Moving on, Part III: Downsizing

I got rid of about one third of my belongings before I left my house with its new owners. I gave a lot of things away and sold a bunch of stuff on Craigslist. For cheap, to make sure it went. But I still sold as much as I had time to photograph, advertised and sell, as I can use the lunch money, what with all the travel and mortgage and rent paying and whatnot.

I procrastinated in selling all this stuff (because of the task itself, no other reason) yet it was still difficult to curttail my selling when I finally began – typical behavior for me, as once I fully engaged in a task it becomes difficult for me to stop. Doesn’t matter what it is – working, bicycling, sleeping, reading, organizing, eating. You can see the ramifications here – this can be productive for tasks like working or studying, even bicycling or motorcycle riding. But bad when I need to stop doing something in order to be on time somewhere. Fortunately if I don’t fully engage in an activity I have no problem stopping, hence the reason I frequently disengage when eating or drinking booze.

So anyway, I posted more ads than I care to remember. I received emails or calls on nearly every one, but the reliability of someone actually showing up to buy something from a Craigslist ad is about 25%. Now, make whatever it is free, and multiple people show up at the doorstep, clamoring to take it off your hands. But put a dollar amount on it, and the probability of that person who texted you 8 times and swore they would be there at 6pm  drops to 1 in 4. However. The amusement factor my Craiglist shoppers held was high enough that it almost made up for the frustration and hassle of photographing and listing and the calls, texts and visits and no shows.

Take the Syrian couple who came to look at my antique display case. They wanted to see everything I had for sale, and also everything not for sale. They checked out my photography on the walls. They eyed my furniture. They looked the house over and asked how much this kind of house went for. They asked about other houses in the neighborhood, and seemed very surprised that such a little tiny house (just under 1000 square feet) could possibly go for so much. I explained how restored historical neighborhoods and their gentrification are desirable. (They didn’t get it.) But I didn’t mind engaging in a long conversation with these strangers who didn’t want to buy my display case. Because this guy had the best rug I have seen in a long, long time. A shiny, puffy mullet, as teased and solid as a Ken dolls. His mustache and beard were dyed a shoe polish dark brown. Of course, she was heavily made up and carried upon her head long, curly, black and burgundy cascading tresses that I suspect were partly false as well. But he was awesome.  At 5 foot 5, with a stunning orange spray tan and topped with that mullet, he made up for the rest of the losers.

Then there was the chick who wanted my lawn mower. She failed to show or call at the agreed upon time, so I emailed her asking if she still wanted it. That was the first mistake. Her reply went something along the lines of her husband got off work late how she was “expecting”, so couldn’t drive. I deleted the email and chalked it up to another flake or someone wanting a free delivery. She actually called the next day, asking if I still had the mower – but mostly she called because she wanted to talk about being pregnant. First, she told me she couldn’t pick up the mower because she is pregnant and can’t drive. She paused dramatically, waiting for my response, of which there was none. She made other leading comments  in the same vein, all ignored by me. This girl was so desperate to talk about her amazing miracle of getting knocked up and all the issues surrounding this nearly impossible feat with a total stranger on the phone, since clearly she was the first woman in the world to accomplish it. (If you don’t know me, you might be getting the feeling that I’m not a big fan of children and even less of a fan of women who think making babies is an heroic task. If you do know me – well, then you know how I wanted nothing to do with this conversation). So it pleased me to no end to leave all of her attempts to provoke an inquiry about her baby making unanswered.

And then. THEN. There was the guy who sent me a text at 5 in the morning informing me he’d like to buy my 33 inch high speakers for sale. Then he emailed me, with the respond to email: Blackmeat at We set up a time after 3pm that day to pick up the speakers. 3pm was presumably when he either a) got off work, or b) woke up for the day. I was looking forward to this visit, but alas, Blackmeat never showed.

And on and on it went. Early morning texts, people with endless questions about a five dollar shelf (people, it’s FIVE DOLLARS, what the hell do you want from me?), so many no shows or people arriving up hours later, long after I gave the thing away to someone else…But it’s over now, the remaining stuff went into storage or to my fathers house. To be moved to a new place when and if I buy one. But that is a whole other story.


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