Sunday, April 17, 2016

"Buy Nothing" pleas

I love free stuff. I brake for broken chairs abandoned on corners. I am first in line for a clothing swap. I enter every online sweepstakes that crosses my path.

Which brings me to the Buy Nothing Project. I loved this movement committed to gifting unwanted items within your community. I'm not the only one keen on this concept—there are more than 280,000 members in 18 countries participating on 1,300 Facebook groups.

I'm in one of those groups. Last summer, when I moved in with my boyfriend, my couch simply had no place in our home. I had special ordered that sofa from Dania, picking out a custom nubby tweed upholstery. I loved that thing but it didn't fit in the house—literally—so while lounging on it on the porch, I posted it on my local Buy Nothing page and got rid of it in under five minutes.

I gave it to the first person who responded.

Come to find out, it's not always that easy.

Buy Nothing giveaways are constantly being posted, catching my eye throughout the day. I'm not usually the first one to respond, so I think I'm out of the running. But hold the phone.

It's not always first-come, first-regifted.

The comment thread is chockablock with pleas and pitches. Sob stories, requests worthy of Mother Teresa, personal connections that can only mean that the Keurig/framed poster/lawn gnome/size 8 Mossimo dress and its suitor belong together.

When faced with "I'll use your grandmother's jewelry to make new pieces for a battered women's shelter" or "This will remind me every day of my dead cat" or "We lost all our plants in a fire,"
how's a greedy girl to compete?

I don't. I throw in the towel, look at my many belongings, and try to remember that Marie Kondo stuff about "sparking joy."

Please consider.