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.