You want me to fish what out of the dumpster?

When Heidi of, Me as a Mother did a blog post on her new chair and told her readers she gave names to inanimate objects, I knew that, not only did we share a love for retro furniture, we also had a penchant for naming non-living things.

Heidi introduced us to Fred, a gorgeous green “Chesterfield” type chair with exposed hardwood leg details.

I fell instantly in love.

I envisioned myself sitting on Fred, laptop on my lap, and coffee cup within arm’s reach; sitting on a small side table the color of Fred’s legs.

But alas, my quest to find a Fred where I lived was unsuccessful.

So imagine my delight when yesterday, as Roxy and I turned left on a side street next to the house, we came across a dark brown chair that had been abandoned under a tree; half covered in bird poop.

I looked at Roxy, she looked at me, and I could almost see a cartoon light bulb looming over our heads.

Was it possible that someone was throwing this handsome fellow away, or did it belong to one of the neighbors?

But if this was the case, why was it positioned so close to the dumpster?

I also noticed that it appeared to have been strategically placed under one of the chestnut trees.

Was this someone’s impromptu outdoor reading corner?

Had someone dragged it out one afternoon and forgotten to bring it back in?

I wistfully looked at the half reclined back, the rounded arm rests, and the rich, chocolate brown hue and I was a goner.

I envisioned little Roxy sleeping under it, while I slowly sipped my java in the afternoon.

The late afternoon sun would stream through the window while Marvin Gaye crooned in the background.

There’d be no one in the house but Roxy and me, and we’d sit back, relax, and watch the sun set.

It was too good to be true, so not waiting a minute longer, I called the Significant Other and told him he had to make a stop on his way home.

His reaction?
A loud screech which I made out to “Are you crazy?”

This followed by, “If you think I’m going to trash dive, you’ve got another think coming. Absolutely not. I don’t care how much you threaten with not cooking. Forget about it.”

A red flag went up the minute I heard “the tone”; a tone which unmistakably informs me there’s no budging him.

So what’s a girl to do?

Go to plan B, of course.

I innocently replied, “Well, there’s other things which I can swear off till hell freezes over and they have nothing to do with cooking.”

Yes, Ladies, the oldest trick in the book, and I’m not apologizing.

Needless to say, a half hour later he showed up at the house bearing the little chair.

“I don’t know why you want this junk. It’s not even leather.”

“And you’re not Javier Bardem, so what’s your point?”

Conversation over.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Marcelo.


He reminds me of those Italian leather chairs; the vintage kind you see in high-end business offices. Wouldn’t you agree?

After the Significant Other dragged it up three floors, I quickly went to work to remove bird poop, leaves, flower blossoms and small twigs.

I then cleaned the upholstery with a soap and bleach solution, rinsed it, swabbed it with germ cleaner, and sprayed it with Febreeze.

At that point, the Son walked in and said, “You realize that chair is made of ‘pleather” and the liquid you just squirted is running down the sides.”

“You see pleather, I see leather. Now go and take out the trash.”

“Why? Is there another chair waiting me for me to bring up?”

Yes, ladies, everyone wants to channel Steve Martin.

As I shoo the Son away, my eyes rest on Marcelo.

Isn’t he handsome? Have you ever rescued anything from the trash?

60 thoughts on “You want me to fish what out of the dumpster?

  1. This isn’t trash. This is curbside recycling! Just down the street, there’s a nice-looking desk I have my eye on. THere’s a man in scrap metal truck who drives through our neighborhood every weekend, checking out the offerings. It’s nice to see these things going to a new home rather than the garbage. NIce post, Bella!

    1. Thank you, Kelly! And I like the term “curbside recycling!” It sounds so much better than trash diving! :)

  2. I am not a bit above picking something up from the curb, etc. It’s where I got one of my favorite pictures. I also go to a lot of garage sales, where I buy stuff that’s two hours away from dumpster-ville. I spent Saturday at the Good Will and made out like a bandit! As garbage pickers go, I’d say we’re the cream of the crop! Enjoy Marcelo!

    1. June, good for you, girlfriend! And hey, as the old adage goes, “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure!” Hear, hear! :)

  3. I don’t take anything from the trash; then again, most of the furniture I use is older than I am, and most of the people where I live do the same, so there wouldn’t be good stuff to pick up, only junk you might sell for a few cents, which isn’t worth the effort.

    I don’t give names to furniture either, only to some plushies, but don’t tell anyone I have them :)

    1. Ivana, I have more plushies than any grown woman should. I call them “babies” and they all have names! But shh…don’t tell anyone! :)

  4. Marcelo is gorgeous, leather or not. I would probably never have seen the potential oozing out of him if he were covered in bird poop. I guess I’m just not that kind of talented. But, hurrah for saving him! My husband is much better at spotting gems than I am.

