I really shouldn’t be allowed out at all

dancersThe Muzzy Braun show was sold out by the time we arrived on Saturday, which is how we ended up at a belly dance performance instead.

The last time our friend Sally was in town, I recommended a contemporary theater play that that turned out to be too avant-garde for anyone else’s taste. This time I didn’t make suggestions.

I was all about going with the flow.

How we ended up choosing between (1) live country music and (2) a belly dancing  show billed as From Traditional to Extreme and Everything In Between, is somewhat of a mystery to me, and it probably says something about Saturday nights in Boise.

Whatever. I was going with the flow.

The performance was a fundraiser for a program that educates and empowers at-risk teenage girls, which sounded good to start with and sounded better and better as the evening went on and I made return visits to the bar.

auctionsThen there was the silent auction.

Auctions are kind of my kryptonite.

You might remember I don’t like to shop. I also hate the piles of crap that accumulate in this house and stoke my secret fear that I have a hoarding problem. But for some reason I never leave an auction empty handed.

I’ve narrowed the problem down to the fact that I’m competitive about stupid stuff.

So Saturday night there’s this guy who is eyeballing this basket of comic books on which I’ve put a bid. I only bid on it because it was going for some obscenely low price and I think maybe the boys might want the comics, even though there isn’t a single Walking Dead issue in the bunch.

But along comes Mr. Looky McLookerson to put down a bid, and suddenly I must have the basket of comics, and lookit, it even includes two beanie bears named after members of the Grateful Dead, and I don’t know what Jerry Garcia has to do with Wolverine but it’s the freaking cutest comic basket ever.

comicsAnd while I’m at it, I’m going to bid on the Pampered Chef basket AND the scented candles, because by God I’m sick of how everything smells like dog slobber and sweat socks at our house.

… Which is the story behind how we ended up with a dining room table full of crap Sunday morning.

This has happened before. I worked for an organization where I produced an annual gala auction, during which I occasionally ended up on stage with the auctioneer, strutting back and forth to display a framed painting, or a satellite television disc.

The framed painting in question wasn’t going for what I knew it was worth, so while I was up there, I nodded my bid to the auctioneer.

… Which is the story behind how we ended up with a watercolor painting of girls frolicking on the porch of a Victorian house, right after Mike specifically made me promise not to bid on it because we apparently have too many paintings of frolicking girls.

… Which is the story behind how we ended up with satellite television, on which Mike placed his bid out of pure spite because he knew I was strangely proud of our having only three network stations and public TV at the time. Apparently, when one fails to notice her husband’s cease-and-desist motions from the back of the room as she is bidding up the painting of frolicking girls, one ends up with 700 channels and a utility bill bigger than a car payment as comeuppance.

I clearly am not the only one with auction issues. In fact, it’s not unheard of for Mike and I to be sitting on opposite sides of the room and bidding against each other on the same item.

… Which is the story behind how one can find oneself going home with an obscenely expensive lemon bundt cake.

The good news: since the cake debacle, we’ve agreed we would try not to separate during benefit auctions.

Seriously, though, I cannot be left alone with a table full of bid sheets. Sometimes I bid on stuff not because I’m competitive, but because I feel bad when something isn’t going for what it’s worth. It’s not easy to go out and ask people for donations for your benefit auction. It’s especially uncomfortable when you know their unique, one-of-a-kind object d’art is going for less than what it might if someone just set it out at the curb.

… Which is the story behind how we ended up with the artistic willow headboard, which actually looks really nice in our guest room, I think.


In light of the competition issue, my whole urging you to vote makes more sense, now, doesn’t it? You can do so as often as once a day. And thank you.


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