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Busted Chair Restitution

I was recently at a close friend’s home for an afternoon of swimming and fun. We chatted a while when I arrived and then she went to change into her swimsuit. She has a bar with two bar stools. Not wanting to get too comfortable, I half sat/more like leaned on one of the bar stools. Immediately it made a horrible cracking sound and fell to the ground, in pieces.

My friend and her mom came running out of their bedrooms to see the commotion and found me standing there looking at the broken stool in disbelief. I had barely touched it. The stools looked very cheap but still I couldn’t believe it had broken like that!

I apologized profusely and was of course embarrassed. Since neither of them witnessed the incident, I explained what happened. We all stood there in disbelief as I continued to apologize. If this had happened in my own home, I would have seen my guest distressed and embarrassed and would have attempted to relieve that in some way (after all, this *was* a cheap bar stool, not a family heirloom), but my friend did no such thing. That’s fine. Her prerogative.

I apologized for the 70th time and then stated I would replace it. She then stated she couldn’t remember where she got it. She started naming expensive online stores and her mom kept correcting her, saying, “Noooo I think we got it from Walmart or Target”. This went on for some time and it was awkward. I started to get the feeling my friend wanted me to hand over $250 for a $50 bar stool.

I finally said well you can log in to those sites and see your order history. We want to match the other bar stool so when you find where you purchased it, send me the info and I will order it and ship it to you.

A week later I got a text from her, showing the receipt that it had been purchased at Walmart. Replacement cost: $50, including shipping.

Strange. I’m still not sure what to think about the whole thing. 0906-17

You make good on your promise to replace the bar stool ASAP and forget about it.  Personally, if I had been the homeowner I wouldn’t have expected any guest to compensate me for broken furniture but hey, that’s me.

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Saucygirl January 16, 2018, 5:50 am

    It’s amazing when people are willing to take advantage of their friends niceness and good manners. Well done pointing out the order history and asking for proof!

    My daughter and I were at a friends house and my daughter managed to take the mesh of the top part of the screen door. I was mortified and immediately offered to have my husband come fix it, which they accepted, knowing that my husband is very handy. He told me after that the mesh has just been stapled onto the wood frame, with regular staples, and only in a few places! So that’s exactly how he fixed it.

    • Tan January 16, 2018, 7:39 am

      I doubt we could say the friend was trying to take advantage. From the other point of view she may have just been in shock and unsure how to react. The OP kept going on about the bar stool and wouldn’t let things move on. When the OP offered to pay for it she may have been quite pushy… in which case the friend tried to say she can’t remember in hope the subject would be dropped. Further pushed perhaps some snobbery kicked in and she didn’t want to admit she buys furniture from Walmart.
      In general I would have apologised once, told the friend what happened and then asked “what would you like to do about this?”

      • Aleko January 16, 2018, 8:54 am

        I think you might have hit the nail on the head about her not wanting to admit that she had bought cheap furniture. Though perhaps the motive wasn’t so much snobbery as such, but rather embarrassment that her penny-pinching had involved a guest in an accident. If that was my friend I would rather think that, than suspect her of wanting to profit. There is a saying (attributed both to Confucius and La Rochefoucauld – take your pick): “It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them”.

      • Michelle January 16, 2018, 9:19 am

        So if OP had not thought to say you could access your order history and ended up replacing a $50 stool with a $250 stool, would you still doubt the friend was trying to take advantage?

        Also, why are people embarrassed about buying furniture/shopping at Walmart? They are one of the largest stores in the world. Sure, sometimes it’s not pleasant because so many people shop there and lines can be long, but that’s true of almost any major retail store. I have seen many a Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz in the lot of our local store, so people can drop their “snobbery”/charade of being too rich/classy/whatever to shop at Walmart.

        If we judge friends on where they shop or buy furniture then we are not being very nice friends are we?

        • Dee January 16, 2018, 12:41 pm

          Walmart has a reputation for cheap quality and as that was proved in this case, by OP, it isn’t incomprehensible that the friend would be too embarrassed to admit choosing something of poor quality, thus denying that she got it at Walmart.

