We had the wonderful opportunity to host a couple French girls at our home in Texas this summer. They are sisters, ages 15 and 16. They traveled, for their first time, to the US leaving behind their parents, younger brother and their dreamy sea side town near Marseille. I have a feeling we hit the jackpot with these lovely girls, they baked for us, worked hard at using their english, played with our children for HOURS, helped clean up, did dishes. Yes I’ve since heard not everyones’ foreign exchange is quite as……..beneficial. The best was their overall attitude, up for anything and eager to enjoy. Touring around Dallas during the hot months of summer is far from ideal but what unexpected surprises it delivered!
When was the last time you played tour guide in your own town? Personally speaking it had been a LONG time. It rekindled a fondness I had lost for my home base, showed me new sides to a city I’ve lived in for decades, brought appreciation to the fun surrounding Dallas whether 30 minutes or 3 hours away.
The French girls marveled at the size of hamburgers they were served, at waffles shaped like the fair state of Texas, they squealed in delight at the awesomeness of Buffalo Exchange loving that their dollars could accomplish so much! They had opinions about art and music. They had ideas about what they planned to do with their lives. The girls seemed happier in museums and parks than in shopping malls. During quiet moments neither grabbed for an electronic distraction, they journaled, edited photos, sketched, napped.
As for our side of the experience, their stay was one of the greatest gifts I could have been given. Living with teenagers opened my eyes to what a truly short time it is until I have teenagers of my own; who can do things like travel to far away places all by themselves. It reminded me of the things I want them to know and practice as they grow-up. It reminded me more of what my role as their mom is……lately my role has felt like the “No Police”. Can I do this? NO. Can I have this? NO. May I eat this? NO. You get the picture, I hate that lady, everyone hates that lady, she’s so controlling! My kids require guidance, support and love, I no longer need to save them from the dangers of electrical outlets, those days have passed. I need to get with the new program if I want teenagers who will bake a pie for their foreign parent hosts’.
Merci Clem and Ro, thanks for teaching me a new language.
And it’s all over this box.
When eBay arrived on the scene I was as enthralled as the rest with stories of used sneakers going for $0.25 on this new internet marketplace. Years later I read Born to Run and understood there is a whole movement of folks wanting used, broken down running shoes and again I thought, how perfect that eBay provides a place for these items, that are headed for the trash, to end up in someone else’s possession and use.
BUT NOW, I have been offended by eBay twice and I think I’ve had enough. The first time was years ago during my transition from career lady to stay at home mom – I had loads of clothes that needed to go and Buffalo Exchange was not yet up and running in my city. So I dutifully list my items and wait for the magic. I think I hit 20 transactions when eBay sends me a notice questioning the “authenticity” of my items and I was SUSPENDED for 20 days or something. Let me tell you folks, I am a good girl, a rule follower, getting suspended from eBay made me cry……I was pregnant at the time so perhaps hormones were involved, BUT STILL. We, eBay and I, get it all straightened out, my honor is re-established but I stop eBay-ing.
Years pass and my husband and I are ready to fill our home with a few unique items so we venture back into the land of eBay. It’s wonderful, I could never have found the light fixtures we have hanging in our home anywhere short of a New York City flea market that requires pre-dawn attendance. Since the New York flea market was NOT going to happen I was thrilled with my eBay experiences.
More years pass and I decide it’s time to once again sell something with eBay. See above picture of Vintage Navy Leather Tiffany and Co Box. I had sold one of these before on eBay, during my first 20 transactions, but had held onto a few thinking if I have a daughter maybe she’ll like them? I have a daughter, she couldn’t care less so I can get them into someone else’s hands now. I list them, opening bid $1.99, I’m not greedy folks, just thought someone who’s into Tiffany’s might like this sort of thing.
24 hours pass and I’m notified my listing has been removed! Here it is in their words:
“– To provide a safer trading experience, certain branded items are not allowed on eBay without their accompanying product.
— This policy includes empty branded boxes, dustbags, and blank warranty certificates”
I am crestfallen, the whole idea of eBay as a wonderful open marketplace where one person’s trash is another’s treasure and all that now seems like phooey. Pffff, eBay we are SOOOOO over.