I was devastated to learn yesterday that I was outbid in an ebay auction on an original piece of art titled “Inorganic,” drawn by my daughter-in-law. Matt and Robbi have introduced a periodic auction on their blog Idiots’ Books where they feature one of Robbi’s creations for sale most weeks. I love her stuff, and am convinced that when she becomes famous they will be worth enough to make up for what happened to my 401-K last year.
But this round of bidding wasn’t about making an investment. I had wanted to buy the picture for my grandson Orin’s birthday second birthday, coming in May. As the bidding intensified, I queried both of my daughters to make sure that I wasn’t bidding against one of them. The competition was fierce, and ultimately I was done in by ebay’s automatic bid feature. I set my top bid pretty high, thinking that if I needed to spend more than that to get the picture, Lindsay would probably rather that I just make a contribution to Ori’s college fund. It is always difficult to go down in defeat. What rubbed salt in the wound was ebay’s artificially intelligent attempts to make me feel better by offering to let me buy, by way of consolation, many other items, mostly textbooks, with the word ‘inorganic’ in the title. The silver lining is that in bidding up the price of “Inorganic” I helped Robbi come a little bit closer to what her art is actually worth.