cutting your losses

At least a year ago, I bought a rug on Overstock.  I paid $180 for it – a nice 8×10 orange jute rug.  I thought it would lend a nice pop of color to the dining room.  I got the mailroom guy at work to help me lug it into the car.  Then Greg and I lugged it into the house.  It was like dragging around a dead body.  A very long, skinny, dead body.  We took it out of the plastic slip, began to unroll it, and immediately realized it was way too big for the room.  I’m not sure exactly what my thought process had been in purchasing an 8×10 rug, as it was meant to replace a 6×9 rug that, although drab, fits perfectly under the dining table. But regardless, it was going to cost about $70 to ship it back, so no thanks.  

We spent the better part of that Friday night rolling the rug back up and trying to wrestle it back into the plastic slip.  It was sweaty, exhausting, and dirty work.  Then we lugged it upstairs to the guest room where it awaited its fate.  Until, that is, a few months later when we actually had guests and had to lug it down to the basement, where it lived, propped up on an old door and some cinderblocks, for the next year.

In the ensuing year, I posted the rug on Craiglist several times, just wanting to get some of my $180 back.  I posted it on my office classifieds with no luck.  And all the while we had to climb over and around this stupid thing taking up half the basement.

Finally a few weeks ago, I said enough is enough.  We decided to just load it up and schlep it down to the Goodwill and be done with it.  As a last ditch effort, I asked a friend who had just moved into a rather large apartment that she was trying to fill, and she jumped at the chance.  So last night, after a year and change of kicking this thing around, lugging it here there and everywhere, we loaded it up in the car one last time, lugged it into her apartment, dropped it on the floor and said, “NO BACKS!!”  

This sort of thing happens all the time with me.  I buy something that just isn’t really quite right, but it feels like such a waste to get rid of it so instead I just sit on it for ages and ages and generally avoid dealing with it.  I cringed at the thought of spending $180 on something that we got NO use out of whatsoever.  But honestly, that thing has been such a millstone around my neck that it was just completely not worth the stress.  I think you have to allow yourself to make mistakes like these in life, to just cut your losses and move on. And what we’ve definitely discovered in the past few years of living here is that sometimes the feeling of relief from unburdening yourself of material possessions has far more valuable than the thing itself did.

Oh and as a bonus, my friend sent me a photo of the rug in its new home in her bedroom, and it looks fantastic. Nothing like a little closure.


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