Buyer’s Remorse

“Hanging onto a bad buy will not redeem the purchase.” – Terence Conran

 

Buyer’s remorse – I’ve experienced that a few times! There’s the hurricane lamp stand (too wobbly), the boots bought in NYC (too tight), the mohair poncho on sale (too itchy), and the red-patterned leggings (too ridiculous), just to name a few. But by far the greatest regret I have is the purchase I never made.

Several years ago I visited Delphi, Greece. This town, built on the precipice of a mountain, is one of the most impressive places I have ever seen. According to ancient Greek myths, Delphi is the center or “omphalos” of the world.

Our tour group was impressed with the architectural sites, which included one of the best preserved ancient stadiums, and the sculpted exhibits in the museum. However, it was a little art gallery in the town itself which lingers in my memory.

We spent only one night in Delphi, so that evening my daughter, a friend and myself took full advantage of the beautiful weather and wandered up and down the cobblestone streets. Must to our dismay the quaint little shops were closed and although the many little cafes beckoned us, we kept walking until we came to a small art gallery whose doors were opened.

We ventured inside to be greeted by amazing works of art and unique handcrafted jewelry. As we perused the items my eye was drawn to a large, beautiful painting hung on the far wall. Its vibrant colors and beautiful but simple design seemed to capture the essence of Greece.  (And it would be perfect for my living room wall!)

The shopkeeper noticed my interest and came over. “Do you like that piece?” he asked.

“Very much so!” I replied.

“It’s an original piece of mine,” he simply stated.

When he quoted the price in American dollars I thought I had heard wrong because it was very reasonably priced and within my financial means. Getting closer I double-checked the price tag and quickly made the conversion. Yep, I had heard correctly.

But how would I get it back home? After all, space on the tour bus was limited and then there was the flight home. I could just picture myself trying to maneuver this oversized item through the airport. As I openly mused about these difficulties, the proprietor offered to ship the painting to Canada and assured me that he shipped paintings around the world with little difficulty and for reasonable rates. How I wanted that painting, but the skeptic in me took over. The more I thought about it, the more uncertain I became about the seller and his assurances of getting the painting back to Saskatchewan, so I reluctantly walked away without making the purchase.

The next day when we were in Athens and had a better internet connection  my daughter googled the name of the artist. It turned out that he was world renowned!  He had simply returned to his hometown of Delphi for a short time to teach an art class and probably had just been helping out at the local art gallery which raised funds for the school.

I know regrets are a waste of time, but I can’t help but think that if  I had followed my heart  I could now have an original piece of his art hanging in my home! Now that’s true buyer’s remorse!

“Shopping is really complicated if you are a girl.” – Helen Salter

 

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