You may not Want Something but someone else Will

(Essay)

Stuff happens in our daily lives that brings a good amount of stress. That has been our experience since we moved to our new house. You may think it depends on the capacity of a person to have patience and be calm under stress. In our case, the axiom “Don’t sweat the small stuff” does not work that well.

We are in our new home for six months now and are pretty well settled. One last thing on our to-do list was to have the garage floor painted. Not just painted but have it coated with synthetic chips. About two months into the new neighborhood, we met one of our neighbors who showed us his garage floor. The contractor had done a great job that made the garage floor shiny and easy to clean off oil drops etc. We had never heard of this before and thought it was a good idea.  

We called the contractor he recommended who gave a reasonable estimate. Because of the pandemic or the high demand, we were given a date two months out for the work to start. We were not in a rush.

At the time of signing the contract, our garage was full of stuff that we had brought from our previous home. We were parking our cars outside on the driveway. The garage needed to be clean before the work started. We had time. We slowly got to work. There was a steel cabinet with rusted nuts. There was a wooden box with pigeon holes where we kept our tools with long handles. There were snow shovels, rakes, brooms you name it, and unopened bags full of sand, rock salt, and garden soil. Bharati had brought these along with the hope of starting her gardening hobby in the new place. But then we came to know that the Home Owner’s Association was very picky that limited our ability to do anything without their permission.

We slowly broke the steel cabinet and the wooden box into pieces. It was not easy. We dumped them in the dumpster our builder had left within a block of our house. There were other houses under construction.

When the Closet America company installed the garage storage solution we could remove the tools up from the floor and hang them on the wall. The bags with the garden soil and sand were still on the floor. We pushed them to a side so we could bring the cars in after four months. The bags were very heavy for us to lift so we pushed them with our feet or dragged them.

As the date for the garage painting approached we had to get rid of these bags. But where?

The flooring contractor strictly said we had to clear the garage of everything. He only agreed to move the refrigerator and keep it out.

We thought of our options. Put the bags out with the regular trash. This was not practical. First, because the bags were heavy and we were not sure if they will be picked up as trash. We searched for places where we could donate these. Our quantity was too small to have someone come to our house and haul them away. The amount they would charge was not worth it.

We were two days away from the garage renovation work to start. We kept getting email reminders from the contractor to confirm that our garage will be ready. We didn’t have much time. We had to do something. Bharati thought that worst comes to worst we can break the bags and empty them in the trees behind our house that formed a “fence” between our house and the golf course. It seemed like a waste of resources.

Bharati had joined the neighborhood WhatsApp community group. I had a brainstorm.

“Why don’t we post a message to the group site and see if anyone is interested,” I recommended.

“It’s a long shot.” Bharati was not optimistic but posted a message anyway.

It was six o’clock in the evening. Two hours go by and no one responded. Normally people in this group respond quickly as if they are glued to their phones. By ten o’clock we had given up thinking it was not such a good idea anyway. Suddenly a message pops up on Bharati’s phone.

“If no one has shown interest yet, I am interested.”

There was just a name, Sushma. Bharati replied immediately that she can stop by the next day after 10 am. Sushma said she will.

I was still skeptical. I had seen instances where people show interest but then change their minds and never show up.

The next day Ten o’clock came and passed. Nothing happened. Lunchtime no response.

“I think this lady may have talked to her husband who may have other thoughts,” I said.

By noon Bharati had to go out so she sent Sushma a message to let us know an approximate time she would come. No answer. We gave up.

I was upset. You may say this is small stuff. What’s the worst that could happen. We may end up keeping the bags. Maybe the work crew will be kind enough and will move the bags out to clear the floor.

By seven in the evening, we were about to sit down for dinner when a message pops up on Bharati’s phone.

“Can we come right now?”

It was from Sushma.

She brought her husband with her. It just so happened that they live just a block away on our street and we had met with them two weeks ago in a social gathering. We chatted a while and explained what we had planned for the garage floor and why we didn’t want the bags anymore because of the issue with the HOA. We established an immediate rapport with them. So much so that Sushma invited Bharati for the Navaratri celebration in her house. They took all the bags.

What a relief!

Lesson learned. Never give up. When you are down and frustrated, something always turns up to make your day. You may not want something but someone else will.

4 thoughts on “You may not Want Something but someone else Will

  1. Hi Ashok – John Hoover here – you hired me right of out college over 42 years ago! I love this story and the moral is certainly true. I would add a corollary as well: “Champions never give up, despite failure.” It applies everywhere and always, as your home story illustrates. I was also laid-off at age 60 (I’m sure age had no part in it!), but all worked out beautifully and better than expected because I was resolved to stay active and never capitulated or despaired!

    All the bet to you my friend.. I will be checking out more of your writings!! John

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