I Had My Sister Take The 12-Foot Home Depot Skeleton With Her On A Date. AITA?

I finally got a coveted 12-foot skeleton from Home Depot. It only involved a trip across state lines and a really big favor from my younger sister.

The bones of the 12-foot skeleton next to Scout, Beth's 65 pound pit mix, for scale.

The bones of the 12-foot skeleton next to Scout, Beth's 65 pound pit mix, for scale.

Photo by: Beth Braden

Beth Braden

The bones of the 12-foot skeleton next to Scout, Beth's 65 pound pit mix, for scale.

I literally laughed out loud when I first learned about the 12-foot Home Depot skeleton in 2021. First released as part of the retailer’s 2020 Halloween product lineup, the skeleton was in high demand last year—and people were desperate to get their hands on one.

Early last September, I wrote an article for TRVL about how hard it was to find the skeleton and about how people were paying double and triple the retail price to snag one from online marketplaces.

Of course, the scarcity only managed to drive up my own demand for the skeleton. I had no idea I even wanted one until it appeared that I wouldn’t be able to get one. Their marketing plan had worked.

Then I looked outside — my neighbor down the street had a brand new one standing in her yard, and I was absolutely green with envy. My husband was less than enthused: ”We are not spending $300 on a yard decoration.”

Even if I could have gotten him to change his mind, I couldn’t find one in stock at any Home Depot within 100 miles or online.

With our third child due to be born any day, I gave up, instead ordering a Halloween shirt and mask for the mannequin I dress up as Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation each December.

The mannequin, while pretty funny, mostly just looked like a Halloween Juggalo hiding in my azaleas.

A mannequin of Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation wearing a creepy shirt and mask for Halloween.

A mannequin of Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation dressed up for Halloween.

Photo by: Beth Braden

Beth Braden

The Search Continues

As spring gave way to summer earlier this year, I saw a random tweet about the skeleton being in stock. Could I hit paydirt this time? I told myself I would order it and tell my husband that if he was still vehemently opposed that I would cancel it, and I’d learn to live with my Halloween Juggalo and skeletal jealousy.

No dice — it was still out of stock. I considered calling all the local Home Depots and telling the first person to answer the phone that I’d give them $50 in cash if they’d watch the stock in store and save me a skeleton if they came in, but then the thought occurred to me — it was June. Would anybody be trying to clear out their garage and recoup some of the cost for their previous skeleton purchase?

Screenshot of Beth's conversation with a Home Depot chat representative.

Photo by: Beth Braden

Beth Braden

I began searching the Facebook marketplace daily, hoping that I would find someone getting rid of one within the city of Knoxville. Still, there was no skeleton near me.

On a Monday in late June, my sister was passing through Cincinnati after visiting with some of our family in northeastern Ohio. In a moment of curiosity, I set the marketplace filters to Cincinnati and there it was — a brand-new-in-the-box Home Depot Skeleton for sale in Hebron, Kentucky, a small town near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

My husband, who finally relented after almost a year of me lamenting my lack of a giant skeleton, agreed to the purchase if I could get it for a good price.

My new friend, the skeleton salesman, asked $400 for the decoration, a full one hundred dollars above the retail price. Considering that the skeletons are often listed for double retail on marketplace sites, it felt like a good deal.

I haggled, but the seller was only willing to drop the price to $375. By my calculation, paying Tennessee’s taxes on a $300 purchase and a bribe to a Home Depot employee would have put me at $375 anyway.

My sister agreed to stop and meet the seller in a Dollar Tree parking lot. There was just a tiny problem — the box was far too large for her small car. The seller helped her unbox it and squeeze the pieces into her vehicle. She was absolutely surrounded by plastic bones, and a massive rib cage rode shotgun next to her as she blazed down I-75 towards home. She called me after completing the transaction and informed me she had named the skeleton Rico. I didn’t argue since I knew picking up the skeleton had interrupted her day.

You see, she was set to go on a second date with a new man that night in Lexington before continuing to her apartment in a town further south. Stopping to pick the skeleton up meant she would have to meet her date for dinner with her car visibly full of comically large bones.

Bones from the 12-ft skeleton in the back of Beth's sister's car.

Bones from the 12-ft skeleton filling Beth's sister's car.

Photo by: Hannah Ross

Hannah Ross

Bones from the 12-ft skeleton filling Beth's sister's car.

Thankfully, he was a good sport and just laughed as she explained why there was a rib cage on her passenger seat. They went on to have a lovely dinner of Jamaican food and then continue their evening at some of Lexington’s best breweries.

It’s been another three months, and those two are still dating. I would posit that all I did was give them an interesting story to tell other people – the time they went on a date with a Home Depot Skeleton. Most people can’t even find one to buy, let alone get to take one to dinner. They’re lucky, really. They should thank me for their boney third wheel.

So tell me, fellow Halloween enthusiasts, AITA?

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