Monday, June 11, 2012

Making your neighbors think you're batshit crazy and/or stupid? Priceless.

Someone in the building next to me is moving out.  And apparently, they will be travelling light, as it seems they are leaving all their furniture by the dumpsters behind the building.  So far they've abandoned a bed, a dresser, a desk, a papasan chair, and several end tables.  All of these have disappeared in several hours, bacause, hello?  Perfectly good furniture, and it's the kind that comes from real furniture stores, not Kmart.

I think these people haven't heard of Craigslist.

Anyway, none of this stuff interested me because, while I don't have a bed (just a bed frame, not like, a pallet on the floor--it's not quite that bad), I just don't need any of it.

Until yesterday.

Last night, they dumped a bookshelf.

As a savvy thrift shopper, I can assure you that bookshelves are resale gold.  You almost never see them in thrift stores at all, and when you do, they are hardly less expensive than they would be new.  Supply and demand, right there.  I can also assure you that I am in constant need of shelves.  As it turns out, I'm too possesive for libraries.  They expect you to give the books back, and I have a real problem with that.  Basically, I'd give my left, er, foot for more bookshelves.  Because, you know, I don't have a left one of the other thing.  Or a right one, for that matter.  (I know you were wondering.)

So, after a long day of tramping up and down all three flights of stairs to my apartment (I'm spring cleaning a bit late), I saw this bookshelf, in perfect condition except for a divet in the side that a bit of spackle and a fresh coat of paint should take care of, and I jumped on it.  If it weren't weird to make love to a piece of furniture in an alley, I'd have done that.  I hauled it over to my building, no problem.  It wasn't very heavy, after all, and I'm both stronger than my stick arms imply and stubborn.  I did carry my air conditioner up by myself a couple years prior, and that was way heavier.

I got it about halfway up the first flight of stairs when my arms and legs turned to noodles.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the shelves up even one more step.  Going back down wasn't happening, either.

It was in the mid-nineties.  I was sweating.  I was cursing.  I was mortified.  And I was well and truly stuck.

I did mention I'm stubborn, right?  Well, I'm also really proud.  So I'd been stuck there almost fifteen minutes (or possibly eons) when I finally started thinking about calling for help.  Phil on the first floor (which is actually the second) is a helpful, friendly guy.  Of course, he usually has at least two guests at his place, which meant his guests would get not just dinner, but also a show.  So instead of calling out, I just dithered a while longer, until even just balancing the shelves on the stair they were resting on was hard, wobbly work.

And then my neighbors from the second floor came in, wanting to go up, and my choice was made for me. 

"Er, I'm stuck," I said.

"Are you coming down?" Second Floor Guy asked.

"No?  I'm just a victim of my own harebrained idea to haul this up by myself."

"Don't you live on the third floor?"

"Well, yeah.  Yeah, I do."

"But you're not even to the first floor," Second Floor Girl said.

"I did mention the harebrained part, right?"

And then Second Floor Guy helped me carry the bookshelf all the way up to the third floor, and we all lived happily ever after if you just ignore the part where they think I'm special and I'm so embarrassed I'd happily throw the shelves and myself over the damn stair bannister--if only I had some help with the heavy lifting.


(True:  In my previous apartment, I wrestled my monster desk into my bedroom all by my damn self.  It took three people to get it back out.  So it's not like I don't know my own [lack of] strength.

Shut up.)


  1. I know all about judgey neighbours. I recently moved and in the process got rid of a lot of random shit that I knew wouldn't sell on Craigslist. As a result, I was carrying down all sorts of random shit, including a big white plastic chair wrapped in tinfoil. Apparently not everyone has these types of chairs and some people also think it's a strange thing to possess.

    You know what I think of those people? Ask the sonsofbitches bleeding at the bottom of my stairs.


    1. At least my neighbors were kind enough to keep crazy old me from being the person bleeding at the bottom of the stairs.

      And you know, I am going to be doing some redecorating--maybe more tinfoil is just what I need. :)

  2. I would totally have attempted to take the bookcase too. Although I like to think I would have brought a screwdriver to the attempt....but no, let's be honest. I'd be lugging it up the stairs like the Hulk on a decorating binge.

    Neighbors? Phfffft. I stopped worrying about them the day the batshit crazy lady (who used to shoot at the local kids) came over to use our phone. Because people were sneaking into her house to take things. At that point, I realized we ARE the sane people in this area. Also, this area is so fucked.

    1. Wow. Actually though, it sounds to me like your area is fucking awesome.

      Also: the Hulk on a decorating binge? That right there is a fantastic mental image.

  3. Great post Dana! I can so see you balancing the shelves precariously. I'm glad it worked out. I would have made Hubs go with me to get the shelf. Or if he saw it first he'd have brought it home on his own.

    As for neighbors? Until a little over a year ago we lived on 5 acres with our nearest neighbor down a little hill which meant they couldn't see inside our house, except maybe the ceilings. We didn't even hang curtains in the living room. Now we're in a mobile home "community" and if you step out on our deck you can almost touch the neighbor's carport. But damn it I STILL take the dogs out in my nightgown first thing in the morning! If they don't like it they can close their frakkin' eyes!

    1. I grew up in a house like that. I miss the no-curtains-needed thing. And I can pretty much guarantee that if it's the weekend in the summer, I'm wearing athletic shorts and a sports bra. I'll walk Prada all the way around the block like that. I really class up my community. :)