My room is tiny — like, TINY. And on Tuesday evening, I turned to my super clever, always helpful housemate, KK, and sad-faced: “I have too many books in my room, I need a bookshelf.”

Her eyes widened: “There’s a bookshelf on the road up the street! It’s short, maybe it’d fit!!” So I hurried up the street. On the way I passed Kevin who always reads his Ipad on the porch: “I have to get a bookshelf from up the street!!” I announced. He peered over his glasses: “Give a yell if you need a hand!” he smiled kindly.

I grinned cockily over my shoulder: “Oh yeah, I don’t think it’s that heavy, I’ll be right!” I inwardly flexed my bicep and stood tall. He nodded and went back to reading his Ipad.

I saw the bookcase surrounded by other treasures: “Like oh my god, so much stuff! I can’t even– okay, focus, Margaret — focus.” I surveyed it for a long time. Would it fit? I took to the task and decided to measure it with my very reliable measuring tools: “Okay, so it’s as high as the bottom of dangly necklace and 4 and a half hand spans wide and two and a half hand spans deep”. Got it. I called KK: “I think it’ll fit under my other shelf because it comes up to the bottom of my dangly necklace!!” I explained. I could hear her roll her eyes over the phone: “I’ll be there in a minute” and she jogged up the hill towards me.

She’s way taller and stronger. I’m short and pretty clumsy. It was slow going: “KEVIIIIIN!! I shouted over the hill. He looked up and then disappeared indoors. KK and I continued on endeavouring. I kept banging the bookshelf against our legs. It was getting hard. My previously confident biceps retreated into themselves.

And then: clouds parting, trumpets sounding and Kevin and David both came strolling purposefully out from their house. They hoisted the bookshelf high above their shoulders, said some secret strong-man code phrases to each other and the struggle was over.

The next morning, my other housemate basically carried it up our 4 flights of stairs while I trailed behind holding a corner. He set it down, adjusted some splayed nails that were sticking out and grinned hugely.

You can bet your bottom dollar, I thanked each and everyone of them from the bottom of my skinny calves.

Hand-me-downs from the street are amazing! Kind neighbours and resourceful housemates are the BEST!! And the level of organization in my room is NEXT LEVEL 🙂