Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Great Coffee Table Search... or... Welcome to Craigslist Boise

I will just do away with the "I'm-so-sorry-we-haven't-posted-in-forever" apologies right now. Life, Christmas, a case of the blues, and winter all struck at once, and things get behind.

If anyone is reading any longer, and you're interested in keeping up, most of our recent adventures (including a trip to the Snake River Birds of Prey Area) have been documented on my (Ariel's) Flickr stream: . There, you can also find interesting things like The Funeral Cone and Charlie's New Personal Hygiene Plan.

But, the point of this post isn't to fill you in on things that we've been up to, but, rather, on one specific point of interest: a photo-walk through the truly amazing selection of coffee tables available for sale on Craigslist here in Boise.

Last weekend, Charlie got the idea that perhaps we needed a coffee table for this room--with the thought that, with a table, we might live in it a little more. Always up for a hunt--especially if it involves things like furniture--I immediately pulled up Craigslist to find the perfect secret bargain.

In doing so, I forget that, even here in Boise, Craigslist is no longer the somewhat hip, "subculture" exchange of goods that it once seemed. Or, for that matter, even just a place to get good stuff from people with decent taste.

Which leads me to the thought that maybe the problem isn't a slide toward a trailerpark garage sale, but rather a simple difference in taste between myself and the average Craislist seller.

Then again, perhaps you'll disagree?

It's hard, in fact to disagree with the seller's statement that this is an "impressive" coffee table. Though, I find the expectation that they'll get the requested $500 for it "impressive" as well.

Impressive wasn't quite up our alley, so instead I opened up one that the seller described as very "sterdy" (sic), and "handmade." I never would have guessed it was handmade. Or, sterdy for that matter, actually.

No, I was on Craigslist in search of a diamond in the rough--a bargain that we'd love, and could really live with... "Yours for only $100!" How could we resist? (Apparently, you could buy the whole living room set--which, I sincerely hope included the... mmm... "arrangement"(?) atop the table). I'll bet they would have thrown in the fireplace guard for a good price, too.

How about this stunning ensemble? For only $500 you can have the chairs AND table. Just in case I ever needed to have a "Parisian Cafe Gardern Party" in my living room.

Too curlicued for our tastes.

One of the things that was most fascinating about browsing coffee tables, was reading the excuses people gave for getting rid of things. Rather than "Good Lord, it's just too damn UGLY!" (which the people of THIS table should have said...)

People would came up with a series of curious excuses. Some were heartbreaking, and reflected the current economic downturn ("Lost house. Moving into our RV. Can't keep the furniture."), others reflected new life changes. For instance, the table below was being sold for the simple reason of, "BABY TAKING OVER HOUSE. MUST SELL." (No hard feelings, honey, but the baby's just TAKING OVER THE HOUSE.) I just noticed that the baby appears to be taking over the picture too, in the background.

Well, we don't have a baby to worry about, and who knows, maybe round is our thing?

Maybe not. It was also amazing that people thought they were doing you a favor by passing along an amazing deal for a table on which they'd OBVIOUSLY spent way too much money... This lovely Jaguar number could be had for the STEAL price of around $500. They'd originally bought this "unique" (their word, how true) gem in Las Vegas for $1000. Oh well, better than gambling it away... I think?

Shortly after this post, I ran across another advertising a similar table. Maybe a bear is better suited to an Idaho lifestyle. What's up with the animals bearing our burdens?

A couple of my other favorites include:

"We just don't use it." (I wonder why??)

"$200! Won't Last! (Can be easily spray-painted a different color!)" (Why would I spend $200 on a table only to SPRAY-PAINT it?)

A handmade creation that they put a lot of "time, effort, and hard work" into... (Yes, the legs look like firewood, and it's covered in bottle caps.)

I just have no words for this one. Is this even a TABLE?

And, finally. Tonight's winner. Found with the end-all, be-all caption: "Great in Any Setting!"

Suffice to say, in wrapping up, that we went home table-less. Better luck next time?

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