« on: March 13, 2010, 05:15:08 pm »
I don't know if this is a problem which also exists in paired parenting but is simply more manageable, if perhaps it simply seems to be linked to single parenting due to greater pressures of time management and general upkeep, but something I have noticed as a single parent is that people want to give me their garbage. In fact, they press it on me, or even introduce it to my house without asking.
I am talking about the cheap, the tacky, the cast-off kitchenware and decor and toys, the thrifty toys made out of cardboard and plastic, the used stuffed animals.
Yes, used stuffed animals. Yes, it as as gross as it sounds. No, we don't want them. Like nearly all children of this era, we have stuffed animals coming out of our ears, and we don't want any more germ-ridden plush disease reservoirs. Sure, if you bring them over and proffer them in front of my children, THEY will think they want them. But they don't. You know why? Because as soon as they aren't looking I will take them to Goodwill and my kids will NEVER NOTICE.
Then there is the ticky-tacky, the crap toys. Listen. Just because I am a single mom, it does not mean my kids will appreciate every piece of crap you harvested from the bottom of your kids's closet. Be honest; there is a reason you're getting rid of it, and we don't want it crapping up our house any more than you do. All it will do is get shoved under the chest-of-drawers to act as a dog-hair collector until I do a full-scale purge and send that junk to the landfill.
Which I wish I could do with the dog as well. (Speaking of which, no, we don't want any more pets! If you offer my kids a gerbil I will STAB YOU IN THE EYE.)
There are also the "look kids, you can be thrifty and make toys out of garbage!" toys. Listen; just don't do that. It's not thrifty, it's GARBAGE. Do NOT bring it to my house. We're not living in the Great Depression in a boxcar by the side of the highway. We have toys and art supplies and library cards and the Internet. Please, please do not bring your garbage to my house and show my kids how to make garbage toys out of it.
Lastly, the household stuff you want to give to me. No. Please. I realize you think it is an act of charity, but my kitchen has everything I could possibly want it to have and I don't want your old casserole dishes or the freak appliance your aunt sent you or that set of nesting bowls. If I take those, I'll have to get rid of something I bought for myself on purpose because I liked it, and what's far more likely is that I'll politely accept your crap that you don't want and take it to Goodwill later. Along with a bunch of crap that I need to get rid of but am, if you will please notice, not pawning off on you.
I don't need any more lamps, doilies, throw pillows, endtables, or other miscellaneous things you found by the side of the road and thought I could use. I am not fresh out of college with an empty apartment; I've been a homeowner for 12 years, and I have WAY more stuff than I need or want. If you leave that endtable on my front porch without asking I am going to clean out my basement and leave everything on your porch, OK? Including all the crap my ex-husband left here because he couldn't be bothered to move it. I think there's an endtable down there.
I realize that it is a nice things friends do for each other, to offer their friends first crack at whatever stuff you're getting rid of. I appreciate the offer on that level, and yeah, sometimes it's going to so happen that my spatula broke and I need a new one just when you're clearing out your kitchen drawers. So, thank you.
Just please don't assume I want anything, and accept "no thanks" for an answer, because I'm not being proud or polite, it's just that if you don't want that box of crap, odds are I don't either.