This one time, on Craigslist…

In the past five years, I’ve moved house three times. Each move helped me get rid of Stuff. We’ve donated old clothes and household Stuff that we hadn’t touched for years. We also noticed that there were boxes of Stuff that seemed to be worth holding onto, yet weren’t worthy of moving out of the basement / attic / garage. Enter Craigslist.

If you’re not familiar with Craigslist, it’s an online want ad. People post everything from personal ads, to roommate searches, to big ticket items (such as cars) & odds and ends for sale. This turned out to be a good platform for me to post our Stuff, as it is a free service.

For those of you who do know about Craigslist, you probably are well aware that it has a reputation for being linked to crime. We’re careful when we meet people to not become one of those statistics.

I still worry sometimes about what could happen when you agree to meet a stranger. You never know who is on the other side of the email. Also, as a fan of crime shows like Forensic Files, my view of what happens when strangers are involved always incorporates a most certain gory death. It would be helpful to me if there was a reality tv show about uneventful Craigslist transactions to help showcase a balanced view…however, “Safe Lamp Shade Purchases” probably wouldn’t do as well on the ratings front!

I’m somehow always floored when we meet up with a completely dressed, upright walking human who wants to complete the transaction and get on with his or her day.

We recently sold a baby gate. After building it, we realized it didn’t fit where we wanted to put it, and it was kind of a big deal to break down. “Ben” responded to the ad. In my mind, he would be a terrible human being who looked greasy and had exactly one crazy eye. Sketchy Ben was able to meet that day.

I forwarded this email chain to my husband, and I told him I loved him, signing with kisses. Except I didn’t click Forward; I hit Reply.

Quickly, I realized my mistake and clarified to Sketchy Ben, making light of the fact that I selected the wrong button. OBVIOUSLY, I didn’t mean to profess my love to a stranger, especially such a presumably shady one. I’m not sure he saw this second email because he responded, saying that he *thought* I meant to send it to my significant other?

Yes. Duh. I didn’t make the time to address this (again) because “of course” was the obvious answer. Don’t flatter yourself here, bud.

We met up with him that evening as planned. As per our prior meet ups, this guy looked average and harmless. He was off to pick up his kids. He nervously made sure to let us know that. And he couldn’t get away fast enough. He insisted on piling all of the stuff on the ground, as it would take multiple trips for him to get into his car, and he didn’t want to keep us. His car was just a few feet away.

I reckon he didn’t catch my email clarification. It turns out, I was looked at as the potential predator. I was the crazy eyed stranger with an unknown motive for meeting up. Perhaps someone watched too many Lifetime movies?

Oh, well! It won’t happen again. …or will it? I have to say, being perceived as a risk made me feel very safe. This could be my new Craigslist strategy. 😉

Have you ever had any memorable Craigslist exchanges?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *