We have a small collection of toys that have been used by my “little” grandchildren during their visits for the past few years. Some were purchased at yard sales and discount stores. But, the best two toys were given to me. A lady with a maturing family posted about “two large bags of toys” that she could no longer use. Usually, I give things away, but I replied to her that I could use the toys for my grandchildren when they visit. I’ll be darned if I didn’t get the bags, just for picking them up. Among the toys in them was a good as new Wendy doll, and a small electronic toy that says the letters and numbers, sings and makes lots of loud noises.
What’s the free stuff all about?
If you’ve never heard of Freecycle, it’s time you did. I’m familiar with the Yahoo Freecycle Groups. Join the group, and you may post items you are willing to give away. I have actually given quite a few things to people who can use them.
There are a couple of down sides with these groups, one is the frequent posts asking for things. The other is even more annoying to me. There are people who run flea market booths or continuing yard sales who reply to every post offering something. Usually these replies are , “I’ll take it all, can come right away.” They don’t have any real need for the items, except for the commercial value.
Now, this is a semantics issue. If I post an item to give away, because I don’t want it in the landfill, and it’s usable—why do I care if the person who carries it away will sell it for a profit? After all, I could sell it if I wanted too.
The answer is even more complicated than the question. I wanted to help someone, but not someone ambitious enough to make a profit selling used items? Then I’m saying it’s not about the landfill, but about me feeling warm and fuzzy, with no more effort than sending an e-mail. I could cart everything to the Salvation Army, but they’d profit also. Perhaps their profit is OK, because they help people with it? Do I just dislike the idea that someone is getting something to sell for nothing, even though I don’t want it anymore? Do I object to the underground economy, when we pay an income tax bill each year? If I ever figure this thing out I’ll let you know.
Oh, about Wendy. Wendy is Bob the Builder’s sidekick. If you’ve missed Bob the Builder, I’m sure you don’t have any contact with preschoolers. Bob builds, has a nauseating up-beat attitude and can solve any problem; he’s not as sickening as Barney, but close. Wendy is mentioned in the theme song, right along with all the equipment. The Wendy doll is nauseating, too. She says, We’ve got work to do!”, among other ambitious phrases. She makes a sound that represents a paint brush on a wall when you move her arm. She’s happy to be helping, included, and working. In fact, she has much in common with the average 2-4 year old. They love to help, but aren’t as much help as they think they are.
The kids have sure enjoyed the Wendy doll. Even though Wendy makes me sick, but I like part of the idea behind her. It’s that girls can do anything–even build. The problem is, she’s a helper, and organizer, and even the preschoolers know that Bob is in charge. I can’t find a Wikipedia article on her, like I can Bob. And, she gets the short-shift in Bob’s article. Now, there’s a reason to be mad!