okay, so if you know me very well at all – you know that i am an avid (to the extreme!) dumpster diver. i love, l o v e, L O V E giving items a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th or 5th…) life!
so, plant me in NYC with an entire apartment to furnish and you can guess what i spend some time doing! and it’s so great here! because we are in the columbia neighborhood there are folks moving in & out all around us… and that means stuff that they weren’t able to sell, or discover doesn’t fit etc – they leave on the curb! how exciting! it’s like shopping on the sidewalk! and no $$ needed!
within 48 hours i’d scored my first successful dive – a narrow bookcase, in the perfect color and size to hold the tv. voila! love it!
ok, i’ve done this most everyday since arrival. found lot’s of things – and more than once had to leave them because i didn’t NEED them… and in a 500 square foot apartment believe me – we don’t bring anything in we don’t need!
so today… we are walking back from working routes with garrett and turn onto our street when what do my wondering eyes behold but – SCORE! several very nice pieces laying right out on the curb! no digging thru trash required! well the one piece that had me ‘twitterpatted’ was the floor lamp. i’ve been looking for a great deal on one of these since we moved in and hadn’t found it yet. and BAM! like free delivery right to my block!
so we stop and i look at it closer. it’s dirty. i pick it up. it wobbles. i turn the switch. it doesn’t seem to move properly. i debate what to do. marcus and i discuss it. i’m examining it – thinking i can fix it up. marc encourages me to just take it. (he’s given up telling me to leave it!)
now, this whole time we are looking for the owners. see, sometimes when folks are moving in/out they leave items on the curb/lawn while they carry things back and forth. so we are looking around, seeing if someone seems to claim these things.
we hang out about 15 minutes and no sign of anyone, so i decide to take it home, clean it up and see if it works. i pick it up and we start toward our place. THEN…
i turn around and a guy is hurrying toward me.
“i think that is somebody’s – they left stuff there while loading their truck.”
o m g. i was horrified.
while beet read i’m quickly returning it, stumbling over my words to explain to the guy that i’m not a thief just a dumpster diver, etc… his grin tells me clear as day that he know’s i’m ‘not from around here…’
now notice: marc encouraged me to go ahead and get it. but did he stay in my time of humiliation? no way! he and garrett didn’t even slow down! they kept heading straight home – leaving me alone to face the consequences of trying to save 50 bucks!
ahhh. well i return the lamp and head sheepishly toward our apartment. and then…
i almost didn’t turn around this time… *sigh* i have to stop. i’m a ‘do the right thing kinda person. even when i’m faced to once again talk to the man who thinks i’m a pick pocket. or pick curb. or – whatever. anyway. i turn slowly.
“i was wrong! they left these things behind. here’s the lamp!”
smiling i take the lamp from him and clarify “we live in butler if anyone comes looking for it ok?”
he grins at me. pats my shoulder and says,
“no way. i didn’t see nothin’ – you’re in new york now baby.”
and so i am.
and i’m enjoying my lamp to boot.