Wait … let me start over … let's just go with "buyers" and "sellers." I mean, I think there are “pitchers” and “catchers” on craigslist, but in all honesty, I think this is an instance where the saying “ignorance is bliss” really holds true, and I try not to venture into certain subdirectories of the website, lest both my ignorance and my bliss be torn from me like duct tape by a dominatrix (a service, I’ve heard, that is available on craigslist … sweet sufferin’ safewords, I’m growing less blissful with every click of the mouse!).
Anyway, I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of craigslist, and have found multitudes of fantastic bargains there (my offers of marriage every time a trailer home comes up in the “free” section remain unaccepted; it’s almost as if she doesn’t realize the sincerity with which I ask … as if she can’t picture me typing the email, as I do, on bended knee). However, all of my experiences, all of my transactions, have been from the purchasing end (much like my forays into the world of prostitution). Never before had I attempted to sell or give something away there, but damnit, I had a chair that had to go, and I wasn’t going to let my apprehension stop me! Not this time! No sir!
The chair itself was this oversize bamboo thingy that was just too big for Casa de Acorn, so I thought I’d give it away. I took a picture of it, and excitedly transferred the image to my computer. My hands were trembling as I pushed the “Post” button, and I giggled nervously with each step completed. I was posting my ad just prior to leaving for work, so I knew that I wouldn’t know the magnitude of the response until I arrived home in the afternoon. Nine hours of nail-biting, wondering if “Big Ole Comfy Chair” was a catchy enough title to attract any interest. What if I simply wasn’t an adequate wordsmith for the free-stuff-notice genre?
It turned out my worries were for naught, because upon opening my email, I found 140 messages waiting. I felt like Sally Field at the Oscars. “You like my chair!” I sobbed. “You really like my chair!”
I wish I could say that this story ended on such an emotional peak. I called the person who responded first, thinking that the fairest approach. Sure enough, he wanted it, and we arranged a time for him to stop by and pick it up. Oh, would that I had simply deleted the other messages. My heartstrings would remain even now unpulled, had I not succumbed to the temptation of glancing at the inquiries of the unfortunate chair-seekers whose quests remain unfulfilled.
I’m not quite sure why I’m writing this. Maybe I’m just overwhelmed by being reminded of all the heartwrenching stories that everyone around us has – friends, acquaintances, strangers – stories that are unique to each, but that in some way ... if not forgotten, if not ignored ... make us all a little more like family, and that ignorance of the stories of others is not bliss, but rather, a curse, often self-cast, that makes us a little less human.
“My wife and I just had twins …”
“My husband lost his job, and we just moved here, and we don’t have any furniture …”
“I’m a single mom trying to get a new home set up …”
“My mother had a chair just like this, and seeing the picture brought back so many memories …”
“Dude, I could totally bake for, like, days in that chair.”
More likely, though, is that I’m just bored at work.