What would Emily Post do?

So I’m moving, right, and so is John, and so we’ve got to clean out the old apartment. I’m taking most of the furniture, this was decided ahead of time, and I told Katsu that I wanted a few things for sure.

1) the red velvet loveseat

2) the round coffee table

3) the orange drafting table

I didn’t think to fully itemize during our conversations, but there was ONE more item I’ve really taken a liking to over the years: this weird green thing in our bedroom. It’s kind of like a cabinet on legs, and it’s great for holding blankets. We found it on the street, what a bargain! But I didn’t mention the green thing when I told Katsu what I wanted, and afterwards I didn’t give it a second thought.

Apparently though, during my absence, Katsu has been trying to gift the furniture away to anyone who happens to walk by. I urged him to offer things to his sisters and brother (I mean, their aunt practically furnished our whole living room), but I didn’t expect him to, say, foist our belongings on the upstairs neighbors, who, as it happens, will likely take the old apartment once we’re gone. Turns out the upstairs neighbors are kind of keen on a bunch of our stuff – this wooden chair from the back room, this high-top white table I had actually planned to use in my new place, and, of course, the green thing. He tells me this on the phone the other night, super excited and happy, that they’re going to take all this stuff off our hands.

Now, granted. I didn’t tell him I wanted the green thing. It wasn’t on my list. I just assumed I was getting everything we had, and I was unclear with him about my expectations. But where normally this would be a simple case of misunderstanding, here I’m really between a rock and a hard place. The upstairs neighbors just had a baby, and the doctors found a malignant tumor behind his eye. (I KNOW. SO SAD.) So like, how can I go up to them and be, hey, sorry your kid’s got cancer, but I was sort of planning on taking the green thing with me? I mean, I really can’t, right?

… right?

6 responses to “What would Emily Post do?”

  1. Well, you could just take it and then be “Oops, sorry”. I mean, I don’t think they have grounds to complain about not getting another free thing, they’re already getting other stuff, right? It is yours to keep, it isn’t like you’d be taking away something they had – just not giving them an *additional* free gift.

    Baby or not, they should be grateful for what you are giving them and not be greedy.


  2. Sadly, the table won’t make the baby better. They clearly have bigger things to worry about. If u want the table, get ur table!


  3. What you need is a “Kramer”. Your unwitting but good natured friend picks up the green cabinet thingy by accident because he/she can’t read your chicken scratch note that was used to clean up a coffee spill.. Oh no you weren’t supposed to pick that up, it was for tumor boy! Now all he’s got hope for is to get a role in a remake of the Goonies or Columbo.

    Just queue up the the Seinfeld segway music, and thats a wrap. :p


  4. I agree with Kaia and Zoner on this one… and having met said upstairs neighbors, they don’t strike me as the type to get upset over your desire to claim a piece of furniture that was provisionally gifted to them as a result of a misunderstanding.

    I’m pretty sure that they’ll be cool with it. Bigger fish to fry, and all that.


  5. Honestly, I’d just let it go. I mean, if it makes them happy, they might need that little pick me up in light of their babie’s issue. It’s certainly something that could be replaced, plus, now whenever you look at it, you’ll know the circumstances behind it. I’d never be able to enjoy it.


  6. gone are the days of selflessly bending over backwards for other people to whom you owe nothing and who won’t even take a moment out of their day to give an iota of appreciation for your sacrifice.
    months from now, you’ll still think about green thing. they won’t. it was a free lunch anyway.

    take your stuff, feel good about all the other crap you gave them, and feel good that other people’s problems aren’t your problems and that guilt no longer dictates every decision you make.

    and fuck emily post 🙂


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