I was very excited about getting rid of a bunch of old junk via craigslist (and freecycle), but after innumerable emails and several phone calls, we went to bed that day with the same amount of junk we had started the day with. That’s right, every single deal fell through. Can we say F-L-A-K-E?! I don’t know why I was surprised, though, because in my experience, people do not take free things seriously. (Which is why I sold my kittens, instead of giving them away for free…) In general, if an item doesn’t have a monetary value associated with it, people don’t value the object in other aspects either.

Part of the problem too, was that I was a naive craigslister. Meaning that, even though I posted that I would give priority to a speedy delivery, I felt compelled to go with the first person who responded. Even though the first response had a strange area code (turned out to be San Fernando Valley), and email handle (“prec tway”), even though the email had a suspiciously flakey tone to it:

“pls reply w/d=address, no, etc. for quuen bed. mom on no income , please help-thanks and god bless
818-894-XXXX-mary”

By the time I realized that she was going to string me along (said she was coming by 8:30 pm, and then called at 9:30 pm to say she couldn’t make it) I had decided to give the queen mattress set to somebody else. And she had the nerve to start yelling at me and calling me NOT NICE. Sheee-eesh.

In retrospect, I should have gone with somebody who sounded more coherent, like Nick:

“Hello my name is Nicholas and I am very interested in the queen sized bed you are giving away on craigslist. I am a college student at fullerton that just moved into his first house with friends and really doesnt have much at all, let alone a decent sized bed that fits me since I am 6’4″. (I have a twin). I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me come and pick up the bed after work today after 5 oclock. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. My back will appreciate it.”

or

” Hi.  My name is Bradly.  I’m an active duty United States Navy Corpsman stationed at Camp Pendleton.  My father lives in MV right by you though and I was wondering if this bed was still available.  If it is, I would love to come pick it up this weekend and use it in my new apartment in Escondido.  Please email me if it is available, or call me at 949.742.XXXX.  I would pick it up sooner but I work in the Emergency Room at the Naval Hospital down here and can’t make it any sooner.  Thank you again in advance.

Respectfully,
Bradly”

In the end though, I ended up privileging my freecycle responses over my craigslist responses – one, because they were local, and two, they seemed like more a sane, like-minded community – and I passed the queen mattress set to a mom who wanted it for her growing teenage son.

Only to have them call ten minutes later to say the mattress wasn’t going to work out for them.

!!!

They quickly assured me that they were NOT returning the mattress, but wondering if I could provide them with the contact info of the other person who wanted the set. I fwd’ed a half dozen emails and held my breath. Whew – it took them only another ten minutes to offload the set onto another family (who were less picky about the stains…)

By the end of the second day after posting, I had learned some rudimentary craigslist tricks (like putting away my bleeding heart and just going for the person who has a truck and can come right away), and we went to bed with an EMPTY GARAGE! We got rid of everything!

The only thing left is my office desk, which I’m selling. I’ve dropped the price to $150 and somebody’s coming to take a look-see tonight. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to feel self-conscious having a stranger in my bedroom which is currently buried under mounds of laundry and towering heaps of paperwork.

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