Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hoop Schemes: On Good People During the Holidays

Money is tight this year, so to see that my daughter has something she really wants under the tree, i had to resort to ninja methods.

For one, i am a proponent of teaching our children -- and our families -- that it's not taboo or trashy or unkind to share gifts that have previously had another owner. There's way too much waste in the U.S. as it is, especially around the holidays, and perpetuating the notion that we all have to give things that came wrapped in too much plastic from the nearest department store has got to go. We need to teach the value of things, and try to reuse and repurpose quality things when they no longer have use to us as they are.
If you really want self-sufficiency, get a truck.

So that was the mindset i had when i set out to find a basketball hoop for my daughter this holiday. There's no use going out and buying one brand-new when Craigslist is often overrun with people willing to give you one for free if you simply come and take it out of their sight.

I'd seen plenty of them on that site myself -- only during the holidays, it seems a few other people had the same idea i had.

Yesterday i set out for Beaverton, where a nice lady said she'd hold the hoop she was trying to get rid of. The only problem was, she'd put her address in the ad, so people didn't necessarily have to get in touch with her, like i did, in order to come grab it. By the time i arrived 45 minutes later, someone had come and taken half of the hoop away in their car, without the blessing of the nice lady of Beaverton.

It could have ended with a simple "sorry," but the nice lady wasn't going to let it go down like that.

So this is person #1 who bouyed my perception of people this holiday season. Instead of that "sorry," the nice lady handed me a twenty dollar bill and told me to take it for gas money. This, because she no longer had the free basketball hoop she'd promised me!

When i got home i was happy but also annoyed, because my hunt for a hoop would have to start all over again and the days before the big day were numbered. Instead of wait, i put my own ad on Craigslist, asking for a hoop i could give as a gift this year.

Not three hours later, a nice man from Tigard called. He cleans out repossessed houses and just happened to have a hoop sitting around, and i could come and take it at my leisure. When i arrived, he was the one to strap it down with those ratcheting tie-downs that i can't seem to master. On top of that, he got out his other ratchet set and helped me tighten down a battery terminal that had left my truck dead in his driveway. So person #2 really gave me a few great gifts, all in a short amount of time.

All in all, this hoop scheme was a lesson in humanity. We have clashes between religions and mass shooters and dark skies that probably won't break til June, but we also have good people here, willing to do good things just because.

Now let's go hoop it up in that wet driveway, Oregonians!


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