Monday, November 04, 2002

Charity begins at home

I'm not the best of people. I've done SOME good things in my life, but I've done plenty of not-so-good things, too. I rarely (if ever) give money to street corner people because I think most of them are scam artists. I don't give to phone solicitors because I don't like being rushed into decisions and because I don't trust them. Sometimes, I can be slightly cynical. Slightly. :)

I've had the same sectional sofa for 12 years: two pieces, one being a queen-size sleeper. It's mostly a beige color with a pastel print. My brother Ron and I bought it a few months after we graduated college and moved to Dallas to work at IBM. When I was transferred to Austin, I got to bring it with me. It's followed me through several moves, it's had food spilled on it multiple times (no stains though), it's been slept on many times (a lot of those by me), it's helped me watch several hours of TV, and it has survived several evil cats. (It has the claw marks to prove it!) The couch has served me well.

After buying a new house, I bought some new furniture to go with it. The old sectional was just too big for my living room, and I wanted to go with some different colors. When the new couch arrived, the old one was stored in the garage, with a lot of boxes on top of it. However, I needed some room in the garage, so it was time to give the old one to charity.

I called the Salvation Army to come pick it up, since I don't have a truck to haul it around in. They gave me a nice four hour time window Saturday morning to sit around and wait, and they eventually showed up. The driver looks at the two pieces and within a few seconds, he says, "We can't accept these, they have claw marks." And I'm thinking, "No sh!t Sherlock, I've owned cats. Hello ... it's free!" It's not like they're not going to make a profit on the thing.

So apparently, the Salvation Army has an image to maintain, and my couch just doesn't cut the mustard. The couch worked for me, it could hold several adults, and it didn't stink (as far as I know). Maybe my furniture standards are lower than I thought. Oh well, I'll just give it to a battered woman's shelter or some other charity. I tried to do one nice thing this weekend. Maybe in a couple of years, I'll try to do another one. :)