Several years ago I discovered Freecycle. For someone like me, Freecycle is dangerous because most often I collect more things rather than give things away. You never know when you might need that such and such that you just gave away. The things that I did manage to give away? I don't miss them. Not one thing. In fact, I can't remember what I've given away. So obviously I didn't need those things.
The OFFERS posted on Freecycle were seductive. FREE THINGS! I could use that! I didn't know I needed that but I do now! I received some things I really could use. A metal swing set for my kids. Peony bulbs. Clothing.
Most of the people I received things from just left the items in a bag outside their door. I preferred this method of retrieval partly because it is sort of embarrassing to me to take other people's cast-offs and partly because of my own social anxieties. It is also the method I used when people wanted my cast-offs. Whether I was home or not, I left the items in a bag on my deck. No face-to-face contact. I liked it much better that way.
That said, the woman who allowed me to dig up some of her peonies was very gracious. And the woman who had lost so much weight her clothes no longer fit her was sweet.
The one encounter that I will probably always remember was brought about by my husband's and my desire to try to lose weight (back when I didn't even have as much to lose...sigh). I posted a WANTED ad for a treadmill. I figured there would be people who bought them and never used them and just wanted the space back in their houses.
I was completely unprepared to meet the man who offered his used treadmill. Craig and I went to pick it up together, along with Baby M. I can't remember if K was born yet by then or not. We got directions to the man's house and found it with no trouble.
His house was unique, which matched him perfectly. He was a lingering hippie, I was pretty sure of that. He'd built his house himself. It was shaped like a hexagon or something weird like that. I always wonder where you put your sofa in a place like that. Anywho, his garage was packed with things and this is where he was puttering around when we arrived to pick up the treadmill.
The treadmill. I use that term loosely because it was a NordicTrack but quite possibly the first model ever invented. It was made from wood and had no power to the tread. You literally had to push the belt with your feet. As soon as I saw it I knew we would never use the thing but it seemed rude to not take it after going all that way to get it. So we loaded it in our minivan.
The man. He chatted continuously while we were there, telling us about constructing his house, demonstrating how to fold the treadmill...farting. I can only think the man must have had a meal of broccoli before we arrived because he tooted his way through the conversation but never once flinched or acknowledged his gas.
Oh yeah, this was a (toot) top of the line model (toot) when I got it. (laugh) (toot toot toot)
You want help (toot) getting that in (toot) there? (tooooooot)
I am not a classy woman. It is terribly hard for me to maintain a straight face when someone so blatantly needs to stick a cork in it.
But I did it. I think.
But you can bet your butt I laughed the whole way home.