On June 8th, two young girls aged 3 and 6 were shot while sleeping in bed. And that’s when Billiam put his foot down and “We should move” turned into “We are moving NOW.”
I’m not complaining. The assault occurred less than a mile away from my apartment. Ever since Maker Faire, it has been absolutely ordinary to hear gunshots at night. In fact, when I was composing an e-mail to my landlord notifying him of my 30 days’ notice, I counted sixteen gunshots. It was broad daylight and I sent off the message. I walked outside to get my mail, and my landlord was there, weeding. We talked for a bit, and he was astonished at the close proximity of the sounds, too.
B&I immediately got to pounding the pavement in finding a new home. Virtually, anyway. Our tools?
- Padmapper. It’s Craigslist, geomapped. I prefer its interface much more over Google Housing’s and Housing Maps’.
- Gentrifire: San Francisco. Even though we didn’t end up renting in SF, I still love the fire-breathing dragon logo. And you know how San Franciscans are about being within walking distance of cheese shops.
- RentWiki. It’s a little sparse right now because the bloggers they invited to add content to the site while it was in beta didn’t follow through. I know this because I’m one of them. Oops. Great concept, though! Smart realtors should flood this site with positives about the properties in their jurisdiction.
Now that we’ve found a(n amazing) place, B&I are met with the challenge of moving two sets of belongings into one space. The entire time we were looking for an apartment, I had a looming fear in the back of my head that my clothes wouldn’t fit in the closets. Especially if there was to be a second person’s wardrobe of clothes in the picture. In the middle of our search, Billiam revealed that he, too, had this concern.
But, lo and behold, we found not an apartment but a house with not a single closet but four. And Billiam has bestowed the walk-in closet (Yes, I said “walk-in closet.”) to me. (We are dating for a reason.)
My goal is to downsize on all the excess that I have as much as I can before we pick up the keys to that U-Haul. I spent my lunch break at Urbanity where I dropped off a bag of clothes for consignment. I picked up the balance my last round of items drew in. After work I drove to the local Goodwill.
I’d never actually been inside the local Goodwill. When I got my bags out of my car, a lady from across the parking lot yelled something at me. I didn’t think she was talking to me, it’s not like I dropped something, so I kept walking. She yelled something at me again, and I yelled back, “What?”
She came over and asked me for one of my bags. Her exact words were, “You got some nice bags.” I had two bags of donation items: one Trader Joe’s grocery bag and one BCBG shopping bag. I thought her request was strange, but hey, whatever, I don’t need a paper shopping bag, so I said, “All right, if you can give me a minute, I just need to put these all in one bag.” She said absolutely nothing and just stood over me as I stooped to grab gobs of clothes and gob them into the other gob. It was awkward.
When she finally spoke, it was nothing along the lines of “Thanks for moving your stuff into one bag for me. I’m sorry to inconvenience you in your errand while we stand in the middle of the parking lot.” She just said, “Mm, I could take all of your stuff.” I didn’t pause, though flashes of being smited in the parking lot for clothes I intended to give away ran through my head. “Oh, but you’re smaller than me, though.” I don’t know if this comparison was true or not. I was distracted by how weird the situation was. “That’s a nice bag,” she continued, practically drooling over the paper BCBG shopper with fabric straps.
As I hastily rearranged my straps so that I could still carry my things, I helped her with the second strap to the BCBG bag. (Remember: bag, not purse.) “Got it?” I said. She just walked off and said “Okay. Thanks.”
As I drove off, I considered how I maybe could have turned that into a parking lot sale. The cash couldn’t hurt, right? Unfortunately it might’ve been the city tenderfoot/suburbanite in me, but I was just too creeped out to think.
Lest you think I have no reason to be cautious, might I remind you that I was at my local Goodwill, and the only other notable things in my surrounding area are a dirty BART station and perennial drug turf wars. Given those conditions, the request “Can I have your bags?” doesn’t seem very innocuous.