          I don’t mind buying some stuff at Walmart but the Walmart brands are definitely poorly made. That lots of people shop there isn’t indicative of anything but that it’s popular. Just like with celebrities and political leaders, popularity can’t be assumed to be indicative of anything but popularity, and certainly is not an indication of good quality.

        • Rebecca January 16, 2018, 10:59 pm

          I’m usually embarrassed to admit I bought anything at Walmart, not because it’s cheap, but because of their history of treating employees poorly and and so forth. But I don’t find it plausible that this person was too embarrassed to say the barstool was from Walmart. The gracious thing to say would be, “Oh don’t worry, it’s a cheap barstool.” And I probably wouldn’t want to replace it since it doesn’t stand up to the weight of a person. (Maybe if the person was unusually large, I wouldn’t blame it on the structure of the stool, but within an average weight range I’d say if the stool broke, it’s not doing what it was designed to do and I don’t want to replace it with the same).

          • cleosia February 6, 2018, 9:16 am

            They may treat their employees badly but if we all stop shopping there, said employees will loose their jobs. Better to shop there and lobby for better employee rights. Raising the minimum wage will a be a good start.

          • Astoria February 19, 2018, 6:23 pm

            If people didn’t shop there, then Walmart would not have been able to put all the local stores out of business. Shopping there caused these folks to lose job options in the first place. When you don’t shop at Walmart, you are typically just shopping elsewhere and thus helping employ *that* store’s workers, who are usually better paid.

            The philosophy you are referring to is well applied to sweatshop labor. Boycotting Nike would just make them pull their manufacturing from Haiti or Bangladesh all together. This would indeed result in unemployment for those folks. But the US retail jobs are fungible and simply follow our money.

            My neighborhood successfully fought off Walmart, and there are none in my city. We have plenty of retail jobs, and a ton of locally owned businesses. I like knowing my grocery bills are putting their kids through college as well as providing a wage for their workers.

      • DaDancingPsych January 16, 2018, 10:11 am

        This is an interesting take on it. You know how they say that there are three sides to every story (OP’s side, friend’s side, and the truth). Maybe the friend was trying to take advantage of things or maybe the reality was closer to Tan’s explanation.

        Either way, I would not ask a guest to replace something that was broken with normal use. Had friend been acting a fool and broke something while being careless, then I might feel differently. But this sounds innocent enough.

      • Saucygirl January 16, 2018, 10:14 am

        Tan, interesting. I wouldn’t have thought of being embarrassed to admit buying from Wal-Mart, but I can see that. She still could have said don’t worry about it, versus giving expensive options, but you’re also right in the op saying she wasn’t letting it drop. However, the friend did text the info a week later. So i guess it comes down to if op dropped it after she left house. If she did and friend sent text after no prompting for a week, a little taking advantage. If op followed up after leaving and reminded/asked if had info, it’s 100% on op

      • Melissa January 16, 2018, 10:53 am

        I don’t think we can assume that OP wouldn’t let it go; they say that Friend did nothing to reassure them that the broken bar stool was no big deal. If it was shocking to the Friend/Host, how much more shocking it must have been to the OP, most of us feel terrible when we break things, even if it was a freak accident. If Friend/Host didn’t want to admit she buys furniture from Walmart, then she could have said “No biggie, it was obviously an accident, don’t even worry about it” instead of pretending she bought more expensive bar stools. I also think that if you are the person who broke something, you shouldn’t ask “what would you like to do about this?” because that puts it all back on Host/Friend to ask for reimbursement if they need or want it. OP should have offered to replace it, as they did, and that gives Host the opportunity to accept or decline the offer.

        Totally agree with Admin that I personally wouldn’t ask someone to replace an item like that, especially under the circumstances. If OP was wrestling and used the stool as a prop, maybe 🙂 but not if they just leaned on it a little bit. It’s almost as if the stool was already on it’s last legs (pun not intended, but I kind of wish it was! lol) and OP just got to be the lucky person to finish the job. But I also totally agree with Admin on replacing the stool, and moving on. And maybe make sure not to touch anything in this person’s home again 🙂

      • clairedelune January 16, 2018, 11:41 am

        If they really were just standing there gaping at her, I can see why she kept apologizing.

      • Skaramouche January 16, 2018, 12:12 pm

        I did think that it might have been embarrassment at having purchased furniture from Walmart but I don’t excuse the friend entirely.

        1) There was a simple way for the friend to get out of this: assure OP that accidents happen and that she doesn’t have to pay for replacing the stool. I doubt OP would have insisted on knowing where it was purchased.

        2) Even if we give benefit of the doubt and assume that the friend was very flustered and embarrassed in the moment, she could still have chosen not to send a bill after having had time to calm down.

  • Mustard January 16, 2018, 7:00 am

    Just as well her mom was there to correct her..

  • TeamBhakta January 16, 2018, 9:26 am

    The polite thing your host should have done, after you brought up paying her back more than once: Either make up a low number on the spot or said “Okay, I’ll get back to you later with how much it cost” & then politely “forget” to bring up the subject with you again.

  • mark January 16, 2018, 10:09 am

    I wouldn’t expect a replacement in that circumstance. If it breaks during ordinary use, and sitting on a stool is ordinary use, that is the homeowners problem. Now if the guest is leaning the stool back on 2 legs. Them I would expect them to pay for it, since that is misuse.

    I likely would not have offered to pay for it. Based on the description I suspect the stool was already broken, and the homeowner knew it.

  • Shoegal January 16, 2018, 10:14 am

    I remember being at a friend’s house when my husband accidentally broke a chair. He offered to take the chair home and repair it. The friend was very nice about the whole thing – said it was an old chair and was broke to begin with – my husband, however, took the chair home and made it like new again. No big deal. If it were me – like the Admin, I would have never accepted money for a new stool – I would have comforted my guest – said it wasn’t expensive and removed the stool and wouldn’t have mentioned it again.

  • JD January 16, 2018, 10:19 am

    I wouldn’t have apologized about it so many times, but I would have offered to replace it. I’m not sure why the friend started thinking about high end stores, but I think Mom was going to be real about it no matter what. The proof was received, OP can replace the stool, and now move on. Maybe the friend didn’t have anything to do with the purchasing, and maybe Mom shops high end stores a lot, so friend was guessing. Whatever, they were upfront in giving you the receipt, so all’s well, I think.
    A guest of ours had a chair (it was vintage, but not valuable) break under him at our house during the holidays. Our main concern was that he was unhurt (he didn’t hit the floor and was completely unharmed). There was no replacing it, as it is vintage, but I think we can fix it. We all laughed, got him a different chair, and moved right on.

  • Pat January 16, 2018, 10:20 am

    I don’t think I would have accepted payment for it either. After all, it broke during normal use. If a guest was abusing it in some way it might be another story. Things do break.

  • sandisadie January 16, 2018, 10:35 am

    As an aside – very expensive furniture can be purchased on line through Walmart and Target. I have fairly expensive furniture, and cheap stuff too. So if a guest damaged something I would take into consideration the age, condition, initial cost and replacement cost before asking someone to replace something they broke. I think you did a good job by offering a solution and following through by paying for the replacement stool.

  • staceyizme January 16, 2018, 10:45 am

    Since we weren’t there, either the OP’s interpretation or Tan’s are equally likely. OP seemed to be ashamed and embarrassed. Perhaps that colored her memory. Her friend might have been embarrassed, as well, (and might not have wanted to admit to shopping at discount stores, some people are mindful of that- for whatever reason). Least said, soonest mended. I do agree that making good on your promise of replacement is necessary, as a simple matter of keeping your word. (And I equally agree that the reasonable expectation of a guest is that a damaged item that was already in poor condition should not be the responsibility of the next hapless individual who “breaks” it to replace.) If you viewed this friend with a slight skepticism after this episode and chose to distance yourself, it would be understandable.

