White Trash Couch

Well, we are wrapping up “Madoff Week” here on Cool Mom. Our money being stolen caused one behavioral change in me: how I reacted to Vivien getting furniture or rugs dirty. Before I would be like, “Oh, Vivien, you need to be more careful.” The first week after we found out the trajectory of our lives was up for grabs, I practically cried if she spilled on my couch, “Vivien, this cost mommy a lot of money” (when she had it).  “Please no more food near my couch.” (I started calling everything ‘mine,” taking it all personally).

Then I realized that having a 3 year old and wanting to preserve furniture that I could no longer afford to replace was setting us up for failure. So, this was my temporary solution. A little later, the couch you see was loaded up and sits in my mother in law’s spare room. I had two couches; now I only have room for one. And there is NO eating on it. The good thing about a small house is Vivien can see the TV from our dining room… and the computer… and the toaster… you get the picture.

How Do You Sell Stuff When You Don’t Want to Be Murdered?

As part of my downsizing, I wanted to sell some furniture, a bed and a bedside table . I didn’t want it, but it wasn’t junk. I didn’t want to leave it on the sidewalk to be ferreted away in the night by bedless strangers. No, I thought it could garner a bit of cash. But how to sell?

Garage sale?  They are a lot of work; you have to wake up early, and my husband was cringing at the suggestion. Plus, it’s a bunch of strangers who can see your house, that you might be moving, etc. Charity drop? Well, I did just take a bunch of clothes and a bookcase to Goodwill, but again, I wanted a bit of cash for the bedroom stuff.

Which leaves Craigslist. I’ve bought and sold and given away for free on the site, but that was before two recent murders where it’s said that the victims met the people on Craigslist.  One of the people who were killed was George Weber in his apartment in Brooklyn. I used to work with George back in San Francisco at KGO radio.  He was a great guy. Very good to me. He was a night time talk host, and I was a lowly traffic reporter, but he involved me in bits. Once, he interviewed my mom on the radio because he couldn’t believe she really hated Mother’s Day as I had told him. Another time, my cousin asked if I could get his young daughter singing a Christmas song to be played on KGO. (She was in pageants at the time.) I thought , oh, yeah, right, it’s a news station and big one. But George did it. He played little Velvet’s song.

Craigslist is supposed to be a bulletin board for stuff. But a stranger comes to you, or you come to them. A security guy that I work with who use to be a county sheriff said he thinks “Craigslist is creepy.” Furthermore, he has his mail go to a PO box; he doesn’t ever give out his real address. Maybe that’s not so strange.

I’m sorry George came to such a terrible end that we live in a world where you question if you should sell a side table.

Empty Room Syndrome

So, the house we recently moved into is the only house I have ever owned (I’ve had condos, and I still have one of those money pits, but that’s another story). It’s only the second place I’ve ever lived where I had a dining room. So I was really excited to create a grand, almost theatrical space. We eat in the kitchen or on the back porch most of the time, but I envisioned the dining room to be a place for special occasions, for adults to gather while the kids are out back.

Note the wallpaper: it’s from England, it was pricey, it took months to arrive. The china hutch is Heywood Wakefield, which I have collected for years (I found this piece for a good price on craigslist); inside it is my wedding china. My wedding china! Don’t I get a room that is befitting my wedding china? Doesn’t a woman who waited to get married get to have the dining room of her dreams?

Apparently not.