    1. Then your husband is quite the gem, Laura! The Significant Other would not have seen Marcelo’s potential either! :)

    1. June, I assume you’re referring to the undies I wore in my quest for coffee blog post, right? If so, I totally agree! Why don’t I just throw the damn things out? :)

  5. Bella! I’m in love with Marcelo! What a fabulous find, I can’t believe it! I knew we were soul sisters. I hope you and Roxy enjoy Marcelo as much as my family has enjoyed Fred!

    1. Heidi, don’t you love him? When I saw Marcelo, I knew he had to come home with me! I remembered all those sweet pictures of your girls and you with Fred and I thought, what a wonderful chair! I still love Fred! :) And I always knew we were soul sisters! hee hee!

  6. Wow, I can’t believe someone threw Marcelo away! Any how beautiful it looks now, thanks to your elbow grease. Not sure I would’ve rescued as I think the bird poop would have put me off. Put kudos to you for having the vision to see what a treasure Marcelo truly is!

    1. Monica, I was a little put off by the bird poop but I knew that underneath was a treasure waiting to be unearthed. Surprisignly, it came off pretty quickly with the soap and bleach solution but since I’m a germaphobe of the worst kind, I still doused him in germ cleaner! :)

  7. LOVE it, Bella! I am soOO proud of you for not letting Marcelo go!! I still have a pillow from college that I found in a dumpster and I dont love it a day less! What’s the difference between dumpster hunting and garage sale-ing? Only the placement of the goods…not the love. They are still rejected things aching for someone else to love them! Marcelo is soOo lucky! (I love saying that since (as you probably know) my partner’s name is Marcelo!!)

    1. Brynne, that’s right, you have your own real Marcelo! :) I’m glad we rescued Marcelo before someone else did! I tell you it was fate! :)

  8. LOL Bella, I have rescued things from the trash. It’s great to restore stuff others saw as trash into something beautiful. I don’t do it as much now but I still love it. Thanks for sharing Marcelo with us. He’s gorgeous!!!

    1. Dawn, thank you! You know, about ten years or so, I remember reading a story about two women who became rich simply from restoring furniture they’d find near or in dumpsters. They’d drive around in a pick up truck looking for worthy items and after bringing them home, they’d refurbish them and resell them. I thought that was a brilliant idea! I’m just glad the Significant Other hoisted Marcelo on his back and carried him home cause he is a bit heavy! :)

  9. I’m no fabric expert but it’s looks like leather from my end. You fixed it up nicely. Off the subject a bit on your naming inanimate objects but did you ever read of or see the young lady who took herself over to Paris and married the Eiffel Tower? No joke! I forget the psychological term but there are people out there who go that far. But back to the point, I’ve never rescued furniture that way but Roxy sure looks comfy in that new spot.

    1. Totsymae, marrying the Eiffel Tower? OMG, I wouldn’t go that far! hee hee! Roxy loves her new hideaway! :)

  10. Gorgeous!!! If Marcelo was all scratched and torn, I’d understand the dumpster. But he’s just beautiful. We bought a new sofa and chair two years ago. Our kitties ruined them in one night. Leather isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Throw blankets to hide the leather-braille are. =) ENJOY!

    1. Lori, that is the bad thing about kitties–they scratch everything! You should see Marcelo now. I’ve draped a little afghan over him and added a little cushion. He’s so comfy! :)

  11. Marcello is beautiful!

    I have a chair that I found on the curb. It’s the perfect size for Lola to curl up in while I write. It has no name, though. I need to get on that!

  12. I do believe he is your Javier in muse form. Every writer has a ‘thing’ they have to have, a certain something that having had to have earned it, makes it all the more sweet. What is wonderful for us readers is now when we read your posts we are going to see you sitting on your chair with Roxy at your heels. It completes our picture of such a gifted storyteller. From you photos it doesn’t look like something that should have been left on the side of the road, still as you say, to you it was a treasure. I wish you long hours of enjoyment and inspiration sitting in Marcelo. I sit on my bed when I write, no named, but my muse, ethereal and imaginary, I’ve named, Tobias. I figured all the men have muses, so why couldn’t I.

    1. Brenda, your words bring warmth to my heart and soul, sister! Thank you! I love your muse’s name! Tobias…an elegant and a strong name! And I agree, you have a right to your own muse! Absolutely! :) Lastly, you’re right–both the Significant Other and the Son serve as wonderful “on call” muses the majority of the time. I think it has to do with the fact that they both want to be comedians! hee hee!

