Saturday, March 3, 2012

All For A Loveseat

Sometimes moving at the speed of grace and kindness can be rather slow. But I chose those words because I have moved fast and gotten nowhere. Not always, but even when things rolled my way, they were too fast to stop and enjoy the cactus flowers. Maybe it's age, experience, or my back injury from my military days, but I have come to a pleasantly-paced amble. Now and again I find myself maybe a bit TOO slow, and need to shake things up. This morning was one of those times.

I haven't been by myself in a while, and truth be told not all my personal choices have been exactly wise, but it's good to be self-reliant, and one must practice this now and again lest one become... well, too dependent on the world. My partner has been out of town for the weekend getting the truck vamped up for all the trailering we plan on doing this spring and summer, thanks to a lot of reading, research, and great websites like TrailMeister, for one example. With all our trials and errors, you'd think we'd invented taking horses cross-country, or horseback riding itself, for that matter! We haven't had riding friends since we began, which is how we learned most things in the first place.

It was two or three years before we'd heard of something called Trailer Brakes. Yikes! You may imagine how our Tundra brakes looked about then... yes, 7000 lbs is our tow limit, and baby, we're right about there. One lightweight Charmac slant - 2 is all we need, and it's been from Minnesota to the Washington coast, down through LA and lots of trips throughout Arizona. Now we've discovered something called Air Pillows or some such thing... perfect for the off-and-on trips to help steady out the tongue weight (which the Equalizer bars do somewhat, but not enough for our taste).

Enough prologue. So out I go for my morning walk, a good mile or so, then on to the finer things like one of my Yoga DVDs and furniture shopping. OK, so the condo is little more than 300 square feet, and I'm STILL trying to get furniture? Yes! Just a little loveseat, and I mean LITTLE, not more than 60 inches or so...

The used furniture store two blocks away has some nice pieces, apartment-sized, and I inquire about one (a bit spendy at $400) but cash talks, right? I offer the vendor $200 to walk out with it (it IS used, after all) and he gives me the owner's number to bargain with. So I leave a message, he calls back, gives the kabash on the deal, but then says he has other furniture in storage I may like to see, and even offers to pick me up to drive me there (uh, no thanks!) I say I will meet him at the garage location, just 6 blocks away or so.

They are also pretty nice pieces, though none would fit, and we end up chatting a bit... he happens to have my mom's birthday, been in and out of real estate, tells me he and his partner have been together 32 years (wow! I couldn't get past 11) and how he keeps his half-dozen cars in the empty--er, non-rented spaces in the garage of the high rise rental he manages (including a Cadillac he is selling, so now we are swapping caddy stories...) After 20 minutes, he offers to drive me to yet another storage location. What, you say? YES, he is INTO furniture.

It took me about two minutes to say yes, including the time it took to text Jeremy the address of the place (you never ever know!) just in case, and yes, I did hop in the truck, and we did go to another garage, and look at yet more furniture. Way in the back sitting on its side was a cream leather, two-butt, perfect loveseat. I told him I was still set on not paying more than $200, and he barely hesitated but agreed.

Now you must understand, and I may have said this a time or two in the last 4 years of blogging, but I am a Goodwill Industries Customer Extraordinaire. For the last several years I have refused to pay over $6-8 for any item of clothing, or over $20 for a piece of furniture, and THEN there are the sales!! I have very nice things, the few that I have kept over the on-and-off working and living situations, so buying something for this much money was: a) extremely empowering, b) kinda frightening, and c) apparently completely impossible for me.

We put the loveseat in the back of his truck, I noted some scuffs and water marks, he said we would take it to the little shop and clean it all up for me and see if I still wanted it. IN THE 8 BLOCKS TO THE STORE, he noticed a couple trying to get a larger couch into the front door of a building, and could not pass up the opportunity to help them. Would I mind waiting for few in the truck while he helped them out? No, of course not. A sunny day in Seattle apparently watered the fertile apartments, and furniture was exploding out of homes and condos everywhere; people were wrangling stuff into and out of trucks throughout town.

Fifteen or twenty minutes later, I'm still sitting in his RUNNING truck, (he even left the heater on for me) parked in a TOW AWAY ZONE with the flashers on! I didn't mind, I had nothing else going on, exactly (except it was nearly noon and I hadn't eaten, but that's normal) and it gave me time to really think about the purchase... and the TRUST!! Who does this? You know the old saying, people who don't trust others can't be trusted, or fill in the blank... surely someone who leaves their vehicle in my care (if someone comes along, you can just move it) can have no ill will or harmful intentions toward me (or so I reason). Yeah, I know it can be a disarming tactic for the very evil.

I surveyed the clean interior, spied one smooth jazz CD, swimming trunks on upside down over the driver's seat headrest (at first I thought they were underwear!!! That would have sent me running) and a towel in the back... and then I saw the fortune from a cookie in the center console. Reading it upside down, it said "It is proper to tell the truth." I knew I was with good people.

No, I didn't end up buying the loveseat. I told him upon seeing the measurements it would not fit as well as the first piece I wanted (which he promptly offered to me at a $100 discount, free of tax and free delivery), but I told him that it had to be the right piece at the right price. But I think I just may have received the most incredible deal of all, which can only BE free (though can be expensive in other ways), and that is to find someone on the path of a true human being.

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