  • Devin January 16, 2018, 10:59 am

    I’m with other commenters that she didn’t seem really that interested in having you replace it since she didn’t mention anything till after the 70th time you apologized and offered to pay for it. Maybe she is embarrassed that she has ‘cheap’ furniture since she seems to have any other wise very nice Home (pool plus outdoor bar). Or maybe she really didnt care for you to replace it and thought by saying it is from more expensive stores you’d back down from your offer. Since you made the offer and now have the information you specifically requested to buy a new chair, do so and maybe include a funny joke on the gift receipt (sorry I she hulked on your pool chair, hope the replacement can withstand my wrath). If she’s a close friend move past it, unless she suddenly starts showing other traits of a mooch/gimmie pig.

  • Zhaleh January 16, 2018, 11:29 am

    That fact that I don’t think someone should be made to replace something that they broke, accidentally, isn’t what’s strange about this story.

    The weird thing is, that the crappy barstool they bought for $50 from Walmart, proved to not even be worth $50, yet they replaced it with the exact same one! Why would they put themselves and future guests at risk?

    Or, if they thought the barstool was flawed, they should have just taken the remains to Walmart for a replacement.

    I would never think to replace an unstable piece of furniture with the same unstable piece of furniture.

    If I couldn’t afford something safer, my guests and I would go without until I could.

    • Dee January 16, 2018, 12:35 pm

      That’s my feeling too, Zhaleh. Why would you want to buy something that you’ve already know isn’t worth the money? $50 can buy you a pretty good barstool, if you shop around.

    • Anonymous January 16, 2018, 2:15 pm

      I agree. I wouldn’t have replaced a flimsy bar stool with the same flimsy bar stool, and, actually, I’d take that a step further and say, I don’t think flimsy bar stools are a great choice of poolside furniture, because they’re going to be sat on by slippery, wet people who’ve just gotten out of the pool. That’s just asking for trouble.

  • Pame January 16, 2018, 11:38 am

    I can’t believe she expects you to pay for replacement of a lower end bar stool that broke under standard use. I wonder if part of her issue was not wanting to admit she had lower end furniture in her home and was subjecting her guests to potential harm. I’d be tempted to reply with “I’ll place the order but are you sure you wan to keep these in your home? They seem like they’ll be an accident waiting to happen. I was just glad I wasn’t actually sitting on the stool when it broke because that fall would have been really painful.”

    • lkb January 16, 2018, 12:18 pm

      While I understand this suggested script is coming from, IMHO it sounds a little judgy or teachery: “Now class, what did we learn here?” I don’t think anyone has the right to question what furniture other people choose to have in their homes.

      • Dee January 16, 2018, 5:53 pm

        But if OP had been hurt when the stool broke she could have made a case for the friend paying for that injury. If OP wants to warn her friend of the potential of it happening to another guest if the stool is replaced with another cheap one then that isn’t judgy, it’s a fair warning. Personally, I would be nervous letting people sit on furniture that may not be safe or sturdy. Cheap chairs are going to break before long, that’s the reality.

  • clairedelune January 16, 2018, 11:40 am

    Yeah, that’s kind of crummy of her. The accepted thing to do in the case of accidental breakage like that is for you to offer to pay, and for her to decline your offer.

  • Miss-E January 16, 2018, 12:24 pm

    I firmly believe that you should never offer what you are not willing to give. I hear stories from people all the time where they are annoyed that someone accepted their offer because they feel the “polite” thing to do would be to decline (things like offering to split the check at a restaurant or offering gas money for getting a short ride that very far out of someone’s way). If you don’t want to do it, don’t offer. If you offer, you have to make good on it and you only have yourself to blame.

    I agree that there is something weird about this story but since we don’t have the friends account we really can’t say why she was so stunned and awkward after the stool broke. Maybe she was fishing for money…maybe she really couldn’t remember. Maybe she was furious the OP broke the stool…maybe she felt terribly guilty that her cheap furniture could have hurt someone. The point still comes down to the fact that you offered to pay and she accepted your offer. It cost you $50 to learn that sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is.

