The story of how I got this nightstand is exactly why you should never pick up a Craigslist item by yourself.
If this isn’t a cautionary tale, I don’t know what is.
- Where: ____, RI
- How: Craigslist
- Cost: $40
- Makeover: paint job
When I agreed to stop by the house in _____, I imagined that it would be near where my uncle had lived—right off of 95, a short walk from the beach.
I didn’t realize that this house was located more inland, in the boonies, in the middle of the woods, until my dying iPhone navigated me away from the ocean.
As I drove further away from civilization and closer to the Craigslist house, I watched my iPhone battery dwindle closer and closer to its most inconvenient, temporary demise. Of course it was the one afternoon I didn’t charge my phone before I left work.
When I finally reached the road, it didn’t even have an official street sign—it looked like it was carved in a woodsman’s lumber yard many, many years ago. I drove off of the paved road onto a dirt path, practically off-roading.
In reality, the dirt road is probably quite charming, but given the circumstances, it seemed like the prelude to a bad horror film:
[Opening scene] A young woman drives alone to a house in the middle of the woods to pick up an antique nightstand she found on Craigslist.
A few small twists down the road, I found the house sitting upon a hill and drove up the driveway—aside from the fact it was in the middle of nowhere, the house seemed fairly new and well-maintained. There was even a cute white picket fence in the front yard.
I got out of my car and walked towards the front door. The woman I had exchanged emails with said she would bring the nightstand outside, but I didn’t see it. She must have forgotten when she got home from work.
It was at that moment I noticed the human skulls on top of the white picket fence.
I tried to rationalize the homeowner’s choice of exterior decorating. I told myself that they just left their Halloween decorations up from several months ago…
I quickly rang the doorbell and rapped on the door. I stood as calmly as I could in my sleeveless, navy and white striped summer dress and nude-colored high heels.
In the few minutes I waited, I thought about several things. I thought about how my phone was dying. I thought about how impractical my three-inch heels were for running. I thought about how stupid I was to not bring someone with me.
I thought about how, if I got abducted, I was absolutely screwed.
The door opened—an extraordinarily muscular man now loomed in the doorway. He looked as if he belonged in a motorcycle gang. He stared at me and I stared back at him. This man was clearly not the woman who I had believed I was communicating with.
I drew the only conclusion I could clearly imagine—I had trespassed on this man’s property and I was going to die.
No words can express the wave of relief that washed over me when a woman also appeared at the door and asked if I was looking for the nightstand. Turning to her hulking husband, she apologized to him for not warning him of my visit, then turned to me and apologized for not bringing the nightstand outside.
Instead of opening the garage door, she asked me to come inside and check out the nightstand before agreeing to purchase it.
I took a handful of steps from the entryway, through the foyer, to the garage when I caught glimpses of animal skeletons as interior decorations…
Since I managed to write this blog post, I did make it out alive. At the end of the day, I am very grateful to the woman, and her intimidating-looking husband, for the nightstand and I have learned to always keep your phone charged and never, ever go to do a Craigslist pickup solo.