take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I found it in the second-hand shop at the bottom of my road.
Hardly displayed to its full advantage, it was rolled up rather messily atop a dusty, old, dark wooden display cabinet. But its colour combination drew my eye - pale, natural tones among the array of dark, despondent, unwanted furniture.
I reached up and pulled it down from its perch, careful not to dislodge the large vase displayed on the cabinet on its way down. As I unfolded it, its musty, dusty smell was released into the air. Undeterred, I laid it down on the floor to see it in all its glory. Well, in as much glory as the murky light in the shop afforded me.
It was everything I'd been looking for in a rug.
Oriental in style, symmetrical in pattern, subdued in colour, it was well worn but in a shabby-boho-chic sort of way, heavy with history and surprisingly soft to the touch. Unlike many oriental rugs with their overly rich, regal palette, this one was cool and understated.
I found a sticky label on the back:
When I considered that, that very morning, I'd been browsing wistfully in the shop on the corner, staring up with puppy-dog eyes at that rug which cost £595, that rug which didn't even fulfil the strict colour requirements; when I considered that I'd almost spent £30 on a tiny kilim the size of a postage stamp as some kind of consolation prize; when I considered how long I'd been looking for a rug just like that, something unique, something different from the identikit Ikea rugs that everyone had; thirty-four pounds seemed more than reasonable.
I rolled it under my arm and approached the little Chinese man who owned the shop.
"I'm interested in this rug,"
He took it from me and unravelled it again, searching for the sticker with the price on. It was nowhere to be seen. I looked on, uselessly.
"But..." I furrowed my brow. I nearly told him I'd seen the sticker showing £34. Nearly, you see, but he interrupted.
"It's okay, no problem, I'll look it up in the book."
I followed him to the cash desk.
"It should be £25, but you can have it for £20,"
I hid my glee very well beneath a sneaky, half smile, thanked him and went on my way.
I got the rug home and "tried it out" on the living room floor, admiring it from all angles. I may even have rolled on it, just to test it for... erm... rolling purposes. As I gathered it up again, I couldn't help noticing the little white label, exactly where it had been all along.