The husband and I are not the most financially savvy people on earth. Let me correct that. He was and is good, considering he’s a man of few needs and am the needy, greedy and selfish one between the two of us. Safely said, am the ridiculous free spending one. Okay, am being harsh, I was bad. These days am tolerable, I think.
In any case, of late I am forced to compare our lifestyles with the bunch of new people we are being forced to brush shoulders with and my reactions range from incredulous to disgust to wonderment. It’s almost like: ‘Shock & Awe’ . The husband couldn’t care much as he’s the stable guy and nothing really frazzles him, so he watches me amused with a hovering ‘I told you so’ on his lips, while I cringe and get apologetic on spending all his hard earned money away.
Over the summer, our basement became the catchall for all things that we collected over the years. Yes, we are established pack rats. He more than I, and of course ask him and he’d blame me. As I dug through them, and wondered more times why I saved what I did. The answer was easy. Because we could. Because we had the space. We love holding onto things, why chuck when perhaps one fine day you just may need an old broken microwave that doesn’t work. Maybe we’d make a little bedroom for the bunny we so dreamt on having as a pet. There are lot more of such idiocies that we initially discovered to our complete horror and then to not wanting to die young, our sense of humor took over. Each turned masochist and sadist alternately as rotten oldies were chucked and good stuff of no more use to either of us were salvaged for recycle (donated mostly).
Kids’ stuff was overwhelming. Such pristine conditions too. The darn things don’t fade, break, or even look old. The initial nostalgic memory on wanting to save them to pass down generations, was soon replaced by the practicality of it. I was advised by well meaning friends who’ve got the procedure down pat, to sell the baby stuff on Craigslist. Husband’s look was that it was a trap and I should not fall for it. I agreed. They persisted insisting that it’s the next best place to our Moore Market or the Burma Bazaar, and that kids stuff fly like hot cakes. Make a couple of bucks while at it, I was told.
Brainwashed, I went ahead and put up a whole bunch of baby stuff up for sale. Baby seat, the stroller, the high chair, the pram, the bassinet, walker and the small Dora bed that I bought on impulse and munchkin’s refused to lay herself on it after 7 pm. Mails crept in. Then calls came. The variety and creativity the instances provided are umm.. blog post worthy!
Here are a few gems:
One gentleman wanted the exact measurements for the bassinet, pictures from above, side and inside. Then he asked me if it would be big enough for his ‘big boy’. He refused to tell me how ‘big’ his boy was. A little concerned, I didn’t probe further on the bigness and neither on the boy.
One lady asked if I could schlep the high chair (priced at $10) to a metro into DC so she could walk over come and pick it up?
Another called me from Philly and asked me to save the bassinet. Her husband would drive down to pick it up. Wow, the bassinet sure was its worth in gas and time I thought!
One lady came home in a dingy little 2 door and insisted we could stuff the stroller, pram and baby seat all into the 2 feet deep boot. She’d brought her kid and her mom for the joy ride and so the seats could’nt be flattened down either. Then she “borrowed” nylon cord and tied it all on top and drove gingerly away. After all she was getting the whole lot for $25. Even if she lost half on the way, she’d made a good deal I imagine.
Another kept calling every few minutes to tell me where she was and if I still saved the walker. Right. Like it was the opening show of a Rajini movie and I was selling tickets in black.
One only emailed. She would not pick up the phone. She’d send long emails explaining her position and situations on why she was stuck and she couldn’t make it on time and how her friend’s cat threw up and the apartment was stinking and so how she couldn’t get the friend to drive her as he was very upset, so could I lessen the price by another $5 as there was no one who’s buying the piece anyway? WTH!?
One lady came home and looked the high chair up and down and placed her 5 year old in it and then said it was too tight for him. Which moron places a healthy tall chubby 5 year old in a high chair meant for a toddler in the first place?! I would have asked if not for the husband insisted I leave the room to answer a call, and he quitely shooed her away.
One gentleman was extremely excited about buying the whole lot (bassinet, Graco stroller and baby seat, high chair, walker) for his newborn for the modest total price of $65. Till I made the mistake of signing my name at the bottom instead of just leaving initials as I normally do. He replied “O you are Indian? Then it’s okay, we will buy elsewhere.” Yep, I understand, and no am not giving you my stuff even if you paid me a million bucks for it, you brown hypocrite!
These were the more funnier ones. After wasting considerable time on emails, waiting for no shows and then dealing with desi bargaining customers, one Saturday afternoon, I loaded the van with whatever was left and drove to salvation Army, with the husband smirking all the way on his ‘I told you so’. They accepted it all with happiness. Except for the high chair. A colleague at work said she’d take it. There’s more, but that’s a whole new post by itself. It’s worth the wait. Trust me on this one.
No complaints, no bargaining, no mortgage on any, just pure pleasure. For the numbers in return, it just wasn’t worth it. We weren’t exactly becoming rich in the process. Even if I did, I’d be one unhappy millionaire at the bank. I’d rather gather smiles.
I know, I suck at finances.