In readiness for our house move, we have begun selling larger items of furniture and household stuff. I am amazed at the wide spectrum of personalities I meet from the people answering our advertisement, from pompous housewives driving expensive cars trying to knock down our prices to shifty traders hoping to make a killing from our much-loved stuff.
Basically, idealistic or not, we were just hoping that our much-loved stuff finds good homes, rather than recouping our investments (secondhand furniture notoriously lose much of their value). Thus, our philosophy is, we had loved them, they had been part of our happy home and we just would like others to get the same happiness out of them.
As I was wearying a bit about humankind, an American man called up and arranged to come and take a look at our sofa set: three piece, bought three years ago, that we are selling for £40.
At the appointed time, an elderly gentleman turned up with his wife. “Thank you, it’s very kind of you to be selling this to us so reasonably,” he said with sincerity. He told us that his health is failing and that he is moving his family up to the Isaan province in northern Thailand, where his wife’s family are from. They have a young child and they hope for a better education for him in this less-developed part of Thailand. “Financially, it has been a struggle,” he said, “But better things ahead for our family!” They will be living near his widowed mother-in-law in a two-bedroom rented house that cost less than £100 a month to rent.
As we were talking, I noticed the wife looking at the dining table and stroking its edge with gentle hands.
“In Thailand, this is love. When things are round,” she told me. “And look at those chairs, they’re royal!”
“They’re for sale too,” I told them.
They both shook their heads regretfully. “Sorry, we cannot afford it.”
I named them a ridiculously low price. “Are you crazy?” The husband exclaimed.
“Perhaps, but I just want you to have this.” I can imagine this family, with the old mother-in-law, sitting at the table enjoying family dinners, as I have had the pleasure of with my family. I have been so blessed, thinking back to the countless happy family dinners we have had around this table.
“You are too kind,” he repeated. “I could’ve been pulling a fast one on you.”
It doesn’t matter. I believe my heart. And I believe in Love. My family is sad to see this important part of our family home leave us, but we are very happy they’re going to a new home. At the end of the day, only Love lasts, not wood, not human bodies even. May you have meaningful times and happy meals, the Segal family, from ours to yours ❤