x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Selling furniture makes moving stress manifest

The strange desire to want your dented refrigerator to go to a good home is just another moving-day curiosity.

It's amazing how much a sane, reasonably well-off woman can get attached to an average, dented, three-year old refrigerator.

I didn't realise I had such bizarre feelings for the thing, but when someone knocked on our door this past weekend to buy it, the tantrum I threw was an excellent indication that something was not quite right - most likely with me.

We were trying to sell our kitchen appliances, as well as some of our bigger furniture items. We didn't need these items in our new digs; who needs two refrigerators, let alone two cookers, two dishwashers and two washing machines?

I do, apparently. Which is why I practically kicked a man right out of our apartment who came to pay Dh500 for something we no longer needed.

He was the first one to show up in a long line of potential buyers that day, and the fridge was the first item scheduled to leave its humble abode. I thought I was ready, relieved even. Selling our furniture made sense; we would make a profit on items we did not need to replace, and ease the load when it came time to move. There was no room for sentimentality, I thought. I emptied the fridge's caverns of old condiments and threw away bags of vegetables wrinkled with freezer burn. It sparkled by the time I was done with it.

But its owner-to-be didn't seem to appreciate it. He sneered at its dents and dismissed its clean interior. He even had the gall to ask for a further discount, after we had already agreed on a price over the phone.

I no longer wanted this man to have my fridge. In fact, I didn't want him to look at the TV he showed interest in, or the washing machine he wanted to measure, none of which were for sale any longer, I said to him. Nothing was for sale in my home, I decided, so if he could kindly leave, that would be great.

I don't know how Mr T managed to hold it together until he could close the door behind that oily man's back, but he did, and then turned on me with a mixture of disbelief and growing rage. When he asked me if I was "crazy", I couldn't decide if he was just asking rhetorically.

I guess I broke down. I couldn't bear to see items we had invested our money in become bargains for people who would not appreciate them. What if the person who wants to buy my couch spills a drink on it? What if that couple who took our night stands like to smoke in bed and end up burning the wood? Or worse, forget to use coasters and leave rings on the surface of a couple of night stands that I polished weekly?

It took a mini-breakdown for me to be able to send my furniture to what I hope are good, well-maintained homes. I may have even grown up a little bit that day, especially after catching snippets of Mr T's lecture between my sniffles about how "it's being together that counts - safe and healthy", or something like that.

Plus, it helped when Mr Bargain Seeker came knocking on our door half an hour later, ready to buy our fridge on our terms.