I usually don’t buy things whimsically. I don’t see something and say to myself “I have to have it.” I might if I had more money but most of the time I don’t. So I buy my regular stuff which is mostly books, comic books, and art supplies.

Just recently I was looking at a figure/sculpture I own called “Sinful Lady” by Gary Ham. I bought it back in 2009. It’s about ten inches tall and has an edition of 500. It’s a sculpture of a cartoon woman as a devil. In looking at it I realized that might be the last thing expensive I bought on a whim. By expensive I mean around $150-$200 and by whim I mean that it was nothing I needed but I just kind of wanted it. I may have bought some other whimsical purchases but I don’t remember them at the moment.

Back in 2009 I bought the first car I’ve ever bought in my life. It was a new 2009 Honda. I had saved up about half of the price of the car but had to finance the other half. That meant a $200 bill every month for five years. That is a lot of money for me and meant a $200 whimsical purchase was out of the question for five years. It’s been mostly out the question for ten years now but that’s the way life is. Except last weekend I made my first whimsical purchase in a long time.

I like movies that are about conversation and ideas. I call those movies “Talkers.” That’s because there is a lot of talking in them. There is usually not much action in such film but there is lots of dialogue. They’re also good for me to work to. I can put one on and mostly listen to it as I draw.

Whit Stilman is one of my favorite writer/directors. He makes Talkers. He hasn’t made a lot of movies over the decades but I like them all. “Metropolitan,” “In the Last Days of Disco,” “Damsels in Distress,” and especially his Amazon pilot “The Metropolitans” are all favorites of mine. I’ve watched them all many times over the years and listened to them as I worked even more.

During this era of Covid19 that we’ve been in “The Metropolitans” has been my go-to pick me up. It was a pilot for Amazon Prime that never got picked up and is only 24 minutes long but I love it. It’s the story of four expatriates living in Paris and having a night out. Lots of talking and lots of ideas being discussed. I’ve probably watched it half a dozen times in the last six months and hummed its theme song “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” by Joan Osborne countless times.

That sets us up for last weekend. I don’t remember how it got into my field of view but it turns out that Whit Stilman’s production company just started selling props from his movies on Ebay. First of all I don’t collect movie props. I have zero interest in them. But since these were from Whit Stilman movies I decided to give them a look.

I have no idea how movie props are priced but these ones were all over the place. There was some relatively cheap stuff and some expensive stuff. The first thing that caught my eye were pieces of the 35mm print of the film. One of the things I buy on Ebay are old negatives. I buy one, scan it in, and then digitally manipulate it to make my own photo. So I could do something similar with these 35mm pieces of the film they were selling. But at $75 it was way more than the usual $5 to $20 that I spent on old negatives.

Then the clothing caught my eye. They were selling some of the wardrobe from “Damsels in Distress.” I love that movie and refer to it as Whit Stilman’s “Animal House.” It doesn’t have a lot in common with National Lampoon’s sense of humor but it is about four women in college. I find it endlessly amusing. They had a few pieces of Greta Gerwig’s wardrobe for sale and they weren’t all that expensive. The dress she wore at the end of the film was the most costly one at $1000 but there was a bright yellow shirt for $150.

I think it was the color of the shirt that caught my eye and it amused me to think that I could get that and have it hang in my closet as a conversation piece. I thought about buying it but didn’t pull the trigger. I couldn’t justify it to myself. But then I saw a light tan jacket for sale. It was a jacket Greta Gerwig wore in just one short scene but it was pretty cool and got me thinking.

I tend to turn everything into an art project. As an artist that’s my nature. The yellow shirt would have just hung in my closet but a jacket is a different beast. People can easily try on a jacket. A shirt or a dress no one will ever try on whimsically. So I thought if I got the jacket I could get people to try it on and take their photo. I take photos after all.

The price on the jacket was $160 but there was also an Ebay “Make me an offer” button next to it. I decided to make an offer of $100. Ebay recommended that I offer $120 but I ignored their advice and I’m glad I did. A few hours later I got back a counter offer of $130. For a few minutes I contemplated if I should accept the offer. Ebay also tells you how many other people have put the jacket on their watch list. That number was five. Five other people who could hit the “Buy it Now” button or be making their own offers. Since it was a one of a kind item and there were not other jackets I accepted the offer and paid for the item. On a whim.

I’m thrilled with my purchase but haven’t gotten the jacket just yet. I bought it on the 11th but it says the expected delivery date isn’t until the 26th. That’s because there is a ten day handling period. That’s unusual for Ebay. Most Ebayers I’ve dealt with (including myself) get things out in two days if not the same day. Getting people their stuff quickly means happier customers. Whit Stiman’s movie company is much better at making movies than shipping stuff but that’s okay. It’ll make my whim last a little but longer.