My rule is: buy what I like and what I think I need.
I found a towel rack. It lay next to a rolling pin hand-fashioned smooth of a piece of wood; its handles of a-piece with the pin, not inserted so to roll freely. The pin handles would have to roll on, or be cupped in, the palm of a hand. The pin was large and long and had the glow of honey color. I wanted the towel rack.
It's the type my Grandma might've had in her kitchen mounted near the sink to air or sun dry wet dish towels. The swivel rack has three 12" wooden dowel-shaped arms held, one atop another, within a metal bracket, which can be mounted on a window frame. I went to it like bee to flower. The dowel arms had a washed-out honey color. No one will find this at Williams & Sonoma or the Pottery Barn. I need this towel rack at our sink. It wasn't priced.
How much is this? I asked at checkout.
"I was going to buy that. It's vintage!" she replied not answering.
Oh, yes, well, . . waiting . . . politely looking in her eyes . . . saying nothing.
"Are you a dealer?" This question came as a bolt. Her brows pinched, eyes pinning me as insect specimen in collection.
"Are you a dealer?!", demanding again, bringing me out of this little mean shock.
No. I like it. I am not a dealer, I enunciated.
I'm shocked. I'm defensive. I'm accused of so low a behavior as posing as a "dealer" buying an object at a church rummage sale. I'm no "dealer" my pride welling.
In an instant of this exchange of a transaction I felt some scummy meaning, sensing I was engaged in a maladaptive immoral behavior as, say, luring a little girl in all the way in a street corner pool-hall or encouraging a small boy to undo his clean white best-of-Sunday polo-brand 100% cotton shirt-collar button and loosen his tie down, down, down, to his buttons at his pointed collar tabs.
I like it. It reminds me of my Grandma. We can use it.
"I was going to buy it! Dealers do come here and buy. I was going to buy it. They're in all the magazines now, Country Living, Better Homes and Garden, Martha Stewart."
All the magazines, I thought. I like it. How much? pinning her.
Thank You. I paid thinking bargain, it's not marked, probly jacked the price; no, no, no, just move on, move on.
"Stinker," she says to me.
I should've bought the rolling pin too; it was marked.