I placed an absentee bid on that painting. Why? I’ll tell you. Last year, at this same guy’s auction, I found a French dry sink with a marble top that I really liked. Susan’s been keen on dry sinks for some time. Since we don’t have a big enough bathroom for a hamper, we put dirty clothes in a basket at the top of the stairs. I’d rather we had some piece of furniture that would hide the clothes, but haven’t yet found a piece the right size and quality. The dry sink would’ve worked just fine. The estimate was $500 – $800: too rich for my wallet. The selling price? $172. Now that’s in my budget. With that little bit of experience, I decided I’d put a sort-of “low ball” offer on the painting. I’m thinking of it this way: if it sells for an amount equal to (or less than) my offer, and I didn’t put a bid in, I’d be kicking myself in the pants. Now, I feel covered. If I win it, I win it for a price that I would consider a good deal, possibly even a bargain (depending on where it ends). If it goes over that, well, then it just wasn’t meant to be.