Monthly Archives: July 2010

Once Upon an Ebay Classified…

Do you use Ebay? I do. I am proud to say that my seller status is a whopping 128. That’s just 372 points away from a purple star! Ooooo…

Anyway, I’ve been a registered user on Ebay since 2003. I have selling spurts. I usually wait until my husband gets really pissed at me for being lazy. Then I get a bunch of stuff together and throw it on, see what I get for it, hope what I make is enough to cover the selling fees and pay a little bill here and there. Then I don’t have to listen to him. See? I’m a freaking genius.

So back in May at the SV Moms event that I went to I met this lovely young lady (younger than me for sure!) who represented Ebay Classifieds.

I’m standing there listening to her and thinking to myself, I already sell on Ebay, what’s the difference?. I politely accepted the label-maker and beautifully embroidered insulated bag (yay!  Free stuff!) and went about my business, figuring I’d check it out later when the excitement died down and one of my kids broke the label maker.

Fast forward two months later.  We’re almost finished with our kitchen remodel and hubby and my Dad are straightening up the garage and looking for an air conditioner that my brother can put in Smoosh’s room.  Lo!  And behold, they find our TWO (yep, count ’em T-W-O) pack n play’s.

One’s pink and one’s blue. 

The blue one we bought because the first blue one we had for the Big Boy got ruined in our short stint as pet store owners when he was just a baby.

We most recently used the new(er) blue one last summer for Little Miss to sleep in when we went to go see family in Rhode Island.  That was when we discovered that she could climb out of it.  Crap.

The pink one we never really used all that much and by the nearing of Little Miss’s second year it became more of a toy box than a place for her to sleep.  But it was cool cause it had the bassinet, and the changing table, a little thingy that made the bassinet vibrate, play music and light up so you could check on baby in the middle of the night without waking the whole freaking house, none of which either blue Pack N Plays had.  It was like upgrading from a sub-compact to a freaking Cadilac.  Awesome.

Anyway, with my kids too big to use them, and no more babies in our foreseeable future, it was time to get rid of them.

Now, I’d had some experience with a place called Once Upon a Child.  Basically they buy your used kids stuff (within reason of course) and sell it in their store.  I understand that you can cash in on some MAJOR deals, but I haven’t found that out for myself yet.   I brought all three (yes, T-H-R-E-E) baby swings to one store and walked out with whopping $24!  (Can you say “rip off”?)  While I was at said store selling said swings, one lady told me about another Once Upon a Child (apparently they are independently owned) that was so nice and clean and she got some great deals and Children’s Place shirts and skirts for $3 and “oh, look I got her that yesterday in Sayville, and it only took me three days to potty train my daughter…”

Ahem…  Bygones.

So with this info in hand, I packed up two kids and two Pack N Plays and headed out to the Sayville Once Upon a Child.  To make a long story even longer, I knew the owner from my pet store days (CRAP!) and they refused BOTH my PNP’s because of some stupid staining.  “That’s one of the things we’re known for, the quality of our merchandise.”  Quality smwality, you’re buying USED children’s gear,  you have to expect a little staining here and there.

Bygones.

I speed all the way home.

After bitching to my Dad about it he reminds me that I could put these things up on Ebay. I could list them “Pick up only” cause shipping those things would be a real bitch and would cost WAY more than they are worth and plus I don’t have a box, nor does my lazy ass feel like looking for one.  And I also don’t feel like dealing with people asking me to ship to Botswanna either.  People do that.  You list it “Pick Up Only” and they still email you, “How much is shipping?”  READ THE DESCRIPTION ASSHOLE!!  IT SAYS PICK UP ONLY!!

