Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Could You Grab the Other End of That?"

I had seven pieces of furniture to get rid of. That action would clear the den for the new entertainment system plus a series of bookshelves that might solve my collectibles and book storage problems.

Two DVD cabinets, one wooden desk, one wooden table, a T.V. cabinet, and two wooden bookcases. Plus a large stereo system (tuner, cassette player, CD player).

I first offered them to one of the local synagogues for fund-raising. After the committee chair told me she wanted all of it, she sent an email to a woman who's having a garage sale to send kids on a trip, telling her their committee didn't have any use for it but maybe she did. After waiting three days, she finally came over and claimed the two bookcases, which fit neatly in her range rover. I helped her put them in. She said she might be interested in more, but I in truth I never thought I'd see her again.

In the meantime, though, I listed things separately on Craig's List, some for $5 and some for $1. I got three instant replies for the stereo system. The guy came over the next morning to pick that up. He was a very pleasant guy, determined to make his new stereo system fit into his itty-bitty San Francisco apartment. And immediately after that, a guy showed up from Richmond for the DVD cabinets. I helped him take them to his range rover, and found his wife sitting in it. "She thinks I talk too much," he said, grinning, as he went on and on about his condo complex. He does, I thought.

The next day, a friend came over for the red table. After trying to figure out the mathematics of the situation, we figured it would never go into her Saturn. So she gave up.

So, right after that, I took photos of the remaining pieces, and posted them on Craig's List again, this time with notice that "you need two people," and "this is very heavy," and "you need at least a van if not a truck."

I am rather fascinated, I must say, with my postings on Craig's List and the results I see. I have learned quickly that (1) people want it for less than you post, even if it's $1, and (2) they don't read. It's absolutely fascinating. I must admit, though, this time, only one person tried to bring the price down. And in one case, a woman offered to boost the price if I delivered. (I don't.)

A couple emailed me at 8 pm last night that they wanted to come over and pick up the T.V. cabinet. They said they lived very close. An hour and a half later they showed up.....with a smaller car than the aforementioned Saturn, a two-door Honda Civic. At least I didn't have to lift anything as they did everything themselves. As they're trying over and over to fit the thing inside the car, I find out from the woman that their baby was in the back seat! "She's asleep," she said, smiling, and I found out that it took them so long to get there because of babysitting problems. I listened to the husband give the wife, who was obviously the smarter of the two, instructions on what to do, and he kept changing those instructions every few seconds. I finally left, as it was getting chilly out there, and I didn't want to be stuck with a big piece of furniture if it didn't fit. I guess they managed, because the car drove away shortly after.

And this afternoon a guy showed up for the desk. At least he had a truck. But he came by himself. He said the desk will be for a new student from Chile (who, mysteriously, did not come along to help with the labor). He borrowed a screwdriver and took out the drawer and the sliding computer table -- at first I wondered why but picked them up later: they were very heavy. So the desk was, indeed, lighter without those two pieces. I was so desperate to get rid of this heavy, wooden desk, that I said "okay" when he asked me to grab the other end. It was hard to get a grip on this solid oak desk. It may have been the heaviest thing I have ever lifted in my lifetime -- well, at least this week. We probably scraped the top of it when my hands slipped and I dropped it near the pickup gate. He turned it end over end to get it into the pickup bed. He handed over the $1.

Right before he drove off, he said to me, "So, does it come with a chair?"

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