The Rooming House Next Door

Kitchen table

Kitchen table

Kitchen chair, one of 4

Kitchen chair, one of 4

People have asked me if I’m shipping everything to New Zealand. The answer, in short, is no.   Ideally, I wouldn’t be shipping anything; I would start afresh and enjoy the excitement of buying everything new.   My husband, however, has moved internationally twice (once to the UK and once to Canada) and to paraphrase him, “buying stuff new is fine if you’re travelling alone but we have three babies; it’ll be more hassle than fun.”  And so, we came to a common sense compromise.  Le Creuset kitchen ware comes; brown sagging sofa from Leon’s that had vomit stains will stay.  Trendy cute cribs we got from friends will come; our ugly old bed will stay. And so on.  Of the items that stayed, some were donated to the Salvation Army, some were given to friends, and some were sold on Kijiji.

If any of you have bought or sold items on Kijiji, you will appreciate what I am about to say: it is an f’ing roller coaster ride for emotions.  When people flaked, I hated them and all humanity; when people showed and paid full price, my faith in humanity would be restored.  Either way, I would obsessively chat about them with my husband.  “I wonder what they want the food processor for” [who cares], “I wonder what they’re going to use the bookshelves for!” [books], I wonder if they will love that table as much as we have!  [again, who cares].  Keep in mind that at this point, I was already on maternity leave for my younger two kids so I didn’t have the usual distractions that work would provide.

The most demoralizing, soul destroying experience was haggling with people who then stood me up. My Kijiji ad said that we were moving, it said that we had three young children (including newborn twins).  Given that, what kind of a person would haggle with you and then, after numerous emails back and forth, just not show up?!   Truly, there is a special ring in hell for those people.  “Why aren’t they here? why aren’t they emailing me back? are they dead? They better be. I really hope they’re dead.”  My husband always seemed a bit taken aback by my flashes of anger towards these people.  Whatever. I stand by it.

We were left with some items that we simply could not offload despite lowering the price repeatedly.  One such item is pictured.  A retro kitchen table with 4 chairs to match.  I bought that set from an antique shop when I first moved nearly 9 years ago.  I have a lot of memories associated with that table.  Friends, family and loved ones have all sat around that table.  My daughter ate her first bites of food at that table.  My husband and I have shared countless kisses at that table.  And yet, no one, no one, no one was interested in buying that beloved table and chair set.  The day before we left Winnipeg, I offered the table to a man who lived next door to us.  He was a tenant in a rooming house that is, by his own account, infested with bed bugs.  He gladly took it off our hands.  Alas, as I sat in the taxi that last morning and headed to the airport, I saw that set sitting outside – on their front lawn, bien sur, wet from the morning dew.  It turns out our beloved table wasn’t even good enough to be used by him and his rooming-house-mates as their kitchen table.

Farewell table and chairs. I will miss you…




5 thoughts on “The Rooming House Next Door

  1. Joy Felix

    We were given a weight limit when we moved to Japan, but when I moved to China (single, alone at the time) I had two suitcases. It was a pain to start over, but I ended up just testing a furnished place, so it wasn’t too bad. We’re abut to move back to the US and are planning to just go with furnished for the first few months again, until we find a more permanent (if two years is permanent?) place. It’s kind of freeing not to own the things you a using!

  2. Maya Fitz

    Hahah – I can’t believe he did that! At least he should have had the courtesy to wait until you were at the airport or something! Sheesh!! Made me laugh though.


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