We moved, as you may know. I mean, we REALLY moved. Like, across the country. We sold (or gave back to the lender) much of our furniture (thankfully, as it costs a fortune to move it) before leaving. Then we
slept around lived in temporary situations until December 3, when we took possession of our FIRST HOUSE! So we decided that we needed a healthy balance between “second hand,” “Ikea” and “things we bought because we liked them and not solely because of the price.” So, after having a heart attack at the prices of dining room sets, we thought we’d check classified sites for some kind of reasonably priced gem, and if we didn’t find something, we’d just eat at the coffee table FOREVER. Did I mention we don’t have a coffee table either? When we went to look at the one we found, the ENTIRE APARTMENT BUILDING smelled like cigarette smoke. I thought aloud “Oh I hope this doesn’t smell like smoke…” as we knocked on the door and heard a raspy cough from behind it. The lady selling the table opened the door and we were engulfed in a cloud of both stale and fresh smoke. She showed us through the haze to a cute little dining room with a great wood table and S-I-X chairs for about a quarter of the price of a brand new 4-chair set. She (thankfully) stepped into the other room while we inspected it and VERY QUIETLY discussed if we’d be able to get the toxic smell of death out of this furniture. The table I wasn’t too concerned about, but the chairs (faux leather) would undoubtedly have absorbed more smoke than we would ever know. We decided in our barely audible whispered conversation that the price was too good and the table too nice. If we couldn’t get it out of the chairs and had to buy new ones, that was ok.
So we’d basically confirmed this with each other when we were audibly assaulted with the screams and swears of a very angry man, in the apartment, and the worried repetitions of “there are people here! There are people here!” from the woman selling the table. Graham and I just had a chance to exchange a glance with each other and wish we were invisible when the cause of the vulgarities stomps into view, topless, and doing up his belt, making it clear through his words and actions that he “didn’t f&*%ing care” there were people there. So there we stand, two extremely straight-edged wide-eyed Alberta kids, trying to blend into the wall and wondering if these two are a COUPLE while obscenities and shouts fly across the apartment and the seller apologies profusely.
Graham, wanting to do anything to get us out of there IMMEDIATELY, (at least until things settle, because we WANTED THIS TABLE) tells her we’ll take it and that the three of us should check out the stairwells and entrances for the best route to take the table. Breathing a sigh of relief (and fresher air), outside the apartment, she tells us that he’s a roommate and she’s moving and he didn’t pay her rent, so everyone’s mad. While I was relieved he wasn’t her boyfriend, I didn’t understand why HE was so mad. Anyway, I’m sure there’s plenty more to the story. So we find our plan of escape and go back for the table, AND MORE YELLING AND SWEARING. Honestly, looking back on it I am amazed we bought the table. Also, if he was her boyfriend, we would have left and called the cops to report a domestic disturbance. But what does one do when it’s a roommate kind of relationship? Anyway, we left and Graham went back to get the chairs and I just grabbed them from the front door of the apartment building and took them to the car. Unfortunately, their suite was ground floor and all the windows were open, and the yelling continued as we loaded them in the van and wondered how we were going to get the smoke smell (and toxins) out, but that’s a blog post for another time. I felt reassured with the fact that she was moving at the end of the month and they would hopefully be free of each other.
Anyway, if put in a similar situation, what would you have done?