Monday, June 29, 2009

Kickin' it to the Curb

A few days ago, somebody deposited what had to be their entire living room--and possibly their den--in the parking lot across the street from our house.

They seemed to have driven by and said, "Hark! A dumpster! Let's set all the furniture we own next to it!"

Now, whenever I walk by, I can't help but pass judgement on their lives.

I think: "None of it matches. Really, have you no pride?"

Also: "How in the heck many adult men lived in your house to justify needing three corderoy recliners?"

And: "Don't you draw your shades against the blazing sun? Your furniture is so faded! Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I've never seen anything like it."

Now, to be honest, until a few weeks ago, we've never owned matching furniture, either. And as for the faded upholstery, we have metal awnings to prevent that...Every month or so, handimen stop by to ask if we want them removed. Whatever do they mean? Are they tacky or something?

Nevertheless, seeing somebody's castaway furniture always opens the floodgates. Even if it's my own furniture.

Recently, I was shocked and appalled to see our old refrigerator sitting on our curb like a crazy Cousin Eddie. It almost counteracted my glee at the horrible machine giving out in the first place, forcing us to buy something that wasn't harvest gold.

We live across the street from a school, so whatever we put on the curb, a parade (a.k.a. carpool) comes by every morning to see it.

The vice principal pulled me aside that day and said the preschool teachers were concerned that a wandering child would get caught inside it.

"Yes," a mother walking by at that very instant confirmed. "It is illegal to put out a refrigerator with its doors on."

I nodded earnestly, but secretly, I was thinking, "Well, they don't have to worry about our refrigerator. The doors don't even close all the way."

Then I was like, "Wait a second. For seven years we've owned a refrigerator whose doors don't close all the way. Seriously. Where is our pride?"

I mentioned we now have matching furniture. We recently lucked into some good fortune. In addition to our refrigerator breaking down (thank God), we got a new-to-us couch set (Thanks, brother and sister-in-law!).

They had received a hand-me-down couch set from her parents, who in turn, had gotten a new set.

I was like, "Hmm. Who could we "gift" with our couches? One is white. Was white. Now is the color of chocolate milk and chicken wings. The other has a pink sparkly paint pen scribbled on the back and the back pillows missing.

These were perfectly good couches, mind you, before we got ahold of them. Three boys + one not so great housekeeper vs. two couches = no contest. In the end, we gifted the curb. Where they looked much worse than they ever did in our living room. Nestled cozily in our little house, I have to admit, I kind of liked them.

But things are different now. Since my youngest is nearing four (sob!), I have a shot at having a nice house. I even have a chance of putting something on the curb with pride. "We won't be needing this fine furniture any longer. Have at it, ladies."

With that goal in mind, I've become bossy couch lady: "Cheetoh's are an outside food, and you know it!" I often exclaim to my bewildered children as they snack.

By the way, where do you get the plastic covers for couches? I think it's a Southern thing. People make fun of them. But you can never be too careful. My plan is to keep the plastic on until they go to the curb. Then I'll bust those puppies open and they'll be gleaming for all the carpool line to see.

You know what I bet they'd say? "Look at those spotless couches. I bet the mother who lives there is a, neat freak. She probably makes her kids eat their cheetohs outside."

Ah, well. Maybe it's better to enjoy your couches when they're inside, with your messy children on your lap, rather when they're on the curb for all the spotless world to see.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So funny!!!

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