Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On Why I Hate Craigslist

I love buying things on craigslist. It's the selling of things on craigslist that brings out the very worst in me.

Here is my most recent post:

Two dog kennels (pictured) for sale. $10 each. You may take one or both. Please text or call Erin.

We used to have six dogs, now we have three. The truth is, there just isn't a reason to have kennels laying around the garage when there aren't dogs that occupy them at some point. I thought this was going to be an easy transaction. (Well, until I got a text from Norma five seconds after I listed them.)

It started innocently enough:

Norma: Just wondering if the kennels r avail
Me: Yep. :)
(seven minutes later)
Me: Would you like to come see them?
(almost an hour later)
Norma: I will let my husband know, thanks
(over two hours later - and yes, there's a reason I'm pointing out the time in between texts)
Norma: I'm interested in the kennels how tall are they?
Me: I'm not at home but I'll text you the measurements when I get there.
Me: One is 26 inches and one is 30 inches.
Norma: Ok I'm interested in both but stuck at home without my suv today I live in fountain and can get em tomorrow if that's ok.
Me: Yes, that's perfect.
Norma: Awesome. We just got 2 mastiff pups lol need kennels and are a lil broke after buying the pups so this is perfect. Its 20 for both? (This is where concern started setting in.)
Me: Yep. :)
Norma: Sweet. What time works for u
Me: Noon is good.

So at this point, I figured we had a deal. We'd verified the price, we'd arranged a meeting time, and this conversation has gone on for about four hours - all of which was time I was waiting on HER. All for $20 freakin' bucks.

It was about 1:30 in the afternoon when I decided to silence my phone and lay down with my cranky three year old. Scout was home from work early so the three of us climbed into bed and promptly fell asleep.

I'm a long napper (two hours is my ideal napping duration), but I was shocked when I woke up and looked at my phone. We had been sleeping for four hours. I had six text messages, all from Norma.

Norma: Perfect. Can I get the address please
Norma: (picture of puppy number one)
Norma: (picture of puppy number two)
Norma: I will txt ya tomorrow for address will u hold em for me till tomorrow please or I may be able to get em later today depending on what time my hubby gets home.
Norma: Hi, sorry to keep bugging u I really want these kennels.
Norma: Do u still have the kennels or did someone else get them?

After putting Norma on Stalker Status, I texted her back. Apparently, she can make me wait for a response, but heaven forbid I actually have stuff that keeps me from my phone for a reasonable period of time.

Me: Sorry. I was napping with my son and had my phone on silent. Your pups are precious! I will definitely hold the kennels for you.
Me: My address is blah blah blah. I'm in Widefield so I'm not far from you. :) Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.
Norma: Awesome thank u I will be there at noon tomorrow. (This is where I expected a "sorry for stalking you like a loser ex-boyfriend" text. It didn't come.)
Me: Sounds good. :)

The next day, it just got worse.

Norma: Hi, got a ? My hubby took 5bux this morning left me with 15 can I get both for 15?

This is actually the point where my blood started to boil. Up until this point, she was just a little obnoxious. But after agreeing on a price, when I've already been telling other potential buyers that the kennels were in the process of being sold, it pissed me off. Terribly.

I texted Scout: Ugh this lady is driving me crazy. Now she wants both kennels for 15 bucks because supposedly her husband took 5 dollars out of her wallet.

I have to tell you that I really didn't buy it. I could not imagine that a grown woman with a husband and two new, very expensive dogs could have $15 to her name. I know there are people that exist that literally spend every penny they have per pay-period, but my assumption is that if she did, in fact, have $15 to her name, she'd be more concerned about dog food, or human food, rather than kennels. So I stuck my head in the sand and ignored her.


Norma: I have 18 will that be ok

For the next four minutes, the two, very distinct personalities that I struggle with had the following conversation:

Erin Rages: No, Crazy Stalker Cheap Skate Lady can kick rocks. We already agreed on a flippin' price! It's not our problem her stupid husband took money out of her wallet! Tell her to go to the ATM!

Erin Empathizes: Maybe she really is struggling financially. What is two dollars anyway, Erin Rages? Seriously, you're getting caught up over two dollars? Just let her have it. We don't need the money - we just want the kennels gone!

I texted her back: Yeah that's fine

No period. No emoticon. That's code for I freakin' hate you.

And as much as I'm blaming this all on her, this really was my problem. It would have been just as easy (physically) to text: No, we agreed on $20. This is what Erin Asserts would have said.

And that's my problem: There's no middle ground for me. I either feel terribly sorry for people and become a door mat, or I get all irrational and angry and cut people off.

Scout got home from work and I unloaded on him. There were tears. There was self-bashing, like "I'm a wimp" and "I can't say no" and "I hate that I'm such a pansy!"

Then she texted me again. At 11:05 in the morning.

Norma: If its ok I'm kinda in the area can I stop by in like 20 mins or so to get em?
Me: Yeah that's fine
Norma: K

And then at 11:45.

Norma: On my way now.
(I didn't even respond.)

At about ten after noon, she finally showed up. Crazy Lady can't be on time for "being in the area and showing up early", let alone our original meeting time. Ugh.

Before she showed up, I had actually hosed down a third kennel and had it sitting next to the other two. When she pulled up, her first question was, "Are you selling this one, too?"

I handed the responsibility over to Scout because Erin Rages was preparing to come out full-force. Norma had more money in her car to pay the full price for the third kennel. It dawned on me: She wasn't broke, she was one of those people that felt the obsessive desire to get a teensy bit better of a price just for asking for it.

And that's what I get. I let my sympathetic, nurturing personality win out over the judgmental personality that knew she had more than $18 to her name. I'm a sucker. And it won't be happening again.

So in short, as much as I hate selling on craigslist, I will be doing it deliberately and frequently to kill pieces of both Erin Rages and Erin Empathizes to create room for Erin Asserts.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Opinions Wanted

This is the house we closed on nearly two years ago. Some of you may be able to attest from this picture that the yard has come a VERY long way. There's still a lot to be done, but grass isn't on my mind today. It's the paint.

First I must say how much the garage door has nagged at me. Why is it brown? Doesn't it make the house look uneven? (Don't even get me started on the Infant Poop color of the actual house. I'm dealing with it.) And did the previous owners lack my OCD Garage Door Must Match the Shutters Disorder? So it's settled. The garage door and the shutters will soon match.

More specifically, though, I'm painting the front door. Here's where I need some input. Scout has learned over the years to "go with it", whether that means a paint color, my design ideas, or a furniture redo. So my questions to him regarding this decision have been met with, "Whatever you want to do, babe."

What I want to do is paint the front door a light aqua-ish color to make the Infant Poop look more like Sand. I'm confident with this step of the project.

But what do I do with the numbers? Pizza delivery drivers love them. People arriving at my house for the first time love them. I love them - I think they are modern-cottage-y. But I've gotten mixed reviews. More than one person has said, "I don't get it." Here's why it's so important: We're putting the house on the market at the end of summer.

I don't want buyers to immediately dismiss our house for a small thing like house numbers. So, do I paint the door, leaving the numbers on as a stencil to peel off later and reveal the white underneath? Or do I take the numbers off, paint the door, and put up more traditional numbers?
Decisions, decisions. (Please, tell me what YOU would do.)