*Photos 2-6 are stock photos of actual items for sale*
Queen Size Casper Mattress: No sex was had in this bed. I bought it at the beginning of my year of celibacy. I didn’t know back then it would be a year; no one knows how long things will last when they’re just starting. No dating, no sex, no one, one year. I had beautiful dreams in this bed, dreams about flying, about shooting through the air, and leaving this city behind me, dreams about landing in a foreign place where no one would know my name. And when I woke up, I believed that maybe I could start over with another someone who was capable of loving me like I deserved to be loved. Anyway, this mattress has no stains, no damage, and the tears have dried :)
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Various Hanging Plants: These were the first things I bought when I moved out of the home we shared. Plants. It felt like something an adult would do. But an adult would be able to keep plants alive. I couldn’t. For the first few months, they shriveled and slumped over like lifeless reminders that I did not know how to love things. Someone suggested I should talk to them and so I did. In the morning I told them secrets I swore I’d never share, I sang to them and wiped the dust off their leaves, and I don’t know what it was, but something about my words breathed life back into them because they’ve been thriving ever since.
Rugs (3 Various Sizes): Like new. This was a no-shoe household, and people hated that. No one said so, but I could see it in their faces every time they sat on the bench and removed the heels they’d carefully chosen to match their outfit. I’d see it in the glances they gave each other as they unlaced their shoes trying to remember if they’d thought to wear matching socks. I never apologized for the inconvenience. New York is filthy, and it took me 30 years to finally feel strong enough to say what I wanted even if it made someone else uncomfortable.
Antique Wine Box on Wheels: I bought this ten years ago, and I filled it with magazines I hoped to write for. Whenever I’d sit at my computer and write all night after working all day, I’d look at my wine crate full of magazines and tell myself that someday my name would be in those magazines. And then one day they were. Clips of pieces I had written and pieces that had been written about me. I did what I’d set out to do. Eventually, the magazines were cut up and torn apart, I used them to make a vision board for what I wanted to cross off next. But every time I look at that box, I think of the 23-year-old woman who loved writing so much she wanted to put words in a place that she could drag with her from room to room.
Rocking Chair: I don’t really want to let this one go. I brought it home when I was seven months pregnant. The father and I went to the store, determined to choose the perfect furniture for our first (and only) child. We walked up every aisle and sat in each option they had, laughing at how seriously we were taking this one task. But that baby grew up, and that marriage ended. I can no longer justify dragging this beast of a rocking chair from house to house. The baby I used to rock is now old enough to tell me he needs privacy. But sometimes, if he’s feeling sleepy and I’m feeling snuggly, we'll sit in it and read a book. But most of the time it is the designated place to put the laundry that needs to be folded.
Swinging Hammock: Every morning, my son would swing in the hammock by the window and consider the weather based on what people were wearing when they walked past. I’d sit in this hammock at night after he was asleep, and I’d listen to the music blaring from the bar downstairs. Each song brought me back to lifetimes I’d forgotten I’d lived, before I was a wife, before I was a mother, before I was a woman who thought a hammock in her house might make her seem more adventurous.
Dining Table: I thought we would be in this house long enough to get a chandelier, one of those big ones that hangs from the ceiling over the dining table. But I never got around to it, and now we’re leaving. Seats 6. And of those six people, one of them usually mentioned the lack of light. I sat my son on top of this table and let him play with matchbox cars because he said please with the sweet voice he knows will break any rules I’ve made. Also because I’m a cool mom and cool moms don’t mind someone sitting on the table and playing with cars because cool moms are too busy figuring out how to rebuild their lives to worry about little things. There’s now scratches on the table top, I imagine they’re easy to fix, but I’ll never know because I’ll never bother trying.
4 Dining Chairs (2 beige/2 blue): There used to be six chairs, but as I got older, I realized I only needed 4. That happens when you grow up. You start worrying more about the quality of your friendships and less about the quantity of friends. No one ever complained about how uncomfortable those chairs were, but my feet always fell asleep if I sat in that seat too long writing or reading or drawing up blueprints for my next life. But maybe that has more to do with my blood circulation and less about the quality of the chairs. Please buy them as a set; I don’t like dividing up furniture.
Coffee Mugs (Set of 4): For years, I had only one coffee mug. The movers broke the others in transit and so I had just the one. There was only a need for one: one cup of coffee in the morning, a splash of milk and two cubes of sugar. He knew how I liked my coffee; it was one thing I loved about him. He only had to ask once when we first started dating: “Beyoncé or Barack?” (same shade but different sweetness). A friend came over one day and laughed at the single mug in my cabinet and then forced me to order more from Amazon.
“There will be other people in your life that drink coffee, hun.” That’s what she said. Hun.
Anyway, I quit drinking coffee the year I finally quit him, the year no one slept in my bed but me. I don’t miss it—him or the coffee. I won’t miss these mugs either. ( Sold as a set because even if you’re single, there will be guests...guests who don’t want to leave you alone, and so they stay up with you all night while you mourn all that you’ve lost and plot out all that's to come and before you know it, it's 3 am. They’ll stay the night and in the morning they will want some coffee. )
So Many Books: Somehow, I have acquired 300 books. I started collecting them in college. When I moved to New York, there were only two boxes. I don’t even want to know how many boxes they would fill now. There’s the books I bought from The Strand before I realized shopping was just another way to temporarily soothe a broken heart. I’ve got everything from Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert and All of the Girl-with-a-this or Girl-with-a-that novels . Then there’s the graduate school list of recommended reading: Nitzche, Baldwin, Sedaris, and Sontag. The books people sent in the mail that I never got around to reviewing, and the books people gifted me simply because they came over for a low-lit dinner once and sat in one of my four chairs and looked around and saw that I liked books.
I’ve collected them like some people collect art, except, the value of art increases over time but with books, it’s only the nostalgia that grows. I can’t get rid of them and yet I have to. They’re sitting on my shelf, collecting dust when they could be saving someone else’s life, changing someone else’s mind, showing someone else how to start over.
Children’s Wooden Globe: One spin and we picked a place. Funny how life can work that way if you let it. There are beaches where we’re going, and I can't explain to you how desperately my toes have missed the touch of sand, and how my tongue has missed the taste of the sea. We are crossing an ocean together and even though I'm scared, I know this is part of the plan. Live. Hurt. Heal. Repeat. New York City is no longer for me; I've done what I came here to do. I've grown up and I’ve outgrown it and now I’m tired of stepping over shed skin.
"You are not a tree, move." I read that on a graffiti-covered wall in Chinatown. So that is what we’re doing. Moving out. Moving on. And if I can do it, maybe you can too.
Moving On Is Hard To Do Sale June 15th (email for address, full inventory list and prices)
**All proceeds will be donated to: Moms for Moms, NYC is a registered non-profit dedicated to providing assistance to single mothers in need throughout New York City.