I Hope You Enjoy My Old IKEA Napkins

It’s dark outside right now – I had six boxes of stuff, a large trash bag full of clothes, and a barbecue sitting out, waiting for the Salvation Army to pick it up tomorrow morning.  I had it out now because they come by early and I didn’t want to get up at 6 am to drag a bunch of boxes out to the front of my house. And now it’s all been stolen, everything except the barbecue.

Or maybe it’s not stealing if I set it out there? But there’s no free sign on it, and I certainly wouldn’t drive up to someone’s house in the dark and throw unmarked boxes in my trunk, quickly, and then speed away.

We told the first two people who tried to take our stuff that it was for the Salvation Army, but with the last guy, it’s dark and I was just sick of it, and something about his weird furtive quick grabbing just grossed me out and made me want nothing to do with it.

I don’t know, is that weird to do, or am I overreacting?

It goes along with a weird creepy desperate vibe things have had lately.  We live in a “good” area, but next to a “bad ish” area, and on Thursday mornings, trash day, hordes of people comb through the recycling and the trash up and down the street. It’s just…weird.  It used to be one guy and I thought “oh, good for him, he’s making money however he can” and now it’s traveling hordes of guys and it’s weird.

Also, I feel like a jerk – the Salvation Army truck will come tomorrow and I’ll have to tell them that I had a donation, but it all got stolen in a matter of hours.

Makes me glad I have a dog.

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12 Responses

  1. I would be freaked out too. Especially if there are a lot of people…but I guess they need it?

  2. How rude! I live in a new neighborhood with nicely kept modest homes and people come dig in our trash, too. Everytime I donate stuff I leave it close to the door with a huge sign that says the donation place I’m giving to in the hopes that people won’t steal it. But on the flip side, I’m just grateful that I don’t feel the need to steal other people’s stuff to survive.

  3. In our nice suburban neighborhood, it is understood that anything left out on the curb is free for the taking unless it is labled somehow. It was actually really convenient when I needed to get rid of an old broken clothes drier and random crappy furniture. Just chuck it out there and within a few hours it is gone.

    Volunteers of America drives around to pick stuff up here. People just put a sign on those bags and I don’t think anyone messes with them.

    Maybe you can get a blank donation form for donating a few things and list everything that was taken for your tax return?

  4. I sort of feel the same way about this that I feel about general theft — I guess they needed it more than me. Oh well.

    Granted, it’s sort of a Zen take on things, but it keeps my head clear.

  5. It sucks that you have to call and explain what happened to all the stuff now! I would feel a little queeged about big groups of people trolling my yard after dark too.

    Just try to focus on someone benefiting from things you don’t need anymore.

  6. I have an annoying elderly Chinese guy who takes ALL the bottles that I save for the Downs Syndrome Kids (they provide a free service to pick them up – so nice) fundraising.

    He walks through our neighborhood daily and on bottle day he ALWAYS takes them. Makes me feel like SUCH an ASSHOLE to the Downs people who come to get them. I think I am going to keep them in the house until they ring the doorbell next time.

    Although I have scored a brand new fisher price basketball net set from our neighbors garbage pile. Nothing wrong with it at all yet they just tossed it.

  7. at first I was like “well it was stuff you didn’t want anyway” but then when you described how people routinley do this, well that kinda creeps me out

  8. Every time I move, the stuff I put in the dumpster is gone in 20 minutes.

  9. Oh, that is really, really weird. At least you had wanted to give it away, anyway. I would feel pretty awkward telling the Salvation Army driver that all I had was the BBQ, though.

    It is sad. It just feels desperate out there, and it feels like it is going to get worse. Ick.

  10. I can’t help but note that in the last week you’ve posted two reasons to miss Nebraska. :)

    1) We have cheap groceries.
    2) I have never heard of what you’ve just described happening here.

    Of course, if the economy continues to spiral downwards, both of those things could change soon.

  11. If they use the stuff themselves they’re just cutting out the middle man. If they’re reselling it for profit, it’s a bit rude. I’m not sure what Emily Post would say about that.

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