    • Miss-E January 16, 2018, 12:27 pm

      Sorry that was supposed to say “that isn’t very far out of someone’s way”. A friend of mine, who lives about 10 min off a major highway (20 min roundtrip), asked someone for a ride when they were passing by his city. They were both headed to the same town. My friend offered gas money and the driver accepted and my friend was deeply annoyed because he didn’t feel it was that much of an inconvenience and he said “everyone knows you turn those offers down”. But imho, 20 min is a pretty decent chunk of time & gas and, again, don’t offer money if you aren’t prepared for someone to accept!

      • Rebecca January 16, 2018, 11:11 pm

        Yes, it’s definitely an inconvenience. I can think of plenty of ways I could make use of that 20 minutes. But I think people asking for rides only see the 10 minutes THEY are in the car, and don’t think about that round trip. If this person also got a ride back on the way home, we are looking at 40 minutes out of the driver’s day.

    • Anna January 16, 2018, 8:20 pm

      Agree with this. It doesn’t sound like the friend was demanding the OP pay for it–but it was agreed to after OP apologized 70 times and offered. We don’t know what would have happened if OP simply said “I was leaning on it and it just collapsed, I’m so sorry for the mess!” and helped to pick up the pieces, rather than say that they would replace it.

  • Skaramouche January 16, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Fascinated as usual by the different perspectives on the same story :D. I’m not sure whether the friend was trying to scam OP or not but a few things made me side with OP on this one:

    1) Of course she apologised a million times…she’d just broken something in someone else’s home!!!!! Any decent person would have been mortified.

    2) OP kept apologising because her friend didn’t indicate in any way that what happened was not a big deal. OP clearly stated this. If her friend had made attempts to soothe her embarrassment, she might have stopped apologising. What would you do if you kept apologising and people looked at you speechless as if you just killed their cat? 😛 . If OP had just moved on to other topics, we would have (rightfully) lambasted her for breaking something, apologising and moving on as if nothing happened!!

    3) Let’s say that the friend was shocked and embarrassed too and didn’t know what to do. It’s possible that she kept mentioning other stores because she didn’t want to admit to having purchased the furniture at Walmart. Friend could have thanked OP for the offer and not mentioned any stores at all but let’s chalk that one up to her being flustered. What was the reason for actually sending a bill later? Despite deferring opinions, we are all agreed that not one of us would have asked a guest to pay. Why not forget about the whole thing once everyone had had a chance to recover?

  • PrettySticks January 16, 2018, 2:07 pm

    This submission, and some of the responses, reminded me of a story from high school. My mom ran a small tutoring business out of a rented office for a couple of years. She’d found these plastic chairs at Staples that cost literally $1 apiece and bought like 15 of them for the waiting area, the kids to use while working, her desk chair, everything. Once she closed the business, we kept the chairs stacked in our basement, and when we threw my brother a 16th birthday party, we dragged all of them out and just used those as random seating all over the house. One of my brother’s friends was leaning back in one, on two legs, and it totally cracks in two – $1, remember – so suddenly this kid is lying on the floor. Without missing a beat he exclaims “Oh, no! That must have been in your family for generations!” That absolutely killed me, and to this day I steal that line all the time, whenever I drop something or otherwise do something clumsy.

    Postscript: I recently ran into that guy and recounted the story to him, and he had zero recollection of saying that. Disappointing, considering the impact it had on my life!

    Related to this topic, I’m pretty sure we just trashed that one and grabbed another $1 chair for him to sit on. And he likely learned nothing about leaning back on it.

  • Harry's Mom January 16, 2018, 2:19 pm

    I wonder how this would have panned out had the OP injured herself as a result of the fall. My guess is that the host would suddenly not have a care about replacing said barstool and would in fact be more worried about a lawsuit or filing a homeowners insurance claim. I agree with everyone here, I just couldn’t imagine charging someone for breaking something by accident when in fact they were only using the item as it was meant to be used.

