgot about it.  I just ran across the draft today while sifting through posts for this daily blogging thing, so I figured "waste not, want not."  ;-)


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