  13. I’m so happy you found your new treasure, Bella! He’s very handsome. :) I’m a little bit weird when it comes to second-hand things. If I don’t know the person it belonged to, I’m visited by disturbing visions of all the things that could’ve been done on or in it. Lousy imagination! ;D

    1. Kenya, I wouldn’t call that a lousy imagination, I’d call it an overactive one! hee hee! :) I know what you mean, though. My middle sister is the same way. She doesn’t like buying second hand anything because she wonders who used it, what were they like, and then there’s those little buggers called germs that are part of her worst phobia!

    1. Jennifer, I agree! If I see something by the dumpster and it looks to be in good shape and I think I will use it, I’m bringing it home! :)

  14. I love Marcello, and am an avowed garbage collector/rooter. I dragged from across the road an extremely heavy rug that the neighbours had put out by the curb. It is pure wool and would have cost at least $600 brand new (it is in awesome shape.) I also got a perfectly good giant plant that usually sell for around $40.00 You should live in North America Bella, you wouldn’t BELIEVE the stuff that people throw out, children’s kitchen’s, everything!

    1. Elizabeth, that rug was quite a find! You know, my daughter lives in the States and like you she says that it’s unbelievable what people throw out!

    1. Right, Rowena? When I saw it, I thought, remove the bird poop and it’s going to look like new! I’m glad this was the case! :)

  15. Bella, your chocolate-y Marcelo is adorable! I’ve rescued too many things from the trash to name, but the latest is my coffee table, which used to be an old wooden skid. I had a carpenter sand it smooth, add some height, and it’s perfect!

    1. Jann, your coffee table sounds wonderful and with the little work you had done, it’s a brand new item for your home!

  16. Marcelo is gorgeous and you know what, what a fabulous name..right out of “Under the Tuscan Sun”..he was gorgeous! I love your writing – and wit..many thanks for your kind visit so that I may discover your wonderful blog!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Shirley! I’m so glad you recognized Marcelo from “Under the Tuscan Sun!! I am currently working on a vision board for the house I hope to have in Tuscany some day and that’s how I came up with Marcelo! It’s such a wonderful coincidence that you picked up on that! :) I love your illustrations! They are incredible! :)

  17. O000h, Bella,
    I am thrilled that you commented on my blog so I could find you.
    What a delightful gem you are.
    This post is Hilareous & Overflowing with crisp, delicious wit.
    ““And you’re not Javier Bardem, so what’s your point?”
    Fabulous Stuff.
    And I adore the fake leather chair :) xx Seriously.

    1. Drake, I’m sorry to disappoint, but no Rodriguez at the moment. Check back in a month though, I might be able to resuce something else, and if so, Rodriguez will be thrown into the name pool! :) You always make giggle, by the way! Thank you for that!

  18. You always make me laugh!, and so fun to read about your ‘plan B’, you’re a gorgeous lady!!
    and actually you’re pretty good picking out nice names: love your handsome Marcelo!!, ahhh, Dolce Vita!!

    1. Señora Allnut, the kindness in your comments always makes me grin from ear to ear! Thank you! I’m happy you like Marcelo the chair and Marcelo the name. Dolce vita, indeed, mi señora! :)

  19. Delightful !! Great strategy for getting Marcelo up three flights, and for hushing the criticism. Way to defend a perfectly honorable chair. Marcelo has a marvelous new owner.

    I have a “rescue” chair that is truly hideous. It was a worn club chair. An eye sore yard sale cast off. But I fell for The Scooshy Chair when I sat down. It’s like a hug in furniture form. I sewed new denim covers for the cushions and a slip cover for the body of the chair. Periodically I consider updating my furniture, but then I curl up in The Scooshy Chair with an afghan and a pile of pillows for an improptu ottoman, and I’m lost again. True Chair Love.

    1. Oh Eden, the Scooshy Chair sounds heavenly! I just love furniture that swallows you whole! It’s like sleeping on a cloud! Ottomans are the best. I love propping my feet up after a long day! I’m glad you liked the post! :)

    1. Good for you, Amber! Like Brynne pointed out in her comment, we’re providing love for something that has been thrown away. :) Isn’t the name the coolest?

  20. Now that you have Marcelo how quickly you have forgotten your lovely chartreuse velvet chair you left behind in the Dakotas….no worries Nick has taken over its care and if that chair could speak….the stories it would tell. He’s thinking of revamping her to extend her life.

    1. Do me a favor and tell brother Nick that I’m still sole owner to the lovely chartreuse velvet chair–no matter how many nasties its witnessed! I’m so happy you finally made it over here, sister! :)

  21. Visiting from the Lady Bloggers Tea Party! Love your blog and the fact you named this chair…its share’s my dad’s name :) Nice rescue job!

    1. Hello Patty and welcome! I’m very pleased that you like the blog. How funny that Marcelo shares your dad’s name! How great is that! :) I hope you’ll drop by and visit again!

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