Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Would You Like Fries with That?

Feb. 4

I met a woman in a drive-thru parking lot. I do not know her. We have never met. We came to exchange some previously agreed upon goods. I have been clearing my home of clutter. Twenty years in the same house and four kids later, I have accumulated a bit more than I would like. My soul is feeling overwhelmed with STUFF. This woman agreed to lighten me of my load.

My husband cannot, for the life of him, pass up a sale. Pool noodles. Light sabers. Kleenex. It makes no difference. If he finds it cheap he purchases twenty. Or ten. No less than five. Suffice it to say that every August I find myself in possession of a good supply of markers and crayons, highlighters, and notebooks- spiral, three-ring, and two-pocket folders. Keep in mind we have not had children in the schools in over a year. And even then, it has been close to a decade that the elementary bus has stopped at our house. For the love of God, somebody take this stuff off of my hands.

And so she did.

I met a new face. I put a face to a name. This woman is part of a group I have recently joined. We exchange things. We ask for things we want but do not have. We offer things we have but do not want. Jeans. Jewelry. Books and pans. Dog sweaters. Help with taxes, with homework, with moving, with neutering, and food. And, yes, some of us offer up sixty-four pack Crayola crayons. It is refreshing to participate in an environment that encourages sharing and kindness. It is refreshing to never talk cash. Cash is not allowed. It is frowned upon to the highest degree. No dollar amount can ever be said. The group is strictly one neighbor helping the other. Reduce consumerism. Reduce waste. Promote face-to-face exhange. Encourage compassion and a helping hand. Encourage swapping pens and pencils in the McDonald’s drive-thru in the middle of the afternoon.

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