Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm a Winner!!

In recent days, I've been noodling a lot about bars, hooks, knobs. I was on the hunt for something for the new bathroom to add a little "wisniewski" personal touch. Something that would be nifty and fun and had the knack of holding up a wet towel.

See, the new downstairs bathroom is going to be fabulous. But even that fabulousity of brandy-new tiles and floors, and shiny new facets and sinks still needs to be offset by that one thing that makes it "us." Something quirky and unusual. Besides, that bathroom will serve a dual (duel?) purpose. It will likely be the bath that guests use when we entertain callers and... terrifyingly, will also be the one that the boys use on a daily basis. Let's just say I'm a-racking my gray blob about how to make it useful for boys and gives them enough enticement to hang their damn towels up. You know, just in case someone pops in for a visit and needs to use the loo.

I put out the call to my FB friends about ideas for a "too cool for school" towel rack idea. I clearly wasn't illustrative enough about what I meant. Well meaning folks returned with "try restoration hardware" or "crate and barrel." Yup. I know those places. But that wasn't what I was looking for. I want visionary. I want unique. I want something no one else has. I resigned myself to the fact that this was going to have to be a DIY project.

I googled for ideas. Lots of folks seem to think that ladders make exceptional towel bars. So true. Until it falls over on you while you're seated on the toilet. I searched some more. Baskets also seem to be highly recommended to "display" towels, although I hardly think that a damp towel in a nice basket looks any different that a damp towel thrown in the hamper. I looked through blogs of midcentury projects, houses and stuff. I talked to George the Elder. We thought about using some really cool vintage glass insulators. We thought about using barn hooks. We thought about retreating and calling Williams and Sonoma and just "throwing in the towel" ( da-da-dum-dum-dum-cymbal-crash). And then....we hit it. Old porcelain cross-bar sink handles. That's what we want.

But where to find them? E-Bay seemed the likeliest spot. So, I bought my ticket and hopped on the e-bay train. I have never before bought a ticket for this train. I've watched George the Elder ride it. I've skulked around and seen things that I might like to bid on - and then I hand it off to the "trader" of the family and let him finish it out. But this was a first for me.

It's an exciting trip - and it's oh so easy to see why it's addicting for people. You simply find the thing you want. You put down a max bid and then you wait. A couple of days go by and you're still the winner. The teeny-wee time clock keeps ticking away to the end of the auction. It gets nearer, you get smugger. You know that you will prevail. You hop on to the page that displays your object of desire and watch the timer tick down to minutes, then seconds - you ready yourself to raise your arms in a victorious fist bump since you are currently the highest bidder and then.... BLAM!!! All of a sudden you're a BIG FAT LOSER. What the?? Now, you're hooked. Congratulations e-bay. You've snared another one.

I was devastated. I was watching it and watching it. I was prevailing. I was THE BEST. And then I simply wasn't. George the Elder, says I was "sniped." A rookie mistake. I don't know what sniping is or how that rat-fink snuck in in that very last second to gip me outta my prize - but I knew it wasn't going to happen again. I. Like. Winning. Period.

So, I located a new offering of a couple o' pairs of faucet handles (two hot and two cold) and put in a elephant sized maximum bid. I was gonna win these suckers no matter what. It goes without saying that my max bid was more than these little suckers were worth. But I had victory-at-any-cost written all over me. And guess what?? I WON. And I won them for cheap. $7.50!! I was thrilled. I got the handles and I got a bargain. What's not to like? So I tried it again. After all - 4 little wee handles does not a complete towel organizer make.

Second time around - I won AGAIN (of course I still won. I was willing to PAY for my dream of the cunningly dandy and stylish sink faucet towel hooks). These are super peachy ones in great condition and I HAD to HAVE them. One week ago I didn't care a lick about vintage sink faucets. Today I will WITHER and DIE without them. The fickle winds of interior design are blowing mightily here these days and e-bay is fanning the flames with a vengeance.

So, I was winning this morning when I arose (I checked). I was winning when I left to take the boys to school (I snuck a peek again). And then I wasn't. I was on my way home from dropping the boys and "PING!" my phone made that message noise and at the next light I checked my email. I was OUTBID! And I was NOT at home. And the auction was ending in less than 2 HOURS. I was in a panic. What if I didn't make it home in time? What if someone else was going to use those darling little handles to make towel hooks? Damn them. Whoever "they" are. What if there was some kind of traffic jam that would elongate my normal 12 minute commute into 2 hours? (Yeah, I know - they're only faucet handles - but I'm trying to get across that I really really wanted them).

I got home, ran into the house, threw my purse to the chair and fired up the computer. Thankfully I had plenty of time to increase my bid and...Ta Da! Here are handles 5 and 6 to make my dream vintage towel hooks a reality.

And, after a brief tutorial from George the Elder following my first triumphant ebay conquest, I can even manage to pay for my spoils myself on PayPal. I'm a ebay Goddess.

I'm also not going back there of my own volition anytime soon. My desire to win combined with a limitless ability to bid on things that I hadn't known about 2 seconds ago, but now must have or perish - is not a happy marriage.

This afternoon, while gazing lovingly at my first solo purchase, I stumbled across a 1950's music typewriter. It was amazingly - - really it was. You couldn't really make a towel hook out of it, but even George the Elder would have agreed on the extent of its awesome-ness (had he been available for comment or conference). It was a semi-circular typewriter that only had musical symbols on it. You could have used it to "type" out your own Opus for heaven's sake. It would have been fabulous to hang over our piano in the CMR. But even if it had been merely mediocre-cool (which it wasn't) was made it practically irresistible was the ebbing away of bid time on the screen. It makes you feel like you're going to miss out and miss out for good! And nobody wants to miss out. Nobody. There were only 3 hours left in the auction. Even on-line that sense of urgency is created by the ticking clock. Egads.

Luckily, I was able to quickly recognize that this bid might be the first in a long line of purchasing really cool stuff that would end up with me being singularly featured on "The World's Greatest Hoarders: The E-Bay Addition." I let it go.

But, it really truly was so really truly unique. A music typewriter? Why I never. I wonder if I set up my ebay account to notify me if there's ever another one I could get in early and...... See what I mean? You start out just wanting to create a one-of-a-kind towel hook array and the next thing you know you're bidding on vintage hose bibs at 3am. My name is Wendy and I could be an e-bay addict.

1 comment:

2W3 said...

You could sew small, flat magnets in seem of the towel and simple install a large sheet of industrial steel. The boys would simply have to throw the towels against the wall and they would be hung up.