* * *
I left the appointment and realized I had an hour before I needed to be somewhere else. Remembering that it was half-price day at the thrift store, I pointed my car in that direction and began to mentally list the specific items of clothes that I would be delighted to find.
At a red light I noticed the truck in front of me with a beautiful enamel top table, the exact kind of table that I have been hoping to have as a writing desk for years.
As I drove my thoughts wandered.
I wonder where they are going. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they were on their way to the thrift store too?
So you can imagine my delight when I saw the truck’s turn signal and realized that they were going to the same place I was!
* * *
And then I did what I have a tendency to do. I pulled into the parking lot and started to talk myself out of anything that had to do with the table.
They probably have to take all the items to the main headquarters and then ship them out to stores. What are the chances that it will end up back at this store? Or that it will last more than a few seconds in whatever store it does end up in? I might as well just stick with the plan of clothes shopping and forget about the table.
And then very clearly I felt a surge of confidence, a moment that invited me to do things differently than I usually do and just. go. ask.
* * *
As I walked over I could see an employee talking to the two men with the table.
“Excuse me,” I said. “I was driving behind them and admiring this table and I was just wondering what the process is and how I could go about purchasing it.
The man in the blue smock smiled.
“I just rejected it. We don’t take furniture with chipped paint.”
I quickly turned my attention to one of then men who was tying the table back on the truck.
“Do you really want to get rid of this table? Because I absolutely love it and would love to have it. I’ve been looking for one like this for years.”
As we moved our conversation off the thrift store property and worked out the details of how to get the table from the truck to my house, he told me a bit of the table’s history. It belonged to his former wife and he first laid eyes on it in 1978 in New Orleans. It came to his wife and him via family in Chicago and he had skipped work one day in 1979 to repaint the legs.
(The same legs that were now chipped and caused the table to be rejected by the thrift store and loved even more by me.)
I stood there beaming.
“You just made my day, my week even,” I told the man. And a few days later I nestled the table into the sunniest spot in the house and set it up as my writing desk.
All because I decided to take a deep breath, stretch out of my comfort zone, and just ask.
* * * * *
How about you? Is there some way you could stretch out of your comfort zone and “just ask” this week?