Charity is tough.

I have the most bizarre problem. I belong to this group on yahoo called "Madison Freecycle," where you can give things away or get stuff for free. I've had these snow tires sitting around for a couple of years, since I sold my Mazda to Gina. They're just taking up space. They have lots of tread left on them, so I thought I'd give them away on Madison Freecycle.

You'd think it would be really easy to give away a set of snow tires, with the weather we've been having, and there has been no shortage of interest in them, for sure. The problem is that I decided to just go with the first people who needed them, and I don't know what their deal is, really, but we've been emailing back and forth for a week now. They've been trying to get transportation here and having a hard time. Okay. Whatever. They say they need them because their car is not functional, the tires are so bald. Okay. That makes sense. Here's the clincher, though: They came here this morning. They emailed me they were coming, and then they came, an hour's drive for them, and of course as luck would have it, I wasn't home and didn't check my email and didn't put these tires out because I had no clue they were coming. We've been emailing for a week. They had my phone number, mind you. They even called from outside the house (while they were out there). They just didn't think to call me before they came. They emailed. So now, I feel bad for them not having their tires, but... what the heck? If it was so hard to get here, why didn't they call me on the phone first? Or even wait for an email response?

Oh, goodness.

I think it was John Waters who once said that the biggest benefit to being rich is that you don't have to deal with people if you don't want to. If only I had a butler to give away my possessions for me. Then I could feel charitable without actually having a charitable attitude.


  1. I'm very strict about freecycle now because of similar problems. They have to respond and pick up within an agreed time, or I offer it to the next person.

    Perhaps we can all channel the inner John Waters.

  2. If it was such an ordeal for them, they should have gotten confirmation that you'd be there. Did they really expect to get free tires AND for you to sit at home until they come to pick them up? As I type this, sadly, I believe the answer is yes. They think you have nothing better than to sit and wait.

    I firmly believe the butler is a very necessary household accessory. As a single person, I have wished I had one on many occasions.

  3. They finally picked up the tires! Phew.