Husband Mocked Me for Old Egg I Bought at the Flea Market, but Then It Suddenly Opened – Story of the Day
My husband mocked me for buying a little enameled egg at the flea market, but he was in for a big surprise.
First off, I have to tell you I'm a flea market junkie. I can't help it, I just love the idea of browsing through the flotsam and jetsom of a hundred lives, and among the discarded trash find a lost treasure.
It all started when I was just eleven and would spend the summers with my grandmother in New England. On the weekends she and I would haunt every flea market or street fair for a hundred miles around, looking for 'preloved jewels,' which is what she called her finds.
Let me tell you that even today as a mother and grandmother nothing gets my heart pumping like scrounging through a tray of bits and pieces and finding a glint of something that tells me I've struck gold.
My husband doesn't understand it at all. Sam is a lovely man, sweet, hardworking, but my need to find treasure in the trash is something he just doesn't understand.
It's the one thing we clash over, my bringing home 'preloved jewels,' or as he calls them, hoarder junk. I suppose it would be easier for me to just give up my little hobby, but I honestly don't want to.
Nothing gives me as much pleasure as heading for a flea market on the weekend with $20 in my pocket determined to find a Van Goh for 50 cents. So no matter how much Sam rails at me for wasting money and hoarding junk, I won't give it up.
Not that he has complained about it lately, in fact, this weekend he's asked if he can come along with me, so let me tell you how this miracle came about
About a month ago I headed off to a nearby town for its street fair on a Saturday morning. I was tingling with anticipation, and my bargain-hound senses led me to a modest display where a man was selling knickknacks.
There, among the porcelain cups and bisque shepherdesses was a little porcelain and enamel egg, about the size of a real egg. I admit it wasn't a particularly pretty or unusual piece, but I wanted it.
"How much for the egg?" I asked the man. He sussed me out with beady eyes. I could feel him taking in my sensible clothes, my handbag, and wondering how much I'd pay.
"Just $25, lady, and let me tell you it's a bargain!" he said. I know how the game is played so I gasped in horror and shook my head.
"$25 for a bargain-basement china egg?" I asked, "I'll give you $5."
One man's trash is another man's treasure.
"FIVE DOLLARS!" It was the man's turn to gasp. "For this piece of history? For this tiny treasure? Lady this is French porcelain."
"Right!" I shook my head, "So if I turn it over I won't see 'made in China' stamped on the bottom?"
The man hesitated, which told me he wasn't sure, so I pressed my advantage. "I tell you what, I'll take it, without touching it, for $10."
The man grumbled a bit under his breath but he wrapped up the egg in a bit of newspaper and took my ten dollars. I was delighted! I had a feeling about the egg! I browsed the rest of the fair but my heart wasn't in it. I had my treasure so I headed home.
I walked in smiling and gave Sam a kiss. He was sitting on the sofa reading his newspaper. "Hey hun," he said, "Found any trash?"
"Hey! Yes, as a matter of fact..." I fished the wrapped egg out of my handbag and carefully unveiled it.
Sam eyed it skeptically. "That's it? That's what you found?"
"Yes!" I cried, "isn't it pretty?"
"What's it for?" he asked turning the egg over in his hands.
"I think it was a jewelry box," I replied, "Do you see the little metal latch and the hinges?" I took the egg and tried to open it.
"I think it's rusted shut," Sam said, and then he turned the egg over. "No wonder, look! Made in Hong Kong! How much did you pay for it?"
I felt myself blushing and retrieved the egg. "Ten dollars," I admitted defensively, "But the man wanted $25."
Sam laughed at me scornfully. "You were taken for a ride, AGAIN!"
I felt tears come into my eyes. "Well, I like it!" I shook the little egg and heard something shift inside. "There's something inside!"
Sam sneered: "Oh I'm sure it's a diamond," he mocked me, and he took the egg from my hand. With a deft twist of his powerful fingers, he pried the egg open. Nestled inside was a tiny bundle of red silk.
I took out the little bundle and carefully unwrapped it. Glittering in the folds of the red silk was a pair of earrings. They were exquisite! Of course, they were faux, I thought, but beautiful copies.
Sam took one of the earrings and looked at it closely. The clear center stone was surrounded by a halo of green gems, and Sam breathed on it. He looked at the earing and he gasped.
"Jen," he said, "I think these are real!"
"What?" I asked, "What do you mean?"
"I saw this documentary about diamonds a while back, and they said a real diamond won't fog up with your breath. Look!" and he breathed on the big clear stone again.
I peered at it. No fog. I looked at Sam, then shook my head. "Hun look at the size of those stones. They'd be worth millions! They're just good fakes."
But Sam was excited. "Let's go to that jeweler at the mall, ask him to appraise them."
"Sam," I told him, "He'll charge us for that!"
But Sam didn't care, so we drove down to the mall and waited with bated breath while the man muttered over the earings and tested them. "These are diamonds, all right," he said, "And 18-carat white gold.
These look to me to be emeralds. Old cut, all of it. These earrings are probably Art Deco, from the style and the workmanship. You're probably looking at about three hundred, depending on the quality of the stones it could be more."
"Three hundred dollars?" Sam asked.
"Three hundred thousand, minimum," the jeweler replied. I felt the ground sway under my feet and had to clutch at Sam for support. I'd found a REAL treasure!
As it turned out, the jeweler was wrong. The earrings sold for three million dollars at auction. The result is that we now have a lovely little next egg in the bank, and the porcelain egg has pride of place on the mantel of our new house.
As for Sam, he is now an avid antique hound, and he accompanies me to every single flea market and antique fair. We haven't found that Van Gogh yet, but we have hope!
What can we learn from this story?
- One man's trash is another man's treasure. Jen believed she'd find a 'preloved jewel' and she finally did, literally.
- Respect other people's interests. Sam mocked Jen's passion for flea markets, but she ended up finding a $3 million pair of earrings.
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