Sorry…

Then, like a bolt of lightening, it strikes me…  EBAY CLASSIFIEDS!  I met that chick at the SV Moms Group thing, why don’t I check it out?  It would be a great idea for a blog post and maybe help to make this blog into something other than a foul language rant about my kids and husband. (And I’m sure that THAT is the reason you LOVE me, Dear Reader, but if I’m EVER going to monetize this thing, I gotta make it look nice for advertisers…)

Ok, Ebay Classifieds, here I come.  I get on the site, I list the blue one.  Easy peasy.  Upload a pic, short description, submit, post to Facebook and Twitter.  I list the pink one.  Easy peasy.  Upload EIGHT pics (cause I gotta show the bassinette, the changing table, the music thingy etc.) short description, submit, post to Facebook and Twitter.

The blue one listed right away.  The pink one, I’m still waiting for approval.  Probably too many pictures.

But that’s okay cause within 12 hours of posting them on Facebook, I was contacted by two of my friends that they wanted them and as I write this, both PNPs have been sold to my friends for probably what Once Upon a Child would have sold them for.  And I know they are going to good homes.  And my friends got an AWESOME deal.  And they didn’t have to drive all the way out to Sayville to get it.

But now I have nothing to post on Ebay Classifieds and nothing to write about on here.  Maybe the pretty white bassinet my brother and his wife bought me…  No, my sister in law wants to keep it cause they want to give Smoosh a little brother or sister.

What else??

Anybody wanna buy a Mustang??

All kidding aside, Ebay Classifieds is a pretty cool site. It’s like that other classifieds site (ahem, Craigslist), only nicer. And you can list the stuff you listed on Ebay that didn’t sell. And they’re localized too, like Craigslist, only they need a Long Island section. Just sayin’… OH! And you can get to Ebay Classifieds right from your Ebay page… Look at that!! Just click the little box that says “CLASSIFIEDS”.

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted. This post has no compensation level as I did not receive anything for writing this post,(visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

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Categories: this shit can only happen to me! | Tags: | 1 Comment

Saying goodbye…

Saying goodbye is never an easy thing. Most of us know that. Recently I received a book, “If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, a Daughter, a Reporter’s Notebook” by Katherine Rosman as part of the From Left to Write Book Club that brought back the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to say in all my 32 years on this earth.

When I spoke to my mom that morning, everything was fine. It was only a matter of time before Grandma went and I wanted her to call me when it happened. My mother had been staying with my aunt and grandmother for a week or so by then because we all knew it was going to happen soon.

“You’ll call me when it happens right?” I said meekly into the phone, my four year old son playing in the back of our pet store.

“How about we come and get you?” she said on the other end.

“No, I want to know when it happens. I don’t want you screwing around because you think it will be better for me. Please. Just call me when she goes.”

“Ok,” she sighed.

No sooner did I hang up the phone than my father comes walking in the door. My dad at the time worked in Manhattan and usually takes the train to and from our Long Island home. It’s unusual for him to get off the train five stops before his own just to come see me at our store. Still, naive little me looks at him and says;

“Hey, what’re you doing here?”

My dad puts his arms around me and whispers into my ear, “She’s gone…”

I think I lost my mind for a minute or two. I remember sitting on the couch behind the counter screaming “I just spoke to her! Why didn’t she tell me?” I remember being angry at my mom for not telling me even though I made her promise to call me when it happened.

Then I remember the grief setting in. She was gone. The matriarch of our family had passed away early in the morning of July 10th 2006 in my mother’s arms. She suffered from Alzheimer’s. She was 88. She would have celebrated her 89th birthday just 16 days later.

I called my husband, put a note on the door of our little shop and closed up. I collected my son and my things and went home to decide what to do next. I knew I couldn’t continue to work that day. I knew I couldn’t do a whole lot of anything that day, except take care of my boy. He saw Mommy cry, but he didn’t ask why. He was too little to understand yet, so we didn’t tell him until after everything was over, the funeral, the burial, everything.

He was my biggest concern. He knew and loved his Granny but I couldn’t tell him when it happened because I knew he wouldn’t understand why he couldn’t see her or play with her anymore.

At the funeral home, my husband stayed with him outside of the viewing room with a DVD player and all his favorite movies and toys so I could be with my family and my Big Boy didn’t have to see Mommy being a blubbering idiot/ chain smoker. Two agonizing days and about 6 packs of cigarettes later, we sat in the church to say our goodbyes.

