The Tragic Story of James the Giant Dresser

Friends, this is the tragic story of James the Giant Dresser, who sadly is no longer with us. It’s a very sad tale, so please don’t read if you’re easily upset.

First, an intro to James. He was the huge dresser that we bought in September 2015 from a second-hand furniture adoption website. Two men brought him to us one sunny Saturday afternoon. He came wrapped in layers of plastic sheeting taped many times, looking like he was in a strait jacket. The men left him with us with no guidelines as to how to look after him, but for 18 months we did our best. His top half was shelving so we fed him books; his bottom half was drawers so we fed him socks and sweaters. We cleaned him, admittedly not as often as he needed, and we watched him grow into a pillar of society.

This is James:


And here’s a more candid photo:


After 18 months — and please hear me out before casting aspersions on us — we tried to sell James the Giant Dresser. We were moving apartment to somewhere James wouldn’t have liked. He wouldn’t have fit in. He was rustic and traditional; the new place was a big, modern place. So, to save James from a future of self-loathing, we tried to find him a new, loving home.

A man named Miguel came with a small cart, not realizing just how giant James the Giant Dresser actually was. Miguel left. Others too were interested, but could not commit. As moving day arrived, we briefly – and quietly – discussed leaving James in the apartment, where he’d be all alone until future parents would come in and make a decision on his future. Maybe he’d be loved, maybe he’d be smashed into a hundred pieces. We couldn’t know.

On moving day, we hired helpers to take our stuff – James included – over the river into our new home. Our movers said he was the biggest task they’d ever undertaken. James heard this and caused extra trouble as we tried to get him out of the door. He dragged his feet and belligerently refused to move. Eventually we nudged him down one flight of stairs on a tarpaulin out to the street, where we hitched him up to a dolly and rolled him down the street and into an open-back truck. We then anxiously left him with our movers as they drove over the river and we led the way in an Uber.

Now, friends, this is where the tale gets devastating. I implore you not to read further. But if you want to stay, please know that you do so at your own peril.

Across the river, our new apartment was up two flights of stairs, and the stairs were very narrow and low. James was too tall and heavy to be carried upright, and too wide to be pivoted on the stairs. There was only one option.

We stood James the Giant Dresser up, looking taller and prouder than he ever had, and we — I can’t believe I’m writing this — we started unscrewing him. His screams at that moment will haunt us forever, echoing through the stairwell for eternity. We were as careful as could be, disassembling him in a way that allowed for reassembly. But we knew, deep down, he’d never be reassembled. At least not by us. It took nigh an hour to take him apart. But by the end he came willingly and that night we slept comfortably in our new home with James in pieces in the hallway.


The next day we sold him, still in pieces, to a stranger on Craigslist, who came to take him away in a truck.

We will probably never see James again, but we’ll never forget him. We’ll never forget his brutal and unforgiving last day with us, but we’ll also never forget all the good times we had with him.

RIP James the Giant Dresser.



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