The Fence that Started it All
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
Did I love the fence? I didn't hate it. But the second I watched my 4 lb dog walk through it, I knew it needed to go. This is where my cheap husband comes into the story. He knew it was wrought iron and old so he assumed it was worth something. He was right. He's pretty smart like that. Yet, he's not so smart in other ways. You're wondering what this has to do with me becoming a writer? Well, you see, this fence was almost the demise of our marriage. The history of our marriage is a much longer story and one I'm sure I'll address at some point in this blog. But this story starts with an antique fence. A cheap husband. eBay. And that husband who decides to sell antique fence...and offer free shipping. Ah yes, see the demised marriage part?
I'll never forget when he came home from work one day, so proud of himself. "Babe, good news. I listed our fence on eBay." I looked up from the magazine I was flipping through and asked, "What?"
He was proud of himself because my husband is like MOST (don't comment on how I made a generalization, I'll do that so if you don't like it exit stage left) men in that he doesn't take a whole lot of initiative without my say. So I'm shocked and try not to panic when he tells me this.
"Have you ever sold anything on eBay?" I asked.
"How do you even know what it's worth?"
"I talked to an antique dealer and he thinks it's worth a couple thousand dollars."
This is where my heart palpitations stopped and I praised the Lord that my husband was smarter than me. I'm cheap too...in my own way. Not at TJ Maxx or Hobby Lobby...but one is a close-out store and the other always has a coupon, so even if you're not getting a good deal, your mind tells you that you are. Anyway I'm already spending that money in my head with all of the things we "need". After buying our first fixer upper the year before, there were tons of things sitting on my wish list on Amazon, Home Depot and Lowes. But then it dawned on me....eBay....large, heavy fence?
"Well, did you put "pick up only" on the listing?"
He smiled at me and said, "No, I offered free shipping to close the deal."
Heart palpitations resumed. Followed by anger. Anger so strong that I'm no longer thinking about how I would spend a couple thousand dollars here or there on a new couch and a new purse. I'm now thinking that those thousands of dollars probably won't even cover a divorce attorney.
To make a long story short there were three bidders during the 7 days the fence was listed. Seven days that I barely spoke to my husband I was so angry. Because in those seven days he started researching what it might cost to deliver the fence. He failed to do this prior to listing the fence even though it had been leaning up against the back of our house for the past seven months since we needed to replace it as soon as we moved in for the dog. During his research he discovered it would have to be sent freight...and by the pound. As the daughter of a UPS man, I already knew where this was headed. This little sale of ours was probably going to cost us money rather than make us money.
But we held out hope. One bidder was in Alabama. We're in the northwest corner of Missouri. Not great, but the other bidder was Georgia and one in Florida. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for Alabama even though it would still probably be expensive to ship.
On the day the sale ended by husband tried to butter me up after not speaking to one another all week and took me to a movie. Mind you it was Man of Steel but at least I got to look at Henry Cavill. I'll never forget coming out of the movies, and telling him to pull up his eBay account to see how much it sold for. When we pulled it up we were both ecstatic to see that it had sold for over $3,000!!! And then I told him to see who bought it...you guessed it, it was the bidder in Florida!
After researching our options (sparing you an even longer story) we decided to drive it there ourselves, in my dad's truck with my dad and husband taking turns at the wheel and my mom, dog and I in the back.
I was still so angry, and acting very mature for my age that I really wasn't speaking to anyone. So what do you do when you're in car for an 8-hour trip, you read!