My daughter’s birthday is rolling around, but I think this year I’m going to hit the chill button a bit. I usually go all out trying to make it special, from party details to the perfect cake, outfit and that one special gift that will set the memory of the entire day. What usually happens, though, is I spend all this time, money and energy and their favorite part of everything ends up being the $5 pack of balloons that they pop around at the end of the party. Talk about a let down; I’ve definitely learned to tone it down. My oldest daughter, though, can be a bit loftier than my other 3 so I still try to put a little more oomph in her day, and as it approaches I am reminded of “The Epic Gift Fail Of 2015”.
I kind of stalked this lady on Craigslist. Well, I didn’t really stalk her, but she thought I did; not sure if that counts.
My daughter is, or was, super big on Monster High (apparently this year she’s a big girl and beyond character anything). Of all the planning, the Cake quickly became the most important; she wanted actual dolls worked into the design. One of the characters she wanted is super easy to find, Draculaura is everywhere. The other, Clawd Wolf, not nearly as available. What’s a mama to do? Cruise Craigslist of course! So, I cruised, I found, and I was all set to buy, BUT, in true mama fashion, something came up with the kids and I had to push our meet up back a couple hours. No big deal right? Wrong! After a text asking if we could adjust the time a bit, all replies stopped. I remained hopeful, sending a couple follow ups to try and get confirmation, until I got a text that said “At this point I think you’re a scammer. Please stop texting me!” :-O Seriously? Was I reading that right? Me, a scammer? Did she just put out a virtual restraining order on me? (Jaw on the floor)
I became a bit Obsessed, offended, confused and a bit frustrated; my chance at this doll was pretty much out the window. Not wanting to scare her any further, though, I conceded and threw in the White Flag, “Dear Lady, sorry that you’re completely over-reacting and that, somehow, you have created a delusional fairy tale in which you are the helpless damsel in distress and I am the super scary villain.”; insert eye roll. What I really ended up saying was “Sorry I gave you that impression. Don’t worry, I won’t contact you again.” Then I told her she could Google Me, HA! I think I thought that it would ease her nerves a bit and make her reconsider selling me the doll once she saw my friendly smile :-D, when all it probably did was make me seem a little more loopy.
I’ve since let the whole ordeal go, but what I took with me was a few, 4 to be exact, key lessons about shopping Craigslist as a mama.
1) Keep To The Schedule
In the world of “online to in person” transactions understand that the other party is likely analyzing every move you make; I know I do. If you want a deal to go through try to Stick to all the details of the trade. If you absolutely have to change something do your best to make it via Phone call – assuming you have a phone number- a voice can give you a better sense of who you’re dealing with and be a little more assuring than a text.
2) Never Go Alone
I like to meet at a very Public place and if you ever deal with me on Craigslist I will likely come with my big, strong, and very intimidating man; no one messes with me with him at my side 😉 As many positive experiences as I’ve had I still know, Not everyone online has good intentions and it’s important to Make safety your top priority. I can’t stress it enough, Don’t Go Alone!
3) Some People Just Scare Easy
And that’s okay, I guess. I still have a bit of a sore spot that my goody image was ever questioned and there’s a small part of me that still wants to tell that woman how ridiculous she was being but the truth is I can respect it. The situation didn’t feel right to her so she shut it down. Some people may error on the side of caution a little more heavily than others but it’s nothing you should ever take personally; talking to myself here. Generally, everyone is trying to make safe choices and judging people based on electronic communication isn’t easy. If a deal doesn’t go through, it may have been a slight misstep on your part or there could have been absolutely nothing you did at all, they may just spook easy.
4) Do Not Tell Anyone To Google You
No matter how, when or why you say it, it never puts you in a flattering light. I makes you look Socially awkward at best and Super creepy to most. Even in an attempt to clear your name, it’s Not a good idea!
For a full list of tips on shopping safely you could go straight to the site, these are just the few that I personally learned from this specific experience. This year I’m pretty sure I will not have any need for these lessons as I am pretty sure I’ll go simple and I’m almost certain I’ll let Target, Kohl’s or Wegmans serve all my birthday shopping needs. I’m a lot less scary in person, I think. :-\