There was an ad on CraigsList for a rolltop desk made of solid oak for $50.00 in East York. It was cheap, close to home and solid oak. I love rolltop desks! How could I refuse? Especially since I was just looking at desks at the Pottery Barn as I was going through the Eaton’s Centre last week and loving the new collection of “Printer’s” desks, cabinets and hutches. At the Pottery Barn, a writing desk costs $769.00 and it is a model that has no drawers. The actually “keyhole” writing desk has three drawers on each side and a long center drawer. I love that one, but it costs over a thousand. It’s my birthday, so I thought I might get a new desk.
Long ago I got a second-hand oak desk by accident. It kind of fell into my lap. We lived in a small rented flat of a house in the East End and there was a man who rented the second floor of the house. He worked at the CBC. One day he brought home a big oak desk from the CBC, but it was too big to go up the stairs, so he asked if we wanted it. No question there. I love that thing.
When we moved into this house, there was no where for it to go, so it went to the most available spot, which was my husband’s rehearsal studio. We ended up buying another second-hand desk for me. Laminate. It’s big surface area and three drawers on each side save it, but it has no middle drawer and it isn’t my oak desk.
I thought I could get a roll top desk for $50.00.
I emailed the link on CraigsList and we went last night. I was ready to lift that huge heavy oak desk, just me and my husband, even though I knew I really shouldn't.
Now here is the thing. I broke my arm in a car accident many years ago. I had nerve damage. I was in a sling for two years. My arm was paralyzed. (My manager visited me in the hospital and I never saw him again – thanks, Rich, I can still play guitar by the way).
I had a couple of operations, a metal plate, six big metal screws in the break. If I get an x-ray, you can see 6 holes now that they took the screws and plate out. I had an x-ray about 5 years ago and the doctor said: “I would be careful with that arm if I were you – there’s not a doctor anywhere who would touch that arm with a 10-foot-pole.” She said I should be glad to have the functionality that I do have and be thankful for it – everyday.
So, we go to get the desk. I had suggested we get a neighbourhood lad to help us with the desk. However, we ran out of time. The guy also emailed us that he had an appointment to attend – which left us about 15 minutes to get the desk.
We arrived at the mansion. Two teenagers came out to show us the desk in the third garage. It was an antique roll top. Smaller than I had imagined them to be – not a lot of surface area for a computer and everything else I own and put on my desk. So, I gave them the $50.00. They asked what about the rest of the money. I said that the ad said $50.00. They said the desk cost $500.00. Huh? They said they desk was reduced from $650.00 to $500.00. I must have missed a zero. I was sure I had not missed a zero. I had showed the ad to my daughter, who said it was so cheap that she could buy it for me for my birthday.
The father drives up and gets out of his expensive SUV. He strolls over. I tell him there must be some mistake because I had expected to pay $50.00. He smiles strangely. “No, it’s $500.00” he says. We say OK, sorry and thanks.
We get in the van. I look up the ad on my Blackberry and show it to my husband. Clearly it is $50.00. We run through various scenarios and scams that could have just occurred, all of them making him the crook and me the sucker.
Bottom line, I did not lift the desk and possibly injure my arm again for good. That means I can still use it to play guitar and record my songs. So… thanks God for that missing zero (nothing) and that my desire for a desk did not cost me my arm. Isn’t it a lesson to me to see how strong desire can lead us to do reckless and unreasonable things.