Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just stuff

It was inevitable that I'd have to shuttle things to Goodwill that I'd never have thought I would.

Value. Like beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder. Subject to the vagaries of trends, who comes by at a given moment, who has just won the lottery (as was the case with one of my buyers).

As I placed certain items into a box for Goodwill, I said my mantra, "It's just stuff."

As I lugged them to the car, I said, "It's just stuff." I felt OK.

Until I got to Goodwill and there was a truck, and the guy I handed my stuff to handed it to another guy, who was in the truck. And I shortly heard the sound of breaking pottery. Or china. Don't know, except it had been, just moments before, mine. 

I walked around to the back of the truck to look inside. I saw that the guy was simply tossing stuff onto the top of a pile jumbled against the inside front wall. To the guy, it really was just stuff. 

That's when my "just stuff" mantra was tested.

I felt kind of distraught. I got back in my car, began to move out, then paused, rolled down my window. I said to the breaking-my-stuff guy, "Just because I'm giving the stuff away doesn't mean it has no value."

I drove away, but found that I'd caught myself what Boston Rob called a "case of crybaby-itis." I drove around the block, thinking to call the store manager or the district headquarters. Then went back again to tell the guy, "I wanted to call the manager or your supervisor, but I changed my mind. I want to tell you. Be mindful."

We had a little bit of an exchange, but nothing too onerous, and I drove away, leaving my stuff behind.

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