Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Like a Good Neighbor...

When we moved recently, I realized I was packing a whole lot of things I no longer needed/wanted but didn't have time to pack them separately to take to Goodwill. So, as I was unpacking, I kept several boxes handy to load up with donations. A couple days after we moved, we got a little card in the mail saying that the local Veterans association would be in our neighborhood on September 1st to take donations and all we had to do was set our stuff by the curb, with the card attached and they would pick it up and leave a receipt for the tax deduction. Well, perfect, right?

So this morning, Lowell and I carry out several boxes and bags of stuff and sat it by the curb "no later than 8:30 am" with the card attached as instructed.

About 9:30, I looked out and noticed the stuff was gone. But there was no receipt. I thought that was kind of odd, but didn't concern myself with it..... UNTIL, I glanced out the window and noticed the neighbor wearing MY sweater. Yes that's right, MY sweater that was in one of the donation boxes. MY sweater, which I knew was clean, but did she know? Who would just take clothes out of a box on the curb and put them on?

Upon further observation, I saw my boxes in the back of her vehicle. She and the neighbor across the street were rummaging! I was flabbergasted (and I am pretty sure I have never written that word to describe my feelings!) Lowell and I watched them a bit, then I told our day staff. Well, she certainly isn't afraid of a little confrontation so she went out and explained that the stuff was for a donation and we would appreciate them putting it back. They acted a little embarrassed, apologized and said they would put it back. Then we watched them take it out of the vehicle and carry it into the garage and shut the garage door! I guess that if they need my junk badly enough to steal it, promise to bring it back, and then hide with it, then maybe they need it more than the veterans do.

When I was little, me, my mom, her best friend Juanice (I would change the name to protect the innocent but she was not innocent), and her daughter Amy, had been out shopping. On the way home, we were driving down the street and they saw some floor rugs out with somebody's trash. We stopped and they loaded up the car. My friend and I were mortified that our mothers would steal someone's trash. It has stayed with me forever!!!! But today, I realized that maybe it's not so bad to take someone's trash. They didn't see us, didn't ask for it back, weren't planning on getting any kind of tax deduction from throwing it away, etc, etc.

My mom and J took trash. They didn't steal from the veterans association. I guess my neighbors don't care. But if it were me, I would totally have to move. I would never be able to show my face around my neighbors again if I had done that. But they don't seem to care. Maybe they are just going to wear that warm sweater to cover their shame.