I hate to tell you this, but I’m just not a crystal person. You wouldn’t know that if you’d dropped in to visit us any time in the last twenty years, because we’ve had a fair-sized crystal chandelier hanging over our dining room table for all that time. It was here when we bought the house in 1994, and we’ve just never gotten around to replacing it.

Actually, the darn thing is really kind of pretty when it’s all cleaned up and the light shines on all those drops and bobeches (a new word I’ve learned) but it just isn’t me. I finally got Hubby to take it down in preparation for hanging the beautiful one he made me a while back, in our Spanish period. That hasn’t happened yet, either, but I have high hopes.

In the meantime, what to do with the crystal one? I figured I might garage sale it, or stick it on Craigslist for a hundred bucks or something. You know how it is; we might as well try to get a little bit out of it. Before I took that step, though, I decided to do a little research. Knowing absolutely nothing about the subject, I turned to our go-to reference for valuing almost anything: eBay’s SOLD listings.

I flipped through the pictures, looking for anything that resembled my chandelier. I want to tell you right now that there are thousands of different shapes and sizes of chandeliers. This one has too many lights, that one has too few. Some have colored crystals, some have long strings that resemble Spanish moss, some are made up of great circular bands of little crystals with the light bulbs hidden far away in the interior. I realized that finding something close to what I had wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

Then, just as I reached for the mouse to turn off the damn useless PC, there was a picture of a nine-light, eight-arm chandelier that looked identical (nearly identical…pretty close…kind of like…) to mine! I couldn’t believe it, especially when I saw that it had SOLD for about $1,200. WOW! How could I ever have thought of getting rid of that valuable old item!

It’s funny what a tiny bit of information will do to normally sane thought processes.

I still don’t like crystal. I have no intention of hanging the thing back up in my dining room. The problem is that it’s a lot harder to just dispose of something that might be worth more than you thought. What if I sell it for a pittance, and then find out that it really is the same as the one I saw on eBay? What if I don’t sell it and I end up storing it forever in my garage when it’s really a cheap knockoff worth only $50? The chances are that it will hang around here until we’ve both gone on to that great naturally illuminated place in the sky (where we’ll have no need of electric lighting, valuable or not) and our kids will have to deal with it, as with a bunch of other stuff.

They aren’t crystal people, either. Too bad.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.