Monday, July 24, 2006

Charity begins in the parking lot

Aiiiiiiii my Eyes!!!!

Here are a couple more pictures of the inside of our "tin palace". The fabulous gourmet kitchen with 14 inches of counter space and the seizure-inducing wallpaper in the bathroom. These were both taken the first time we looked at it. It looks different now (praise the Cosmic Force that impels women to redecorate!) but it's hard to take a picture yet since it's so full of construction material and tools.

I had quite the day. I was up at 6:00 and got busy sorting stuff. I'd promised my buddy Sylvia we'd have lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant but when we got there they were closed. So we had to hunt up another one. It was good, but not as good as our favorite. Sylvia and her significant other leave for the west coast shortly. They've bought a house on Vancouver Island. So it was our last foray together. I'm gonna so miss her.

When we got back we draped ourselves over the furniture like limp fish (soooo hot) and visited for an hour or so. After Sylvia left my Tonio carried the dozen or so boxes and bags of books, clothes, and household stuff I'd sorted out to the truck so I could take them to the nearby charity shop.

Well, I got there and they were closed. So, down the road to the next shop. They didn't want *anything* but clothes and the clothes were in the back. So, on to the next shop. One little old lady person at the counter and no one to help unload.

On to the next shop. I parked at the side by their back door. They told me to come around to the door in the alley. I did and they said I was at the wrong door, and "they forgot" that I really needed to park where I'd been in the first place. But while I was turning around a big garbage truck arrived and blocked the way out. He emptied their dumpster but then just sat there stinking. I finally got out of my truck to see why he wasn't moving. He'd ruptured some kind of hydraulic line and the ground around the truck was covered with black ooze.

He said he was going to be there a long time, but the guy parked alongside moved and I was able to inch past. I couldn't turn left to get back to the *proper* door of the shop because the truck filled the street, so they told me to drive around the block and come in from the other direction. I did that, then they insisted I get right up against the curb, which was a very tight squeeze between the garbage truck and a car parked behind. I managed to do it but my nose was right against the garbage truck.

Then they said, "Oh, we can't take your stuff because we'd have to carry it through the gate and he's blocking the gate." He was NOWHERE NEAR the gate, and the two of them had just come out the gate side by side. I could have driven a Toyota through that gate! Besides they had told me to come to the double door, not the gate, and I was sitting right at it.

I told them they could carry a sofa through the gate and all I had were bags and bank boxes, and they said, "Sorry." I asked, "Why then did you have me drive around the block and squeeze into this curb spot if you had no intention of taking my stuff?" The one shrugged and said, "Oh, we weren't thinking." (I guess not.)

It took me five swings to get my massive pickup out of that spot since I was pointed south and had to go north. I couldn't get around the garbage scow in front of me and couldn't back out because there was a car three feet behind me. There were cars on either side of the street too.

I was pretty wrinkled around the edges by the time I got turned around and out of there. I was speaking fluent cursive by swing number four. So I drove around for an hour and a half in 85 degree heat with my $4.50 a gallon gasoline and never *did* get rid of my discards. ACK ACK ACK!!!!

I came home and fumed for a while, then went out and slapped another coat of paint on the bathroom walls and put up some insulation. That worked the wrinkles out of my temper. I don't know if I can relax or not tonight, but I'm going to try. We have a month to go before we hit the road and about 50 jobs left to do, some of 'em whoppers.

I keep reminding myself to enjoy the moment.


Mandy said...

Um... wow. How nice of you not to just leave everything on the sidewalk! I'm sorry to hear you had such an annoying day. I'm still pleased and amazed at how much energy you guys have these days, though. :)

goddess_spiral said...

I had a somewhat less harrowing experience getting rid of clothes the other week. I'd hoped to leave them at a consignment store, but they had a lot of hoops to jump through before I could do it. I'd walked there with two big bags up stuff. Luckily the Sally Ann was nearby and they took everything.

Good luck with your new blog!

(A friend of Mandy.)

Anonymous said...

I also have experienced the indifference of the consignment store. The last time I tried to get rid of clothes, I packed 3 large suitcases worth of stuff into a taxi in the pouring rain. At the store, it took the dude all of 60 seconds to say, I don't want any of it (note: it was all clean, and at least half was drycleaned, in the bags from the cleaners). I spent longer in the front of the store waiting for the new taxi I had to call to take me home with all my stuff.

Now, I just give anything I have to one of the many charities that will pick up straight from your house: Big Brothers, Canadian Diabetes Association, Developmental Disabilities Association, etc. Zero hassles with schlepping the stuff around and I reckon it helps improve my karma score too.


Deb said...

All the stuff I hauled around to the various charity shops, plus more, is now sitting on the front deck, waiting for the "Value Village" truck to pick it up next Wednesday. The other charity shops in town whine to the media about VV taking "their" stash. But if they won't take what you bring to them what do you do? Call VV, who will send a truck!