Wednesday, June 13, 2007
House of 1000 Dressers
We live in a pretty quiet neighborhood, if you ignore the mufflerless and overaccelerated testosteronemobiles of the teenage boys next door. No lines painted in the road, lots of people out walking after dinner... you get the idea.

It makes sense now, though we hadn't anticipated it when we moved in, that this makes for an ideal setup for getting rid of crap. We've stacked any number of random useless item at the edge of the street - we don't even have curbs - and it has become a game, guessing how long the latest cast-off will last. We've offloaded an old television, several plastic storage bins, some cheap rickety cupboards, even a pile of rusted and hole-infested gutters, all within days or even hours.

I'm now learning that it's quite possible that everything we've gotten rid of has ended up in the same woman's house.

She came to our door today, a little manic and intense, to ask what we were doing with the big table-looking thing at the side of the road. Since we were all sitting inside at the time, the answer was pretty clearly, "Nothing. We're ignoring it. It's been bad." But I didn't offer this answer, because I'm not sure she could handle it. Instead, I gave her a sanitized version: it was inherited from my great-grandmother to my uncle, and I'd gone to pick it up from his house on Monday - but it needs more refinishing and care than I'm willing to give it. I don't have the space and time to pick up refinishing as a hobby.

I didn't tell her that the only reason I considered keeping the dressing table at all is because we, in my family, refer to my great-grandmother, deceased as of 1996, as Jimmy the Greek due both to her political ideology and her physical appearance. And that it was kind of fun to talk about having Jimmy the Greek's dressing table. Again, I didn't think she could handle it. (Besides, I have Jimmy the Greek's china. It is the ugliest set of china in the history of dishes. Seriously, it's amazing.)

Anyway, I gave her a short version of all of this, and she replied, "Yes, I was driving by the other week and I saw a dresser out there. I hate to see wooden pieces going unused, so I picked that up, too."

Willem helped her move it away from the road so that her husband could come pick it up later - lucky guy! - and then decided that this woman must have a house just crammed to bursting with every piece of furniture we've ever gotten rid of. It's like the little-known sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, this time with hardwood.

I almost feel guilty, thinking of the wooden twin bunk bed set that we gave away via last year - now this woman doesn't have a complete set.