Buy Nothing (get an earful)

Am I the only one who uses those Neighborhood Marketplace or Buy Nothing sites as a gateway? I’m not even sure where the gateway is going, but I often find myself roped into posts with rubber-necking interest. That alone means I am unable to follow the guidelines that clearly state that Marketplace is for both pimping and purchasing and that the intention of Buy Nothing is to both give and receive. 

I do not give. I do receive, but only in the sense that I receive joy as a voyeur.  

To be fair, I have offered the occasional item to the local masses from our own “clean-out” moments but those moments always ended after the unwelcome chore of chasing down recipients who promised to meet up for exchange became too bothersome. Those Buy Nothing gives? Often ended up making their way to Goodwill (if they were lucky) or the dump (if I was lazy).

It isn’t that I don’t want to be a good steward of the environment by offering opportunities for upcycling. It’s that I don’t want to be a good steward of the environment who also offers my “front porch pickup” address to endless strangers that never actually show, leaving my front porch to resemble a lifelong garage sale. 

I’m also not a fan of the few times that I received follow-up notes that a free item didn’t meet the quality requirements of the recipient. Hello?

These around-the-water-jug websites have become a bit wild. Hence the gateway.

I suppose it’s just today’s climate. Which is super hot, according to a recent post, because the government is brainwashing us into believing it is. 

I know I shouldn’t get settled in for the verbal melee that will inevitably occur following a post about, say, someone moving a turtle across the road but it is just too enticing to see the few steps it will take to accuse our local school board to be at fault for errant turtles because we foolishly appoint rather than elect them (I agree, that is stupid).

Some of my favorite posts on the “Buy Nothing” site are those that sound good (first sentence) and then quickly devolve (second sentence) into threats (third sentence).

Free: Dozens of beautiful, azalea bushes are available for someone hoping to spruce up their own garden! Bring a shovel and mattock as you will have to dig these up yourself. Serious inquiries only, do NOT ask if these are still available or knock on my door or park in my driveway. DM for address, will not answer comments to this post.

We all know that these posts are just a guy trying to avoid yard-work, right? There’s a game on, after all.

I also love the requests for references, but only for those who do excellent work at the lowest price.

Wanted: Looking for someone to do an ombré on my floor-length hair that’s never been cut. Must have photos of work on previous clients. Will not pay an arm and a leg so don’t bother responding if your prices are at salon rates.

Or Need to have my log cabin wired (renovating to include electricity!). Keep getting quotes in the thousands, unreal. Insured and bonded or will be required to sign a waiver.

I saw a post at the beginning of the summer requesting 60 hours of childcare per week in exchange for $125 per week (must have own car). Hello? Do you not like your children at all?

Another favorite is the posts requesting pick up of large items within hours “or they’re going to the dump.” Look, we all hate the dump but pimping a cigar smoke-soaked couch with claw marks from thirty cats is clearly just a to-do list avoidance tactic.

In my area, the NextDoor site has been added to my reading repertoire. It’s not so much for exchanging items as it is for destroying reputations as quickly as possible. Ask for a reference? Yes, you will get a few names which will then be followed by endless reasons not to use suggested companies as the race to put them out of business takes flight.

The most concerning part? It’s most typically the local businesses that get the most heat. 

Today, however, I spent more time than I care to admit following the tales of a woman who had to “pull ahead” and wait for her McDonald’s burger. Upsetting? Obviously. Who wants to pull ahead for a freshly made burger in lieu of a cold one from under the lamp? Within minutes, six more fast-food restaurants on the same strip were verbally decimated. As that bit wrapped up, the conversation shifted to blasting the parents of our tiny town for raising such entitled, lazy teens unwilling to work. 

Hello? Have you met any teens? They are preprogrammed for laziness. It’s not our fault. PS … many are working hard this summer (including my own). He cannot produce a warm burger, but he can prevent you from drowning.

I mean, I get it. It is actually really cool to destroy a local business and someone’s livelihood by posting public complaints rather than WAIT NO. It’s not cool and maybe just speak in person, eye-to-eye as most people are thrilled to make things right. 

Yes, I have a problem. I suppose there are worse habits, though, and I rarely participate. I mean there was that one time our lawn mower quit … but …

Free: Blades of grass! Bring scissors. The lawn will be marked in a grid pattern for the first fifty takers. No need to knock, just get to trimming (½” please). Post will be removed once the job is complete, if it’s still up, there’s still availability.

I wonder why no one showed?

One thought on “Buy Nothing (get an earful)

  1. LOL…the comment sections on the interwebs continue to remind me about the ugly truths of some people in this world. Yikes!!! Love this post and we need to talk about this soon! I have had a great experience with Buy Nothing (mostly giving) and can’t wait to chat!!!

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