The downside of free stuff


I’ve lost some weight. This is great. I saw a picture of myself from last year and I know my hair is way lighter, my I would say safely that I’m a size 6/8. A size 6 in dresses and some pants and a size 4 in NOT A DAMN THING BECAUSE I STILL EAT TOO MUCH. But my size 8 pants are baggy and I would like some pieces to wear in the meantime while I buy clothes that are actually in my size.

So I placed an ad on freecycle which said to the effect, hey fine ladies, do you have awesome size 6 clothes? I’ve lost weight but haven’t gained money! Thanks!

I’ve used freecycle in the past, namely to give away tons of baby boy clothes. It’s been mostly an okay experience which sometimes leads to great things like giving clothes to people who need them or getting vegetarian cookbooks because I asked nicely.

My mom would hate this. She feels there’s something very low class about used things, but that’s because Saipan doesn’t have that type of batering in place, not with people you don’t know. I don’t have that problem. I love thrift stores and picking up a BCBG dress for ten dollars instead of seventy. I don’t mind giving things away. It wouldn’t matter if I found a Christian Dior dress (which I have) because as long as it was used, it might as well have been rags.

After I placed the ad, two women responded. One said, I’ll have two bags for you outside my house and you can come by and pick them up. The other said, come over to my place I have a lot of clothes in that size!

The first lady emailed me and told me she had the clothes ready, only they were casual wear and not for the office. Fine, I could handle some cool cas numbers (that’s the way I talk when I’m trying to be cool–I drop the ends of words. No big whoo). The minute I drove up to her house, I detected immediately that these plastic bags and that the clothes inside them were not for me. They were for an older lady. Not an old lady, like someone in a nursing home who mustered the strength to bag up some old duds, but an older woman, maybe someone who orders from magazines that have Female Comforts in the title and inside there are long sweaters and book reading and cats! Cats everywhere!

Everything in the bags were very 80s and only one or two pieces were size 6. Most of them were size 8, so why would I want to add baggy clothes of an older woman into my wardrobe? I DO NOT WEAR ELASTIC WAISTBAND PANTS. There were shoulder pads and a plaid suit with stains on it and a smell that screamed, “MY MENOPAUSE MEDS ARE RUNNING OUT! DON’T BUG ME!”

This was not the awesome clothes I had solicited so I found the nearest clothing donation bin by a gas station and sent them all away.

The other woman was younger, I clicked on the google profile attached to her email and she didn’t look like she smelled like cats. I spoke to her once on the phone and over the phone, she seemed like a normal, functioning person. However, some red flags were raised, which I overlooked because SHE WAS GIVING ME STUFF FOR FREE and even free stuff from a person I met online trumps free stuff from Maude.

First she wanted me to come over to her house and try things on. Normally, this isn’t the method of transaction. You either meet in a public place or you swing by a porch and pick things up. That’s how it works. It became a little more annoying when she started to reschedule for various reasons–she had family in town. She had to volunteer, etc. This happened a few times and each time, I said, that’s fine, let’s do it another day.

She said she wasn’t available on the Friday we had agreed to so I texted her. I said, if you’re worried about time, I can just swing by your place on Saturday and pick them up. Then she said she had some family things to do and another box in storage to go through. Okay, you’re going to give me more free stuff? Awesome. Only not awesome part? She asked to reschedule again, only for Monday night.

So instead of going to an open mic or DOING ANYTHING ELSE, I drove to Capitol Hill. I texted her about fifteen minutes before I said I would be there, telling her I was almost at her place.

She texted me back that she was stuck in traffic! So I texted back saying that I would wait because I WAS WAITING. Then another text from her, she had a cake in her car that she had to deliver, and could she just drop it Oh, but maybe she could just bring the clothes to my place. I gave her my address and she said she would bring them by the next day.

She hasn’t. I don’t think she will and I’m more annoyed than anything because if you can’t follow through, don’t do it. I texted her a final time and said will you be bringing them over? If it’s too much for you to handle, let me know.

So that’s where I’ve left it. I don’t think she’ll get back to me and I should just let it go. I know she doesn’t owe me anything, but this just smacks of the irritating type of Seattle flakes that just roam this city. They make plans, get out of them at the last minute with no remorse. I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth if I NEVER RECEIVED THE GIFT. I still feel, like, why would you even say something if it couldn’t happen? Does furrowing your brow make you lose weight? Because I’m doing so much of it.

UPDATE: So the older woman sent me an email saying, “Please remember to post a ‘RECEIVED’ message to freecycle. It is important for people to know that freecycle works. If you still need more size 6 clothing, I suggest posting a “received but still WANTED.” Thank you for telling me what to do MOM!

Also, the other woman texted me and apologized for being so frazzled. So, I’m going to see her this weekend to get the clothes. WHY DOES FREE STUFF HAVE THIS POWER OVER ME? GAHHHH!

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  1. I don’t get it either. I’ve been listing a bunch of things for giveaway on a site like freecycle, and people will send excited messages and ask when they can come get whatever it is they’re SO EXCITED to get. And then…nothing. They just disappear. And I ask them again, and get various requests to reschedule that also never happen. What is with the flakiness? No one is making you give or receive something free. If you can’t handle the incredible pressure of a 30-second exchange, then why start wasting someone’s time? (Can you tell I’ve been as baffled as you?) But I’ll still persevere for all the good stuff that comes out of it.

  2. Flaky people are the worst! I never understand why they agree to something and then never follow through with it.
    Sarah recently posted..It’s time to change.

  3. How frustrating. Maybe she just didn’t want to give away her awesome clothes. If you lived closer, I’d give you a box of size 6 clothes šŸ˜‰
    HapaMama recently posted..Stanford Study Looking for Asian Mothers and Hapa Daughters

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