Love at First Sight

I confess, I like shopping.  It’s the pursuit that I love more than it is the actual buying but, if I’m really honest, I like the buying, too.  And I’ve done A LOT of shopping lately.Between all that is involved with moving cross-country and opening a new business, you’d think I would be sick of it by now.

Nope.Still having fun.

Since we’re moving our clinic out of temporary space and into a new, permanent space, we need lots of things.I’ve been poking around the internet and office supply stores for a couple of weeks looking for something that would work well for our reception desk.I’ve spied some pretty, shiny new desks and happened upon a few good sales and discounts.During my window shopping, I had been getting rather attached to the “bow front” style desks that have a slightly rounded overhang on what would be the patient side of the desk, thinking this would make for an attractive reception set-up.But something wasn’t clicking.I hadn’t found The One. Until yesterday. 

Before stopping at a paint store to explore color options, I whipped into the parking lot of a local thrift store.We need all manner of tables and other horizontal spaces throughout the clinic, and I was hoping to find a few things that might work.Imagine my surprise when I found a large, bow front desk hidden in the maze of furniture. I walked around and around the group of desks she was huddled in, wondering if what I was seeing could be real.Was the perfect desk for our reception area here at the local thrift store?  

I found the price tag.$44.99.Really?My heart beat faster as I contemplated what a steal this could be.Nothing pleases a shopper like me more than being able to boast about a good deal.  

I moved closer.She had 2 drawers.I opened the bottom drawer first and found the metal bar in the front that holds hanging file folders to be missing.I told my not-handy self it would be no problem to replace, and besides, maybe we could put file folders somewhere else.When I opened the top drawer the facing almost fell off in my hand.  As it swung bank and forth, I decided it was probably an easy fix. I also noticed she had some small scratches on the sides and a rather prominent defect on the front that would need to be covered somehow.Her flaws were quickly adding up.

I didn’t care.It was love.In fact, not only did I not care, the flaws actually made her more attractive.All those desks at the office supply store were too shiny and too pretty.  Intimidating, almost.But, the thrift store desk?She was far from intimidating.Her presence was approachable.Her demeanor: warm and unpretentious.  

I phoned my business partner to report my find.When I mentioned the oddly placed 3-inch hole in the top of the desk that we’d need to cover up or fix or otherwise deal with, she suggested we use that hole to help bolt the invisible receptionist box to the desk via a metal plate underneath the top of the desk.Brilliant!It was all coming together. 

And just when I thought the deal couldn’t be sweeter, a sales person leaned over and mentioned that with a purchase of a cup of coffee from the café at the front of the store, I could get 50% off.I almost fainted.

Love at first sight.For $22.50.Even if she doesn’t fit into the space we have for a reception desk, for the price, she is so worth the risk.Love is always worth the risk.** 

**I wrote a draft of the preceding story about 2 weeks ago and in the meantime, I’ve been super busy getting logistics taken care of for our new clinic space.This includes more shopping.I’m pleased to report that $285 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore got us: 1 recliner, 4 lamps, 3 office chairs on wheels, 2 small tables, a boom box, and 5 comfy chairs for the reception/office area.  

Happy shopping, everyone!

Author: NancyS

I've been a member of POCA since the early CAN days. My first CA training was in Oct. 2006 and I've been hooked ever since. In 2010, I started a CA clinic in Salem, Oregon. We've grown to about 150 visits per week. I'm moving to San Luis Obispo this summer (2012) for my partner's job and to be near family. I'm not eligible for licensure in California so my acupunk days are limited and will be on hold for a while. But I plan to stick around POCA.

Related Articles

Survey of CAN clinics

Skeptics in the acupuncture community say that CA clinics can’t be successful.  A variety of reasons are cited – prices too low, patients want one-on-one attention and wouldn’t like treatments in a room with other people, Dr.


  1. !

    “And just when I thought the deal couldn’t be sweeter, a sales person leaned over and mentioned that with a purchase of a cup of coffee from the café at the front of the store, I could get 50% off.  I almost fainted.”

    I love it!  Purchase a dollar cup of coffee to save $22.50!!  That is such a return on investment…

    (Love your whole story too, Nancy.)

  2. Nice work, Nancy!

    I love old/used stuff too, and love the feeling of recycling instead of *always* having to feed the corporate consumption machine (not that I haven’t bought my share of blankets and light fixtures at IKEA).

    My favorite part is your partner’s reaction to the hole in the desk: THAT’s when you know you’ve got a good fit as a clinic-mate!  Happy hunting, you two!

  3. YAy!  I am sooo happy for

    YAy!  I am sooo happy for you two!  And I love a great bargain!!  Everything is really falling into place.  Can’t wait to see the new space!


    Erica Leaton

    Central Coast Community Acupuncture

    Newport, OR 

  4. A full tour

    We’d love to show you the space anytime, Erica.   We’re so grateful you brought us together in the first place.  And I hope to get out to Newport Beach soon, as well.


    Nancy S.

  5. hey i know you!  🙂 

    hey i know you!  🙂  done with classes in august, em and i are the old ladies on the core group hill with alex and nell and m.f. gone!  your kalanchoe is benefitting from much sun and neglect in my backyard (seems to like being left alone!)