We had this couch. It was a great fucking couch. Chase could stretch his full six-foot-plus length on it. It loved when you napped on it, but was just uncomfortable enough to stop you from sacking out too long. The nap couch.
We tried to get it up the stairs to our new place, but the stairs had too many sharp turns (a side effect of an old house being split into apartments), so we had to find it a new home. So, like most people in the Portland metro area we took it to Goodwill.
First, a little back-story: Most of our favourite furniture and clothing came from a place called Saint Vincent De Paul. They were like Salvation Army, big on helping in the community, they took most donations, decently priced things, had a great system of price lowering things that had been there too long, etc. That one store in Hillsboro probably supplied most of the working poor, students and really pretty much everybody with clothes, furniture and whatnots for at least a generation or two. It’s where the nap couch came from, in the beginning. But it went out of business years ago. It was such a big part of most folks’ lives that you still hear people bitching about it. All there is now in the FG-Cornelius-Hillsboro area is Goodwill.
So, the couch is in pretty good shape. There is one tear in the back cushion, it looks used and no longer has the liner on the bottom, because it tore years ago and was since removed, since the vacuum liked to eat the liner bits that hung down. Other than that, the same condition it was bought for ten dollars in.
Onto the truck it goes and we pulled up to the donations area. A little bell goes off as we pull up, like at a gas station. We wait. And wait. And finally I saw a woman coming up through the windows in the swinging doors. Already her face was beginning to screw up into practice denial expressions. She’s barely out the door when she tells us they cannot accept something in this condition. All she had seen and will see of the couch was the underside, with the liner missing, the two cushions tucked next to it under a rope. She gives us no reasons beyond its “condition”. Chase and I, innumerable swears and curses boiling below a layer of shocked silence, climbed into the truck and gunned out of there.
We’re pissed, because it’s a decent couch. We don’t shop at Goodwill, because despite their cause, they’re still a big corporation that prices things with name brands higher, like assholes. However, we went there because we want someone else to get some use out of the couch. We don’t really have time or space to list the couch on Craigslist (for free, because we just want it to go to a home), so we turn to the dump.
They’ve raised the prices at the dump. It is now $50 for our size vehicle. We are not going to pay half a hundred dollars to waste something that is still useful.
Luckily, Chase remembers something as we drive away. The ReStore. The one in FG* just moved to a better spot and Chase had covered the story, so it was in his mind. All we had to say to the guy was that we’d tried to move the couch into our new place and it didn’t fit. That was the pedigree it needed. So our couch gets to go help somebody else take awesome naps.
Super bonus level: Later last night when looking for ice cream we turned around in a parking lot of what used to be this super sketch things-that-fell-off-the-truck warehouse. It is now a Salvation Army! Or will be on June 4th. I know nothing will be as great as St Vincent De Paul at taking donations and pricing things as they should be, but I don’t think the Salvation Army is as mercenary as Goodwill. Which, in an area like this, really will help the people that live around it.
* PDX folks, the one in your area is a feeding frenzy. If you can handle the frightening forty minute drive into the ‘burbs, it is worth coming to the one in FG, because not as many people go.