You only live once!

I'm looking for a new home -- an apartment, with two or three rooms. I hope to buy one, but the area I would like to live in is expensive. I found a reasonably nice place, and it was going for auction -- that day!

After a few phone calls, I managed to get myself, my brother and a good friend of mine and his wife there to check it out and advise me on their opinions of the place. It seemed reasonable, although the kitchen was small. So I decided to bid for it! If I could get it at the price I wanted, it would be a good deal, and if not -- nothing ventured, nothing gained!

"Does anyone want to make an opening bid," the auctioneer asked? I figured, "What the heck!" and offered $nK, where 'n' was about 2/3rds what I was hoping to pay. And no-one else bid. I thought "Oh boy, I should've started lower!" Just as I was thinking I was about to get away with the bargain of the century, some others entered the bidding.

The auctioneer went up in $20K bids, which shocked me a bit. But I was game. I went close to my limit, and then I stopped. One of the staff from the real estate whispered that I could offer a less than $20K bid, if I wanted. So I ventured a $10K one, exactly on my limit.

And the bidding stopped. So did my heart. "Eek," I thought, "I've got it! I'm about to buy a place, one I only walked in to an hour ago, with none of the financing stuff worked out at all!" The seconds ticked very slowly, as I tried to look calm and suave, but on the inside I was a tremoring mess. Finally, one of the other bidders raised my bid by another $10K. *phew*, I breathed again (it's amazing how long you can hold your breath!).

The rest of the bidding was merely academic to me, I was out of the game. I turned to my mate and shrugged -- "You only live once," I said with a relieved grin, summarising my tumultuous emotional experience.

He seemed quite enthused with this perspective. "Yeah, you're right!" he said, "we shouldn't be so cautious/hesitant." -- they too are looking at buying a place, but with much longer term plans.

But it didn't stop there. I also need a new car, my old 200B is dying a slow death. My mate mentioned he and his wife would be getting a station-wagon, so perhaps I would be interested in their car? No immediate plans, they had been thinking about selling towards the end of the year. It was a good offer, and their car is right in my price range. But, no urgent decision to be made, there was lots of time...

Lots of time... All of two days, in fact. When I next saw him, he excitedly told me, "We've bought a station-wagon!" "WHAT?!!", I exclaimed -- a huge turnaround in their previously long term plans. "You only live once," he replied with a smile, and he meant it -- much more than I had, with my non-chalant aside.

So here I am, challenged to live up to my own words, by someone who has been inspired to live them much further than I have! Ironic, somehow, but a fair challenge!

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