Driven by Walgreens around 6 o'clock lately? Seen a line of overtly "momish" cars complete with car-seated backseats lined up, though no one entering the store to shop? Wondering what is going on?
You have no idea.
This is where the momma's come to haggle and hustle, show their wares, and score some deals!
This is our watering hole.
What in the world am I talking about?
Friends, I am part of a local online facebook market, in which people, mostly mommas, post pictures of items for sale. The idea is that everyone knows someone, and so it is hopefully less sketchy than craigslist to make sales. One momma's trash is another momma's treasure.
Items sell from $1 and up. Seriously, people make transactions for one dollar. I often wonder if they are aware of the price of gas?
Anyway, I have sold a few items through this community, but Mark and I try to multi-task our car trips (due to gas prices), and so Mark has always been the one to go to the "meet-up point." (I always profession-drop that he is in seminary so that the women will not be weirded out by meeting a guy. "My future-pastor-husband will be there in a white 4-runner.")
Excitingly, today was my first venture out, and I knew the plan: meet a girl in a blue Ford Escape at 6:00 outside Walgreens.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I used my context clues and decided that yes, that blue, SUV, momish looking car could quite possible be a Ford Escape. It must be owned by Trisha or Trista or ... hmmm, who was I meeting again?
I approached T's hood (which was popped displaying her goods) with my baby yogurt maker in hand ready to make friends with my customer. That's right, I was scoring big! Selling this brand new in the box BYM for 5 whole beans and hoping to build a cordial relationship, thus ensuring that we could continue doing business in the future.
However, when I arrived at her trunk, I was surprised as she unfolded a brand new Michael Kohrs navy sweater and began describing its best features to me. Was she trying to make a trade? Was I going to get my moola ... or just some hand-me-down that she valued as being in the same price range as my BYM?
I said, "I'm sorry, I don't really want that sweater ... I am cleaning out. But, do you still want the yogurt maker?"
She said, "Ha, no."
I thought, "Seriously, do you know the price of gas? I drove all the way out here, and you aren't even going to buy the BYM? I have a line out the door (or in the comments section) for this item."
Turns out ... wrong car.
As I wheeled around, I saw my blue Ford Escape turn into the parking lot. It was at this moment that I realized that I was actually a part of a long line of SUV momma cars, all making trades.
I drove home after these interactions with a mixture of a sense of accomplishment, amusement, and curiosity. $5 in my back pocket, I felt somewhat validated. No Katherine, you are not the only person out there who still values $5, and no, you are not the only stay-at-home-mom trying to figure out alternative income avenues.
I couldn't help but wonder (Carrie Bradshaw-esque) ... is everyone pathetically saving up for the rug of their dreams like I am, or is there an innate sense within my post-feminist generation that requires us full-time homemakers to "earn our keep" even as we are busy keeping the keep?
Are we mommas required to do it all?
Lesson Learned: Next time, I will go with loot for sale. I will have advertisements and smocked dresses hung from my car windows. If I'm going to make the journey to the momma black market, it better be worth it. Ask my dad! Woah, those gas prices!