I love craigslist.
Tonight we sold our dining table on craigslist. It was a special table – upon it we had our first Thanksgiving in our first condo – three leaves straining under twelve loaded plates and glasses. We bought that table on craigslist from a woman who was moving to China the next day. She had already put the leaves in her storage unit.
One of the very first times we used craigslist, we bought a leather Ikea couch from some dude who lived about a mile from us. We didn’t have a car and didn’t think of renting one. We rented a dolly cart. The kind that you use for boxes. We almost broke up that day.
But we didn’t. Arms and scratches healed. We grew smarter. The next couch we bought from craigslist, we rented a minivan. I attempted to help carry it up the porch stairs. I bumped my wrist, it started raining, and I started crying. We stashed it in the laundry room, went upstairs, and hired two dudes from craigslist to carry up the couch for $20 a piece. So worth it.
One day I decided to demo our bathroom floor. I don’t often get demo clearance, so when I get it I take it. The next day we had four boxes of broken, dirty, twenty year old fake terracotta tiles in the hallway. They sat around for a few weeks, waiting for one of us to take them down to the dumpster. Then Paul had a stroke of genius. Why not put them on craigslist for free and make someone else carry them downstairs? One day later, a woman who was making a mural in a park picked them up. She needed some brown tiles for the dirt part.
There are so many other strange things we’ve unloaded on strange folks. An 80-year old window that had deteriorated to the point of uselessness was scooped up by a hipster in a v-neck white t-shirt and minivan. A 10-year old printer that was no longer compatible with my computer was picked up by a middle aged woman with a few kids along. Our gigantic, decomposed particle board vanity and icky sink from the mid-80s were eagerly acquired by some dude remodeling his junky apartment building.
Last summer we rented a car (happened to be a Prius) and drove out to the suburbs. It was a gorgeous, sunny, warm summer day. We made our way to some far suburb like Crystal Lake and bought 90 square feet of teak parquet from a guy who had had it sitting in his garage for 20 years, never quite sure what to do with it. We had an idea. We were gonna put it in our bathroom.
Yeah…didn’t happen. Paul posted the tiles and got a few flakes, like a woman who showed up to buy it, then said, “wait, how many square feet is it – I need 150!” I thought we were stuck with it, then fate struck. Someone who had the very same teak parquet tile from her dad, who had passed away recently, wanted more so she could floor an entire room. Sold.
The table we sold tonight was special. That table has been surrounded by many wonderful friends and supported tons of horrible cooking, terrific cooking, card games, and drinking sessions over the past three years. Birthdays, anniversaries, super bowls, holidays. Easter egg dying, pumpkin carving. But it’s now on its next adventure in the great furniture circle of life. And that’s why I love craigslist. I love craigslist because I get to picture my things living their next lives with new people. I love imagining the cute couple who bought our table entertaining their friends and family around it, carving pumpkins, feeding some stinky babies. I love picturing our shitty bathroom tiles as part of a public mosaic. I love thinking that we helped a woman complete her father’s parquet floor. That’s the circle of furniture, and other junk.