August 19, 1979

Driving back from my shoulder treatment and cruising homeward bound, I quickly made the decision to cross two lanes to enter Value Village‘s parking lot. I had a few hours to kill but gave myself 20 minutes to lurk around the store and hopefully find something “new” and totally rad to wear. I have enough jackets, sweaters, plaids, shoes to last me a lifetime which I pretty much bought exclusively from several of the Salvation Army, Goodwill, VV and random “ma ‘n pa” thrift stores around the world. I look ballin’ even though I may not really be, it’s all relative and means nothing in the end.

I enter heading directly towards the shoe section, still looking for the amazing pair of black dress shoes that I can rock hard on date night with the lady. Nearly colliding into a sofa pushing worker (not derogatory, he was actually pushing a Sofa through the aisles), I do some slick dodging and cutting to keep my steady time limited pace up. I need to honour that I gave myself a certain amount of minutes, so no more and no less. A few seconds deep into shoe shelf vision, I feel my attention strangely shift to the item that I just avoided bumping into. I turn to look at a beautiful fire coloured victorian style sofa with matching chair, ZOO-WEE MAMA! Piece by piece I lost my mind, everything felt right and the price was 100$ (taxes in for both items together). My partner and I have been saving up for “grown up” goods for over a year with still a ways to go, this could be the solution without the cost. Then it, well I got complicated.

My eyes shifted to another shinier set, something possibly better. To help make matters (worse for me at the time) simple (in hindsight), a woman mentioned she’d like to buy this distractingly sparkly chair for her daughter. Am I the only one that finds it harder to chose when I know what someone else wants and how I may also possibly want it? Classically I asked her to wait a few moments while I decided which was best. What I didn’t know then but know now was that the decision was already made. I take a few pictures, call a couple numbers and wake up my LA living lady of the house who suggests I make the choice on my own (what the #@$?). I continue to doubt myself for  a few more minutes and then finally sort of accept my first choice, the bright and maybe now too orange looking sofa/chair?! Whatever, it’s been decided. I try to tie up all loose ends and calm the internal storm by finding any person in charge as well as the patiently waiting woman.

Finding the right transport/moving company is part of the story that I’d like to kind of breeze over. A long story made shorter- I called a place, they quoted me, I waited 2hrs longer than what was promised, they tried to take more money from me aka rip me off so I gave them less but tipped the movers more (it wasn’t their business and I like to tip). We now have new furniture in our home and this specific chapter ends.

The question now was, do we rent a steam cleaner or hire professionals to do the job? It wasn’t time to be cheap when we’ve already saved so much so we go ahead and book through a recommended source. It’s Monday and Dani gets back from her trip, it’s a good day when she comes back to newer, cleaner, adult-like furniture dressed home. I receive a phone call, they’re here and the man on the other end informs me that he’s ready to get to work. I wasn’t sure when he said “this is Ben from …” but turns out that I share the same name as the dude. He’s the Albanian version but still that’s fun.

He comes over, we meet and I offer him food or water which at first thankfully declined but eventually accepted (let’s all practice saying yes!). I ask him if I can help with anything and politely he encourages me to let him be.Within two minutes I hear him in the other room and it sounds like he’s calling for me-

Ben-”uh hello?!”

Me- “what’s up, did you need me?”

Ben- “There’s something funny I found and you may want to come and see!”

Internally freaking out that our purchase was garbage, picturing the entire thing being full of bed bugs and all shredded inside…

Me- “alright…”

I walk in the living room and see him holding semi crumpled up pieces of yellow paper.

Ben- “Here look, I found this newspaper stuffed deep inside the cushions, it’s the real estate section, homes for 68 thousand dollars”

Relieved that nothing was wrong with the Sofa and not caring much about real estate I reach out to take what he’s handing to me.

Me- “Oh wow, that’s cool, I guess you’re into homes and stuff huh?!”

Ben- “Yes, that’s so cheap for what it costs these days”

Me- “When is this newspaper from anyways?”

I unfold the crinkled up corner trying to read the stained sheet and smudged font. Goose bumps cover my skin and I freeze up for what seemed forever. Wanting to start laughing and crying at the same time (It would have been a weird story for Ben if I did.), I see the EXACT date of my birthday, Aug 19th 1979.

That’s it, Thanks for reading.

3 Responses to “August 19, 1979”

  1. JD says:

    wow… only you homie!

    Keep your eyes peeled for two 6′ benches with newsprint from march 16, 1980 pasted to them :) .

  2. daniella says:

    what?!! ben that’s unreal. great story.

  3. sarah says:

    NOOOOO WAY! that’s incredible!

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