Yesterday, a woman on my local listserv posted she was looking for a full bed & mattress. I responded immediately that I had the whole package — headboard & footboard, mattress & box springs, two sets of linens — and listed a price significantly below what I’d planned to ask. After a little bit of back-and-forth, we had a deal and I told her I’d text her after 6 pm to pick it up.
When my daughter got home from work, we extended considerable exertion to disassemble the bed and get all the parts downstairs. I’m not exaggerating by using the phrase considerable exertion; we were sweat-soaked and exhausted by the time everything was done, and I could tell my meager reserve of energy was long gone. Then I spent more than an hour trying to get in touch with the woman via text and call, none of which were answered, before she finally replied with “OMG! I didn’t see this! Can we come over now?” It was nearly dark, but I said yes. I wanted to sell that bed.
I should have known when I saw their glossy SUV that they’d have sticks up their asses. Although we’d warned them that the grass was high because our mower had a flat tire, I could see both of them looking at our lawn distastefully, as if they expected to hear “Dueling Banjos” at any moment. Then they delicately got out of their ultra-elevated vehicle to sniff at the furniture, and the woman’s first comment struck me as incredibly shallow: “The box spring is torn on the bottom.” Yes, the box spring has a small tear in the loose gauzy fabric covering it underneath. Unless you decide to lie under the bed, it’s not visible. I replied ” Yes, it does.” No elaboration. She and her husband picked over everything I’d carefully assembled over a couple of years, looking at it as if it was covered in green slime, and the wife finally asked “Can I offer you $100 for the mattress & frame? That’s all I need.” I told her, as I’d clearly stated in our text exchanges, that the frame was connected to the headboard and footboard, not a standalone unit. Neither tried to hide their disdain, and the husband said cooly, “Well, we’ll have to pass.”
I wanted to scream invectives and curses, but I simply turned and went silently back in the house. My daughter may have exchanged some sort of goodbye with them, but I was boiling with anger and wanted them gone. Both of us were past exhausted, and I knew recovering from all that effort would be hard, given my fibromyalgia. Plus we had to get everything secured somehow, although taking all of it back upstairs was out of the question.
We ended up shoving the headboard & footboard in a nearby shed, then managed to hoist the mattress & box springs onto a pile of boxes in the foyer. My daughter then took a shower and picked off four ticks, while I found one high on the back of my right leg. We were both so angry at the couple that we only exchanged a few words about it, mostly “trifling bitch”and “arrogant bastard.” Neither of us wished them well. And then we both collapsed in bed.
Obviously, I’m still angry about all our effort expended in what I’ll charitably call a misunderstanding. All I’ve managed today is a shower and changing my nightgown, and I’m typing this from bed. But it’s done, and when we haul everything out later this week to photograph and post it on a local sale website, I’ll mark the price back up to what I originally intended.
And I hope those snobs end up doing what they were trying to avoid — going to a mattress store and buying everything at full price. That would be a small form of justice.