While my wife and I were in the process of moving, we decided to sell a table along with a set of two stools that we had barely used. It was in great shape. Still we wanted to be rid of it, knowing that we wouldn’t need the table in our new place and the stools kind of naturally went with it. So being that we were so desperate to remove it from our lives, we put up a sign in the office of the apartment building we just moved from. “Cash and carry.”
Within 18 hours of our posting the sign, one of the ladies who work in the office called and said she was very interested. We told her it was hers for $50. She was ecstatic at the price and was excited to add it to her own living space. She said she’d pick it up the upcoming Friday and I gave her the hours we’d be home to conduct the transaction. We were home. She did not show. A few days later, I happened to be in the office and she looked at me and immediately her jaw dropped, and she acknowledged that she’d left us hanging. I said we’d be around that afternoon. She said she’d be off work in 45 minutes and she’d come then.
Guess what? No show. Then my wife went into the office a few days later and said to her point blank if you still want this you’ll need to come and get it this afternoon otherwise we have other people who are interested. I saw no reason for anything other than point-blank bluntness at this point. I was actually quite aggravated at this woman, while my wife was very patient and understanding, trying not to let any angry words pass her lips about the matter even in private.
She did not show. Boy that was a curveball in the story wasn’t it?
We ended up taking it to a consignment shop. We thought we’d likely get more than the $50 but given that the consignment shop takes a 50 percent cut, we weren’t too sure what to expect. We found out yesterday that our cut was nearly three times what we would have gotten had the first woman actually come to retrieve the set.
I don’t know if the woman who did not buy it had some kind of higher knowledge of the situation and decided not to buy it in order to steer us in the more “lucrative” direction. But I doubted it at first, because then why would she have offered to buy it in the first place. But if she did have such knowledge on the subject she could not have shown us the value of remaining unshaken by such disappointments and frustrations without first building up our hopes.
But I am not convinced she is a sage. I think it is more likely that some higher wisdom that she was never aware of steered her actions, clouded her vision and short-term memory during the appointed times for the transaction.
Delusion can work in a wonderful way.
Either way, I see in retrospect there was much less reason to get mad at this woman than I felt there was while in the midst of the situation. She was a bit of a guru actually. Granted her treatment of the situation was irresponsible. According to my eyes, fogged over by ego, having been the one left waiting. But it led us away from selling our furniture for less, and toward a better option. And there was no other good, worldly explanation for her Jekyl and Hyde-like ecstasy/apathy routine.
I don’t have the time to write -nor do you have the time to read – of all of the times this kind of thing has happened. Less baffling in most cases. But many times I have felt disappointment in people “letting me down” only to find out there was something better waiting. Yogananda liked to speak and write about how we humans like to “lord it over” any situation. We like to push for the outcome we want when it very well may be that no matter how much pushing we do that outcome is not going to be produced. In this way I see that the pop-wisdom that says “God only gives one of three answers: ‘Yes’, ‘not yet’, or ‘I’ve got something better for you'” is true.
What say you?
Jai Hari Aum.