Let’s talk about Craigslist. If someone were watching me, they would see me shedding items from my life like body parts all over town. It’s not just a handy service for getting rid of stuff I no longer need in my house, but it’s a great way to give an overdue emotional release a deadline.
I am amazed at how attached I’ve become to “stuff.” Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m NOT a hoarder. I am a total pitcher. But what else can you do with a Graco Metrolite Travel System with two (yes, two!) car seat bases? Owner’s manual included!
Post-divorce, I have sold my wedding crystal in the parking lot of Pei Wei, my wedding china in the parking lot of Babies ‘R Us 25 miles out of my way, my godforsaken child-RV disguised as a double stroller in the parking lot of a Drury Inn, my high chair at Crazy Bowls. I forgot what I sold in the parking lot of Steak n’ Shake, but it felt good, I’m sure of it.
Yes, there is some driving and sketchy parking lot meetings, but unlike Aaron Ralston in 127 Hours, I always tell someone where I’m going before a meet up. Just in case I get stuffed in someone’s trunk, I’ve at least told my mom I love her one last time.
By far the most moving was my breast pump in a Kohl’s parking lot. That warhorse got me through two kids, two jobs, blurring the line between work and home and intensely private bodily fluids. Thankfully in both instances, I had an office with a door that locked. That thing saved my ass on many occasions. I’ve pumped at airports, conference centers, hotels, the local history museum, my in-laws bathroom, my kitchen. I wasn’t just saying goodbye to my pump, but to a phase in my life where I will never be again — where my body will never be again. Unless I take up wet-nursing (doubtful and antiquated.) But I certainly remember that experience in every cell. And, that’s plenty.
It’s a liberating feeling. Ridding myself of that which no longer serves me, but may serve someone else in a better way. Wish I could tell you I did something meaningful with the cash. On what did I spend the $30, $50, $75 bucks? I have no idea. Something much less useful, I’m sure. But mostly it was a way for me to take the emotion I put into certain physical objects and simply Let. It. Go. My marriage, my life I thought I had, expectations for big dinners on fine china that never happened, the memories of how small my children once were and the contraptions they no longer need. It’s become a very meaningful process for me. Who knew Old Navy and the like would play witness to my inner transformation.