It’s Christmas and I wanted to write something timely for you. I thought I would pen something heartwarming and sentimental about the holiday season or maybe a witty take on the chaos; but I can’t! I’m done. Not that the holiday was bad or that I am overwhelmed by it but I am simply feeling ready to move on from the holiday now. So, know that I wish all of you a wonderful season but let’s leave it there. Christmas = over.
Instead let me share with you something that happened before Christmas:
A few weeks ago, I found myself waiting in a tiny foyer of a dilapidated apartment building. I was nervous about being there for so many reasons. The area of the city was one that I avoid. It was after dark and I had parked my Volvo station wagon in a rush so that it stuck halfway out into an alleyway. It was a risk that I was willing to take in order to make this interaction a little faster. I was holding a grocery bag that was stretched full of cloth baby diapers; well used diapers that I had lovingly put on my daughter before she grew out of them. I was there for the exchange. In my head it was more like a drop. Get in, get the goods, get out. No one will notice.
I had been dealing with a woman but when I arrived at ‘the drop’ she had texted that her boyfriend would come down to meet me in the foyer. My heart stopped. Her boyfriend?! I was going to have to deal with a man. Oh no. I bolstered my courage. I am a married middle-aged woman with three children. There is nothing wrong with this. No one would judge. People do this all the time. Ok, well, they don’t hover in dirty apartment buildings to do it but this is perfectly respectable. As I was trying to remain somewhat composed a young man shuffled down the stairs holding a paper bag. It was actually hard to call him a man. He was maybe 19, so young, really a boy. He was dressed in the uniform of that kind of boy with too-big jeans and an oversized shirt that made him look even smaller than he was. I was a least a foot taller than him in my heeled boots. He looked mortified. And while I was still nervous, the mother in me stirred and I wanted to make this boy feel better.
‘You’re Sarah’s boyfriend?’
‘I have the diapers. They are all stripped and ready to go. I felt like I was getting the better deal so tell Sarah that I threw in a couple of extra diapers. How old is your baby?’
‘She’s not born yet. We’re due in the next couple of weeks.’
‘A girl? Congratulations!’
‘Here’ he shoved the paper bag toward me.
‘Thanks.’ And I turned and shouldered my way out of the door. I scurried to my car.
A week before the drop I had received an email.
Reply to your "Cloth Diapers " Ad on Kijiji I am interested in the diapers you have posted on Kijiji. Would you consider a trade instead of selling them?
It was a welcome email. I had posted some used diapers to sell on the classifieds and there had been no interest. Trading diapers is a very common thing in the cloth diapering community (yes, there IS a cloth diapering community) and I was hopeful that she had another style of diaper to trade for. So my reply was sent off innocently enough.
Re: Reply to your "Cloth Diapers " Ad on Kijiji I would love to trade. What do you want to trade for? Re: Re: Reply to your “Cloth Diapers” Ad on Kijiji I used to be a Passion Party Consultant. Would you consider a trade for some of my old stock?
Passion Party? I’ve never heard of that kind of diaper. A quick google search cleared that one up. I’ve heard of passion parties I just didn’t know that that was what a passion party was. I emailed back immediately.
Re: Re: Re: Reply to your “Cloth Diapers” Ad on Kijiji What do you have?
The email that came back to me included a link to a webpage that required me to verify my age and a long list of items with names like Climax in a Jar, the Hot Rod Enhancer, Cosmo Bunny, and Triple Tickle Dolphin.
So it was that a week later I found myself driving home with my new toy acquisition. I didn’t open the bag until I was about half way home. At a stop light I took a quick peak inside and saw the exact one that I had selected from the webpage sealed in its plastic package. And in all truthfulness I was pleased. Not as much with what I had traded for but for finding the place in myself where I was willing to take the risk of trading something as safe and easy as diapers for a story that I knew I would tell again and again. I smiled the whole way home in anticipation knowing that straight-laced Flapper Pie had the courage to say yes. It was a satisfying night.