I found the antique oak chair at a flea market. The woman had it marked for $175, and I had no intention of spending that much that day. But the more I examined it the more I fell for it. The curved back with leaf and graduated bead carvings, the deeply carved seat (3 inches thick!) with the rounded corners, wow! She saw me admiring it and told me that her husband had owned it for over 25 years. I told her I wished that I could buy it, and all the reasons I loved it, but then I left and walked around some more obsessing over it. When I went back, she had put a sign on it "Not for sale". She told me that my comments about it had led her to realize that they should never sell it. I offered her $150, but she wouldn't do it, my big mouth had made her realize what a great chair it was. Just then, she got a phone call from her husband asking how things were going at the flea market. I heard her explain to him how there was this guy who was offering $150 for the chair, but she'd realized how great it was, and decided that they shouldn't sell it. Poor woman, I could hear him start yelling at her, finally screaming: "SELL THE GODDAM CHAIR!"
She was nearly in tears when she sold it to me, but I promised her that it was going to a good home.
It was meant to be, I guess.