Object Lust: What's Your Gem That Got Away?

Object Lust: What's Your Gem That Got Away?

Jennifer Hunter
Feb 1, 2012

For me, it was a pair of scissors. I spotted them across the store and bee-lined to the counter. They were everything I'd ever wanted in scissors but didn't know it: hand-forged carbonized steel blades, handsome brass handles and just enough patina to recall their Indian heritage.

Substantial yet elegant, they had enough heft to make any cutting job a breeze but still fit my small hand like a glove. When the blades closed, it was with a smooth, balanced motion and a satisfying snap.

But the price tag was...well, a lot. Enough to give me pause. It had been a particularly stressful week, finance-wise, and doubts began to quell my initial excitement. I already had scissors, many pairs of perfectly functional (albeit less pretty) scissors. I stood in that store for what seemed like an hour, my brain and heart fighting each other in the battle of the shears.

I left them there. I walked out of that store, truly believing I was doing the responsible thing, the adult thing. It may sound silly, but when someone asks me about my regrets, those scissors always pop into my mind. They've come to exemplify the idea that I should have listened to my gut, not my head. I think about that moment all the time, when I chose practicality over beauty. I understand my choice but now, looking back, I don't agree with it. My attraction was so immediate and their pull so strong that there must have been a reason. And yet, I ignored my own intuition.

Like any good tragic hero, I realized my mistake too late and, when I returned to the store, it'd gone out of business. I'd missed my chance.

What was your one that got away? When have you, for one reason or another, ignored your intuition and then regretted it? Maybe, in a fit of spring cleaning, you gave away a retro lamp that would now work perfectly with your new d├ęcor. Maybe in a thrift store, you didn't think you'd ever get around to restoring that Danish sideboard you saw for $20 and now desperately need one. Tell us your most heart breaking stories.

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