Wednesday, July 21, 2010

craigslist magic

One upside of having the summer "off" is that it affords one with time to explore things that require some time and energy.  I have been curious about craigslist for a number of months now, based on the experiences of some people that I know.  Thus, I gave up close to four hours yesterday, setting up an account, taking photos of items I am ready to part with, posting ads in the appropriate categories and then dealing with the responses that began to arrive in my gmail account.  While time consuming, I decided that it was my 'learning curve' day and made peace with the fact that today- one day later - I am $10 richer and two items lighter.

I stated in an earlier blog entry that there are other currencies besides money.  This was in great evidence today as I executed my two transactions with my first two 'customers'.  The first woman arrived by public transit, expressed deep gratitude for the bike that I was selling 'as is' for $10, and shared her story with me of being a single parent immigrant with a young child making a life in our city.  I felt like I should be the one thanking her instead for taking the bike off my hands and presenting such kindness and thankfulness on a hot, humid morning.  My time spent with her truly lifted my spirit.

One hour later, I arrived at the local subway station at the appointed hour to hand over a 'free' cat carrier bag.  This was the real prize...I received at least twenty emails from people hoping to obtain it from me.  I second-guessed posting it for free after I discovered that it retailed for at least $60.  The real goal was to get it into the hands of a cat owner who could use it, however.  The young woman who met me at the station was lovely, appreciative and gracious.  The cat carrier would be of use during a future move as she had two cats and only one carrier.  Just when I thought that this exchange was perfect enough, she pulled a book out of her bag and asked me if I would be interested in it.  Yes,  I definitely would be!  And so beyond exchanging items and pleasantries, we shared a  mutual sense of happiness as we parted. 

Yes, I have given this exercise a lot of time and energy in the past twenty-four hours.  No, it will not be my path to future riches (although I plan to take myself to a movie this afternoon using my monetary proceeds).  I now have two items out of my household, and the knowledge that two kind, grateful women made the effort on city transit to invite these items into their lives and put them back to good use.  I also have a few hours of delicious summer reading awaiting me, thanks to the thoughtfulness of the new owner of the cat carrier.

Most of all, while on-line endeavours of this type have the potential to go very wrong, I have instead experienced two encounters with all that is good about humanity.  I have been gently reminded that I have so much and that sharing with others blesses both the one that receives and the one that gives.

Wondering what to post for sale next and who might benefit along with me...

Wondering Woman

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