compulsive behavior

Several months ago Karl was introduced to, the gigantic online yard sale searchable by item or category or even words like "conversation piece" or "vintage." He immediately began checking for computer games, and we spent multiple evenings after work finding an address where he would trade $20 for a box or bag full of treasures. He thoroughly enjoys the whole process, from finding a good set of games and negotiating a price to exploring different neighborhoods to actually pulling out the games and playing with them. I teased him a lot about his Craigslist addiction... until, with this whole house thing, I got hooked too.

At least once I day I seem to find myself searching for sofas and armchairs, desks, tables, a guest room bed, dining room set, patio chairs, rugs... it's so fun to plan out the different ways I could arrange the new rooms, to think about our life there and the feeling it will have. I usually keep the tabs open for all the pieces I particularly like, leaving them in a row across the top of the screen so I can take them all in at one glance. I like to see what I could buy for $500, or $1,000 - budgeting whether this chair is worth the price, or if it would be better to get that cheaper one and pay more for a bedroom set. I think what's really so great about the whole thing is the sense of possibility, of creativity and treasures waiting to be found. It has been mostly imaginary so far (there is very little room for additional furniture in this apartment) but there is a new coffee table in our living room, and a rug and bench on the porch, and a plant in the dining room.

Karl watches all this and laughs, teasing me when he sees my neat row of finds sitting there on the laptop; but then we both look at each other and smile, understanding.

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