It is fun to pack up and go to Asia, but it is not fun selling everything you own on Craigslist. Over the last month, we’ve had a parade of people come through our home to inspect our belongings and see how low we’ll go on the price.
Brendan’s lovely parents left us nice things when they left Vancouver, and people on Craigslist hate nice things. They want cheap things or funny things.
Here’s where our stuff went, in chronological order:
1. The rain lamp.
I bought the lamp for $40 at an antique shop. It featured a naked gold lady standing in a bed of plastic ferns, clutching a sheet. Surrounding her were strings, and when you plugged it in, she was bathed in an eerie green light, and mineral oil ran down the strings making it look like she was caught in the rain.
I posted it for $50 and a lady from New West called up and said “Ohhh please, is it still available? I haven’t bought something just for myself in 10 years, and I just know I have to have this”. She cares for injured or otherwise unadoptable animals that overflow from the shelter, and currently has 30 damaged dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs that can’t find homes elsewhere. Not for money. Can’t just stop, she says, because the animals just keep coming. She’d like to move back into Vancouver, but you just can’t do that with 30 animals. When she picked up the lamp, it made her happier than I could have imagined.
2. The love seat
Sold to a Surrey couple who took 40 minutes to decide. Get out, couch or no.
3. The couch
Sold to the people who are moving in for slightly too much money. We broke a wall trying to get it in here. They’re gonna be so sorry. Nice people– sorry!
4. The crappy barbeque
We got the barbeque from a friend’s dad for free, and it looks like it came from space, and doesn’t actually cook food. I sold it “as-is”, needing a new heating element. A silver-skull-shirt chach came to look, for his mom. Thought about it for like half an hour. Said he wanted to go to Canadian Tire to check for the part, then would call back to let us know. Never came back, never called. So heartbroken.
A young guy hosting his first barbeque for his friends bought it. I don’t think he knows what a normal BBQ looks like, because he didn’t even comment on the fact that the strange silver box body has an extra area for a fireplace.
5. The floral cabinet
I loved this cabinet– it had this silvery floral pattern on the front of an otherwise black wooden body. Lena came to look at the dresser, first. Then she saw the cabinet. Ooh, she likes that cabinet! Looks at the dresser. “Mmm, not bad, but slightly the wrong colour. I will take the cabinet. Although, you have a statuette of Ganesha there beside the dresser, so maybe that’s a sign. No. Cabinet. No. Dresser. No. Cabinet.” She gave us a $30 deposit, through no request of our own, and left. The next day “Hi Jen, I decided that I really don’t need a cabinet, I need a dresser. Can I have the dresser?” Yes, Lena. The next day, while I’m at work, two missed calls and a panicked message “Oohhh Jen, I realized that the dresser is too big. Oh, no, please call me as soon as you can”. I start to call back, but have to hang up because of a work call. Another panicked message “Please call me, Jen, as soon as possible!!!”. Call back, “Oh sorry, are you at work?” Yes. (No response to this) “Blah blah, 20 minutes of something about the dresser not fitting due to heating pipe positioning in her bedroom, blah, I’ll have to take the cabinet, how much is it?” 225, I think. “Oh, well, I saw it posted for $200.” I guess Brendan must have posted it for less, 200 is fine. “Well, I just want to know what’s going on here, first it’s $225, then $200 and I saw another ad for $220. I just want to know what’s going on.” Lena, if you saw it for $200, that’s fine. She sounded like we’d betrayed her, somehow. She finally comes and gets it, can’t get it in her car, but leaves it sticking out of her trunk. She tells us to call her when we get back from travels, we can visit the cabinet. 10 minutes later– “Jen, I didn’t get very far, can you come down the block and help me lift it into my friend’s van?” It weighs like 40 pounds. No. I bet they can manage, she just missed me.
Dear Lena, we do not have a personal relationship.
6. The dresser
Taken by a lovely expecting couple, did not haggle the price. Thank you, lovely expecting couple.
7. My desk
Lady came to look at the table, decided it didn’t work for her, but liked the desk. Assured her it was solid wood, not particle board. Charged her more than I had it posted for. As we were loading it into her car, we all realized that it IS particle board (who knew!). She didn’t ask for any money back, but we rented a truck to drive it to her place at no extra charge. Oops. She just split with her husband and moved into her own place with her teenage son. We had a lovely conversation about her son’s band.
8. The bookshelf
I posted it for $15 because I needed it OUT. A woman calls to confirm, because it’s so darn cheap. But then, when they arrive, her jerk boyfriend asks her four times, “Are you sure this is what you want? Yes, Yes, Yes, and then, she turns to me and says “I guess we won’t take it”. He looks surprised, and says “Oh, really?” So, they take it, but he tries to haggle me to $10 because it’s heavy. Yep, it is. And, nope, still $15. When he lifted his end, an old paint palette fell on his head. I liked that.
9. The table and chairs
Older lady, just came back from working 15 years in the Caribbean. She really liked the table, wanted to buy it. She called later to let us know that she found it for less, new, at the Brick. God damned Brick! We lowered our price, significantly, due to the Brick’s stupid sale on the identical table.
10. The $20 bed
A middle-aged couple decided to take it, and while the husband dissembled every part of the frame (for no apparent reason, it would fit in their truck fine), his wife told me all about her mother who has Alzheimers and the general sadness it’s causing for everyone. She was very matter-of-fact about it. The bed will be for her mother when she stays there.
11. The Ikea kettle
I signed her up for Zipcar earlier that day. Weird! She was happy I could help her with her kettle and vehicle needs.
12. The people who bought the motorcycle helmet, stand mixer, plant, bedside table, crock pot
Thank you for being prompt and painless.
13. The low bookshelf/cabinet
There’s a guy in front of me looking at it right now, currently talking with his girlfriend on his cell to decide. He’s been on the phone pacing around my living room already for 12 minutes. OK, he’s off the phone and is not taking it. Thank you for coming into my house, talking on your cell for a while and then leaving– it was fun for me too.
14. The $1000 bed.
Can not sell. Oh Lord, we’re moving tomorrow.