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Almost Free!

September 12, 2009
fiddleleaf1

The fiddle leaf softens the TV corner nicely

My friend Jan, who I consider my personal Suze Orman (minus all the brittleness and shame), will frequently deem a purchase so fortuitous that it’s “almost free!”  I’ve adopted the “almost free!”, or AF!, philosophy for myself and now I’m able to view many of my purchases as the true bargains they are. Periodically, when I buy something that falls into that category and I’m really excited about it, I’ll post it here. This is one of those great buys.


fiddleleaf2

The basket complements the tree, along with coconut fabric and river rocks

I’ve always loved a fiddle leaf fig tree. The first property Paul and I owned had a huge and very old one in the courtyard and I thought it was beautiful. Giant glossy leaves that seemed to have come from Oz’s technicolor Munchkin landscape, I’d also seen fiddle leafs in innumerable shelter mag layouts, and thought they added a natural element with great style. Somehow I’d not found one in almost 30 years until a recent weekend while in the checkout line at Home Depot.

It was mercilessly hot and there was a line. Trying to distract myself from this sorry limbo, I was looking around when I saw a fiddle leaf peeking from behind a stand of generic palms on sale. I called to Paul and asked him to check the price on it. Extricating it with some effort from the palm display he announced there was no price and began dragging it around to various sales personnel to see if they could track one down for him. There was no one who could offer him any help, all were flummoxed by the fiddle leaf because it had no skew number. Refusing to accept this and give up the price search I saw Paul drag the almost 8-foot tall tree out of the garden area and into the store. Not willing to lose my place in line, and sure that if there was a price to be had Paul would find someone to give it to him, I stayed put. Eventually I got to the cashier, paid for my sacks of soil, rolled them to the Scion and loaded them. No sign of Paul at this point. I decide to go back into the garden area, and no Paul. I start to go into the  store when I see him again, beaming and carrying the fiddle leaf in my direction. I ask if he’s bought the tree and he says yes and asks what I think it cost. I have no idea I tell him and he announces he got it for $10! The tree of my dreams is mine for only $10! This is truly AF! We spent a large portion of the next day running around looking for just the right basket for the new tree to live in, finally finding one after dark (Ikea, $35).

The lesson here? Just because something in a store has no skew number doesn’t mean they won’t sell it to you. Badger, wheedle, coerce them into coming up with a price and you may end up with something  that’s AF! of your own.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. SusanG permalink
    September 15, 2009 6:12 pm

    a steal indeed! i love the simplicity of that plant. we need to get some greenery in our new home, too. a weekend project perhaps? 🙂

  2. Sheeba permalink
    September 24, 2009 6:13 pm

    Thats just awesome!
    I had no idea there was such a nice little story to go with that tree, which I now know is a”fiddle leaf fig tree” but don’t ask me what it is the next time you see me…I’m just calling it the “fiddle tree” heheeheh:)
    Ah Reuben!! Paul will walk the ends of the earth for you…what a mushy moment indeed;p

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