March 30, 2007

Toothpaste for Sale

A quick skim through craigslist.org today revealed the following goodies:

Free used tennis balls, free waste Vegetable Oil, Aquafresh toothpaste for a dollar and Fruit Roll Ups, also a dollar.

The culture of craigslist is fascinating. A fair amount of people posting items for sale do so simply to connect with someone new in their community. I'm a willing participant in this community dating service. I must confess, a few years ago I contacted a woman who was giving away an unopened pack of sanitary pads. They were on my shopping list, she lived in my neighborhood and I was interested in getting to know new people in my community. So I called her.

Both of us knew before I even got there that this had nothing to do with my material needs. No one posts an item like that for selfish reasons and anyone strange enough to respond is probably just looking for an excuse to get out of the house. I planned for the visit to take at least an hour. It took longer. The woman had delivered a baby a few days before and was primed to gab. I was invited in and given a tour of her home, a recitation of the birth story and a run down of all the projects she was working on. While I snuggled her newborn, we made plans for meeting up and taking walks together. I promised to attend her yoga class once a week. We were to be bosom buddies.

But like most craigslist connections, it was simply a few moments of fresh interaction. Despite some emails back and forth we never did get together. Craigslist is all about the one-night-stand. It's what we want. A chance to get out of your regular circle for a few minutes and into somebody else's life. See a new living room, relax in a different yard, escape the known, but just for a moment.

For these reasons I'll occasionally post stuff on craigslist that would be much easier to throw out. A strange woman will call and ask to come see the item. Sometimes she'll arrive, pick up the item and leave in under a minute. But often I get the other type - the kind who stays and chats. The pieces of my fragmented community who want to connect, to peek into the lives of total strangers under the guise of need. You know you want to. Go ahead.

10 comments:

compulsive writer said...

Craigslist is all about the one-night-stand.

Brilliant!

Lindsay said...

California Craigslist sounds much more interesting than Indiana Craigslist. Seriously...I don't think most people out here know it exists. Which is too bad. Because I'm pretty sure I could get into Craigslist.

emma jo said...

Is it possible to simply post "friend available" on craigslist? hm, I wonder.

Sarah said...

There is a section for meeting people/dates/friends but for those of us not wanting to look desperate, we just post silly things to sell and cross our fingers :)

Mrs. M said...

I am a craiglist junkie. Before I got into blogs, I used to read craigslist just for fun. Just in case someone I knew was looking for an apartment, a job, a gig, a babysitter, etc. I still browse periodically. It's a pretty fun place.

Bek said...

Hey, here in the land where Craigslist began, I buy and sell things regularly. I NEVER have a nice person come and get my stuff, just people that want to show up and not pay.... but I don't know how I would live without it.

Things I have found on Craigslist:
a job
a nanny
a vacation home rental
a crapload of clothes
dresser
printer
high chair
disneyland tickets

Things my old neighbor found on Craigslist:
A huband
A baby
--I am not kidding on either of those......

Bek said...

sorry, as much as I am sure she wanted a huband, she actually found her HUSBAND... sheesh.

Sarah said...

I can understand finding a husband on craigslist but a BABY?? How does that work?

Lakenheath77 said...

I met a famous person through Craigslist...not just a celebrity, but a real hero! I bought tickets to the Dodger game from Sean Porter, the real-life guy behind the film "Gridiron Gang." I blogged about it...see the March 29 entry at http://grrl.wordpress.com.

Craigslist rocks!

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