Tonight was a fabulous night. It was spent in the company of some of the most incredible women I have ever met at the SAA November Social- Service Auction! We laughed, we talked, and we bid bid bid!!! It was comparable on the kicks and giggles scale to a quality ebay bidding experience. That is saying a lot because I LOVE ebay. Why? I'll be honest. I think even more than the fact that the shopping here in Kirksville is not always as diverse as I would hope... it is the thrill of the chase that the ebay shopping experience includes that keeps me coming back for more time and time again.
The ebay auction experience is just quality from beginning to end. You start by perusing the web retailers until you find exactly the item that you have been looking for, bargain shop around online comparing prices from store to store--even checking out recently completed auctions on ebay-- and then zero in on a few of the coveted items on ebay being auctioned by reputable sellers at a mere fraction of the cost. Equally sweet is the fact that everything on ebay comes through the mail so you get to experience the agony of the wait and the thrill of the mail delivery that is difficult to match. But unarguably it is the last few minutes of the auction which are always the best. I have been known to be so very lame as to set alarms for myself during the day or night to remind me to finish out the last few minutes of the auction I am currently obsessing over live. I've more than once won an auction with a bid placed with mere seconds remaining on the clock. Those ones are always the best. I get an adrenalin rush just thinking about it. The deals you can get are incredible on ebay... especially if you do your research and are willing to wait for the right thing at the right price to come along. So yes, I am an ebay-o-holic and tonight's auction experience was a great fix for my little addiction. But tonight's auction had one distinct advantage. At the end of the month it will not be just one more thing on the bank statement that I will find myself somewhat regretting.
This is how it worked: everyone brought a couple of items or services to donate. I brought a fresh loaf of my organic whole grain bread with a coupon for a loaf every week for a month (thank you sweet Rebecca for your delectable recipe and fantastic auction idea!), one of my super-cute bebe*burp burp cloths ( http://www.bebeburps.blogspot.com), and a two hour session of life coaching for an individual or couple using the Covey system for values clarification, mission statement setup, and time management skills. I'm honestly not sure whether I got more of a high off of actually winning my coveted auctions or watching others bid on the things I had brought-- but I was sailing high all night long.
We earned our bidding points by answering questions on a little quiz that awarded points based on what you had done lately that was good-- like making your bed, exercising, shaving your legs (missed that one...), knowing how to change a tire (oh, and that one too...), etc. We even got points for how many diapers we had changed today or times we had nursed a baby during the day. I can honestly say that I was actually thankful for a moment for the cute little stinky bottoms that I see a little too often each day and for the tiger-fanged little Benjamin who is a nursing fiend. It passed quickly, but gratitude I did feel if but for a brief moment in time!
We all got a chance to check out the merchandise before the bidding frenzy began. In true Ruth form I made a list of things that I would like to bid on and then prioritized them according to how badly I wanted them. I was most interested in the services that I admire in my friends: Debbie's photo editing skills, Tasheena's beautiful tapestries, Lisa's baking skills, April's swimming lessons, Alyson's piano lessons... the list went on and on. It was difficult to narrow it down- but I did. At the top of my list was help in making a quilt from my dear friend Melissa. I've been wanting to do this for a while, and I am so grateful that she offered this in the auction because now I won't feel quite as guilty in taking her up on the offer to teach me!
The bidding started and I was floored by the energy in the room. My sweet friend Rachel had arranged with two incredible professional auctioneers to do the auction pro-bono which really set a great tone for the event. It was exciting and thrilling and I found myself tempted to bid on things not even on my list just because it was so darn exciting to do it. But, I refrained. I saved my points until Melissa's auction came up, and I enthusiastically bid again and again (and possibly stared down the competition with all of the bad-sportsmen-like behavior I could muster)... and was able to score the prize with 19 points to spare. 310 points for the quilting experience of my dreams. Worth every diaper-- every middle-of-the-night nursing-- and every last vegetable choked down to get there!!!
With only 19 points remaining one might worry that my excitement and enthusiasm might have wavered. But don't fret--it didn't. The rest of the auction was a hoot. I loved watching my friends compete for their coveted prizes. I loved learning more about people by the things that they bid on and the way that they bid. All in all, I had a blast. The $1 bill auctioned by my hilarious friend Tara that I got with 15 of my remaining 19 points was just icing on the cake. Hey-- I even left with 4 points remaining. Talk about provident living!
Anyway... what a great night. So much work was put into it and I am so grateful to sweet Rachel for putting it all together-- to the awesome auctioneers for giving of their time and talents so freely-- to the kind Truman sorority girls who volunteered to watch all the kids for free for the night so they wouldn't have to witness their mommies gone wild-- and to all of my friends for making what could have been just another finals-week-widow-pity-party of an evening into a night that I just may never forget. Going, going.... I was gone!