  • Semperviren January 16, 2018, 2:43 pm

    I’m not as ready to give her a pass for being concerned first and foremost with the stool and the replacement of it, and not the well-being (and feelings) of her guest.

    • Aleko January 17, 2018, 2:08 am

      But for some reason she does seem to have been utterly thrown by the situation. OP describes her just standing there open-mouthed , not saying anything, which leads to OP continually repeating apologies and offers to pay; only after “the 70th time” does she respond at all with the statement that she can’t remember where she bought the stool. Maybe she was aghast at the thought that her friend could have been badly hurt; maybe OP was more wild-eyed and shocked than she realised; who knows? But she certainly doesn’t sound like a woman in command of herself.

      • Semperviren January 17, 2018, 8:25 am

        IMO it’s not good when you fail to convey any concern for your friend but your concern for your stuff comes through loud and clear. I don’t blame the OP for noting this behavior and being put off by it, I would be too.

  • THE OP January 16, 2018, 5:02 pm

    OP here. I submitted this some time ago and have had time to reflect on the situation.

    I agree with what some of you have said about me apologizing. I apologized profusely because my friend did not acknowledge my apology nor did she attempt to make sure I was ok or attempt to assure me it was a cheap barstool, no big deal. I was raised that entertaining comes with some costs. Included in those costs is guests occasionally staining or breaking things on accident (obviously if it’s on purpose, don’t invite them again). I’ve had guests stain my grandmothers beautiful lace tablecloth, break a knickknack, stop up my toilet, and even break the leg of a chair. It happens. My immediate response is always to assure them that it’s ok, don’t worry, and to clean it up quickly and move on so that they are not uncomfortable or embarrassed.

    I think the thinking behind that mindset and the way I was taught is that people – and in particular guests in your home – are more important than things. Would it be disappointing if a guest broke a one of a kind heirloom? Absolutely. But making them feel bad about it isn’t going to reverse the accident. Clean it up and cry about it later in private. Again, the cost of entertaining is sometimes having your house messed with a bit.

    When I offered to reimburse her I meant it. Honestly, though, I was surprised when she later took me up on it. Offering and agreeing to things in the heat of the moment is one thing. Researching and thoughtfully sending a text requesting reimbursement is another. I would not have personally done this. I admit it left a sour taste in my mouth because I feel it is not being a gracious hostess to allow your guest to feel bad about and reimburse you for breaking something that was cheap and obviously falling apart before I touched it.

    One part of the story I did not provide in the previously submitted post is that after she sent me the text telling me where to buy the barstool, I told her I would send it ASAP. This was at the very end of summer and being a teacher that is a tough month financially. I was planning on ordering it upon receiving my first paycheck two weeks later. I did not relay this to her, because I did not think 2 weeks was an excessive amount of time. A few days later she texted again asking if I had ordered the chair because she was having a party and wanted to have the new stool for the occasion. I then explained I was planning on purchasing in less than 2 weeks time when I got my paycheck. She seemed bummed about not having the stool for her party but I wasn’t going to put myself in a financial bind for a barstool.

    I ordered the stool 2 weeks later and she never even mentioned receiving it. We’ve never spoken about it again.

    This has definitely made me rethink things a bit in our friendship. I am hesitant to go to her house and haven’t done so since this incident. The whole thing didn’t sit well with me but I’m trying to move past it with a little caution for the future.

    I realize that not everyone was born with etiquette being taught to them like the Bible like it was in my family. I try to be gracious and understand that some people just truly don’t know what to do when it comes to etiquette and people and hosting. I chose to give my friend some grace and never touch anything she owns again. ?

    • mark January 17, 2018, 11:11 am

      OP, thanks for the followup. It’s always good to hear the resolution in incidents like this. FWIW, I think your friend took advantage of you. Unless you were misusing the stool, you didn’t break it. It just failed and you happened to be the last person who used it. Based on your original submission I wouldn’t be surprised if the stool had already failed and had been “fixed”.

