"You know you've lived in Cleveland a long time when..."
So we're sitting on the front porch eating dinner as the sun sets as Bright Young Things move in down the street and discard their stash of Ikea furniture on the curb. We're trying to figure out if it really is on the curb for the taking or if they don't know that you should put your stuff inside the fence or on the porch, but it looks like there's some nice bookshelves there and we can always use bookshelves.
We try to look nonchalant, premature old women on the porch peering down the street over glasses of lemonade and plates of pasta, trying to figure out what sets off the next-door neighbor's uber-sensitive car alarm and waiting for the new neighbors to go to sleep. We take the dog out to appear more nonchalant even though we've been sitting there looking across the street for the last twenty minutes and we decide to scope it out to see if there's anything worthy to scavenge, with her boyfriend on call in case we need some extra arms.
Someone's beaten us there already. A family driving a Jetta, the son on his phone talking in Spanish standing over what turns out not to be a bookshelf but a giant desk that we couldn't've used anyway. By the time we walk to the next corner and back, a pickup truck containing more family members and the most of the contents of the curb is rolling down the street and we laugh, wondering how we got to be this way.