October 3, 2011

Have A Seat

There are few things worse than having a large group of people over and not having enough chairs for everyone upon which to sit. I have had this happen once or twice over the years. It's embarrassing...for you and the guest. It makes the guest feel as if they are an inconvenience ("I RSVP'd...maybe they didn't really want me to come? Maybe they were praying I wouldn't come and, as a step of faith that God would answer their prayer, they purposely did not set out a chair for me." And so on...) It makes the host feel as if they failed as a hostess and can cause them quite a bit of fear and anxiety about the evening being ruined and no one ever wanting to come back to their home again.  Especially if you slightly burned the main course.  And forgot make dessert.  Ahem.

It is for that reason that I have tried to build up a reasonable stock pile of chairs at our house.  You know, for the one time a year that I might step out of my comfort zone and be brave enough to attempt cooking for people in my home.

At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Or might be that I just have a thing for chairs.  Like some women have a thing for shoes ... or purses ... or ceramic snowmen ... or stray cats.   Yes, I've brought chairs home from rummage sales, thrift stores and auctions... I may have brought a chair or two home that I spotted sitting on a street corner or boulevard and even brought one home from a friend's house... And I even may or may have not "borrowed" one from my neighbor's front lawn. *blush*

Maybe I have an addiction to chairs like some people are addicted to Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Grandes... but, nah, couldn't be.

I am sure that it is my desire for large group socialization that caused me to almost run over an elderly woman on my way home from the NDSCS Homecoming parade the other day.  I am sure it was my longing to make sure every seat had a chair and there was a chair for every seat that forced me to pull into a driveway, slam on my brakes and run across a stranger's lawn screaming, "They're mine, they're MINE!"  - scaring small children in the process.

Ok, I don't know what it was.  All I do know is that, when I drove down the street and spotted the 5 lovelies, there was something in my heart that sang a spring-like tune as I prayed, "Please let them be in the budget cheap." and "Please don't let anyone get in my way them be sold.", all in the same breath.

I did rush out of the car, though no one was run over, traumatized or harmed in any way in the process.  I did take time to dicker down the price.  And I did let Colin buy a cookie and a glass of juice from the poor little kids who were selling it - the same kids that seconds ago were sitting on the chairs I just literally bought out from underneath them. (I confess, I did have momentary guilt pangs about this. But I got over them.)

It was only after I loaded them up into my car, twisting and finagling them until they all fit, that I remembered, "Oh, yeah, this is No Spend September."


So I guess this post will also be my No Spend September update.  *sigh* It's not looking good.

Actually, for the most part, No Spend September was a huge success.  It was not perfect but we did really well in most areas and I am proud of our efforts.  No movies out, no eating out, no trips to Gordman's/Ikea/Pier 1 or even Target, and, for the most part, no rummage sales or thrift stores.  And the feeling I got when I checked my cash envelopes at the end of the month...priceless.

So where did I backslide?  I had two "slip ups".  The first was a set of bowls at a rummage sale.  I loved the colors and they reminded me so much of the patterns Pier 1 is showing off right now.

I literally giggled when I spotted them.  And at only $3 for the whole set they were a heck of a lot cheaper than what I'd been ogling at the Pier (they had been $5 but it was day two of the sale and they'd marked them down.  Woot!) I am having a blast working them into my fall decorating.

My second slip was the above mentioned chairs.  Before I show them to you, though, remember these that I talked about in this August post:

I loved the lines and the lovely warm spring green color.  Well, check out their new cousins:

Ahhh...more green!  The finish on these chairs needs more than a little work but for now I am loving the dark color - even my hubs commented on it right away (he likes it!)  My favorite part of these chairs - aside from the color, green upholstery, and narrow profile - is this piece at the bottom - see the curve of the frame?

How cute is that?!?  And I think it makes the chairs so much more interesting to look at.  These chairs are replacing the way-to-big chairs that came with our kitchen table.  The original chairs were huge and I felt they overwhelmed the kitchen - plus, even though the came with the table, they did not fit under it.  Very annoying.

Oh, yeah, and in case you are wondering, I did say there were only 5 of these - not six.  I am not sure what happened to chair #6 but I probably don't want to know.  It would most likely make me sad.  What makes me happy is that I only paid $15 for all 5 chairs (I talked her down from $25.  Go, me!)

And as far as the success of No Spend September, I think we scored an 8 - we did awesome but there's definitely room for improvement.  We learned some things about our budget and we know that we can definitely cut some more fat here and there.

In fact, I think we have just entered Only Necessities October. (Did I just say that?)

We'll see what else we can learn to live with out.  And in the meantime, at least we have a place to sit.


Be blessed.

How did No Spend September for you? Do you have any downfalls when it comes to spending? And just in case my husband asks again, how many chairs does one family need?

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