      I would have felt bad in this situation too, but honestly assuming that stool had been used for 5000 minutes (a total guess as well as chosen for easy math, but that works out to ~83 hours), and you used it for one minute (another total guess). Since the stool cost $50 or 5000 cents each minute of use put about one cent of wear and tear on the stool, so I figure you really only owed her one cent for your share of the stool failing.

      Saying you broke it makes as much sense as my siblings accusing me of eating “all the ice cream” when I in actuality only had the last bite (or sit in your case).

    • Livvy17 February 1, 2018, 12:39 pm

      OP, I’m of the same mindset as you. Accidentally broken stuff is part of living, and certainly part of hosting. I’m horrified that the friend didn’t ask you if you were ok, or apologize that you might have been hurt. If I give her credit for being too shocked….she should have had time enough during your apologies to come to her senses by the time you offered to replace it. She should absolutely have waved away that suggestion.

      this is where I don’t buy the “ashamed of Wal-Mart” argument – if she had really been ashamed of shopping there, she would have had even MORE reason to refuse your kind offer. But, again, assuming shock, at the time, she still had PLENTY of time to refuse later – saying that she couldn’t find her original order, or that she’d chosen to get some new chairs, as obviously these ones weren’t well made.

      Then, she had one more opportunity to refuse, when you talked about the timing issue. If she wanted more stools for her party, she could have BOUGHT THEM HERSELF, and told you then not to worry about it, or barring that, to send her money whenever. Waiting for you to order, pay, ship and generally take care of everything for her strikes me as quite rude, unless you were over-the-top about wanting to take care of absolutely everything.

  • Mrslove January 16, 2018, 5:07 pm

    I’m guessing OP is not asking if she should pay it, but rather is this how most of these stories go? I can see it both ways. If it happened at my house I would have been so troubled whether the friend was hurt or not, not about the chair. Mortified actually. But I could also see myself, upon discovering my friend wasn’t hurt in anyway, being completely bewildered on how in the world that could have happened–especially since she wasn’t really sitting on it. I can see how I could be tongue-tied in that moment, leading to OP apologizing over and over. After trying to guess how in the world she could have broken the stool, I could surmise that she’d been fooling around on it in some way she shouldn’t have, and her offer to pay for it was her admitting fault that she had broken it in carelessness. Still struggling to comprehend what happened, I can see how throwing out varying amounts is possible (I have walmart, pottery barn, target, and pier 1 all together in my room, so a bar stool could have come from any of those places). OP is just not comfortable with her friend taking her money so quickly and wishes that maybe she had a friend who instead could have been a little more cool about this incident.

  • Marozia January 17, 2018, 3:05 am

    OP broke it, OP apologised and offered to pay for it, OP asked where item was purchased, OP saw order history, OP received receipt in e-mail and OP paid for the replacement. OP, you did fine! Not sure about the friend, though with the expensive online stores.

  • Semperviren January 17, 2018, 8:47 am

    The friend pointing the OP to more expensive online stores makes no sense; I can’t see any sensible motive in purposely sending someone in the WRONG direction for a replacement. Wouldn’t you, presumably, want to match the remaining bar stool? If you purchased at Target or IKEA, it’s not likely you’d find a matching one at Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn.

    Is there some shame in buying from Target? (I mean, everyone does.) Hoping the OP will provide an “upgrade” and an excuse to ultimately replace both bar stools at half the cost? That’s probably not a terribly charitable thought, but seriously, I can’t wrap my head around why the friend would do that.

  • Level January 17, 2018, 12:42 pm

    Ok, this has officially derailed. Now all those people who think that the stool was dangerous and in favor of her replacing it with the exact same thing – which would also be dangerous. Where is the sense in that.
    The way the story told how the OP was sitting/leaning into the stool puts pressure on it much worse then sitting on it correctly. But that still falls into the category of normal use to be expected IRL. Normal use of an object should not subject the user to replacement automatically. If she had been using it to reinact a Star Wars scene-maybe.
    If she had fallen and been injured the blame calling might be different.

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