My brother and I, being her only grandchildren, were asked to do a reading. When my brother finished his reading, a small voice could be heard from the pews “Good job Uncle Brian!” Laughter ensued. Mostly because it was funny and inappropriate, but I think there was a small part of us that laughed because of his innocence, my baby was so innocent. He had no idea what was going on and just thought his uncle, his idol, did a great job giving his speech.

Big Boy was often a happy distraction from this sad time. We could look at him and laugh and for a minute, forget.

I wouldn’t let him see his Granny in the casket. I didn’t want his last memory of her to be of her in a box. I also didn’t let him see her when we all gathered to say goodbye before she left us. I would rather his last memories be of her smiling, she had the most gorgeous smile, and laughing, her laugh was infectious.

My grandmother was the most stubborn little woman you’d ever want to meet.  She was this little Sicilian woman who wanted to do things her way or there was no way.  And man, could she cook.  I hope I have some of those genes in me…  I know my mom does. Me? Not so much.  At least not yet.  Anyway, her favorite phrases while I was growing up were “I can do it, I can do it!” and “Ah, shut up!”  both of which we put on a t-shirt and gave to her for her 75th birthday.

It’s funny the little things you remember about your loved ones.  I remember once we were sitting around our kitchen table, the usual gathering place for our family, and Grandma did something, maybe she kicked over the soda bottle or something, and she blurted out in a very Steve Urkel kind of way “Did I do that??”  Gosh, it was so funny, you just had to be there.

My Big Boy has his memories of his Granny too.  He doesn’t remember much and if you ask him about her, he’ll tell you, “She was nice.”  She was more than nice.  She was the greatest grandmother anyone could every ask for and we were so blessed to have her in our lives.  I’m so sorry Little Miss wasn’t able to meet her but she carries her most beautiful blue eyes and that hot Sicilian temper. Every so often, my Big Boy will look at me and say, “Remember Granny?  She was nice.  I miss her.” and a lump rises in my throat.  Little Miss looked past me one day on the street and pointed to a woman and said “Granny”, my heart skipped a beat.  I know they don’t know or understand really, and it still hurts a little to know she’s gone, but when my daughter looks at me with her great-grandmother’s blue eyes or my son recognizes her in a picture, I know she’s watching over us.

Reading Katherine Rosman’s “If you knew Suzy” I realize that there was a woman inside my grandmother.  Not just my Grandma.

She was born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania.  I’m not sure when, but at some point in her youth, she changed her name from “Providenza” to “Frances”.  She had a younger brother and sister, both of whom she out lived (and she’s probably really pissed at us for not telling her when her sister died, but we had our reasons.  Grandma wasn’t quite with it when her sister passed.  We didn’t want news like that to make her worse.).  I remember going to Uncle Al’s wake as a child and watching Grandma break down at the casket.  It’s that moment that strikes me now as the first time I’d seen her as something other than my grandmother.  She was somebody’s sister, somebody’s wife, somebody’s mother, somebody’s friend.

She worked as a seamstress in Manhattan with her sister and met my grandfather, a book binder, born in Sicily and emigrated to Easton, there.  They had three wonderful daughters, all she ever wanted, and when the grandchildren came along (my brother and I) she became the typical grandmother.  Always wanting us to eat, spoiling us rotten, letting us do things our parents wouldn’t.

I remember staying with her in Brooklyn when I was a kid.  I was only there for a week or so, but I remember the best part of it (besides the food) was going with her to 86th Street in Bensonhurst, not far from her home on 23rd Avenue and perusing the open market.  There, the vendors set their wares out on the sidewalk in the summertime, there was a fruit market, a meat market, a fish market.  Grandma would pick up what she needed, talk a minute or two with a friend she met on the street and off we would go pushing her “old lady shopping cart” back to the house.

She had plastic on the furniture in her house in  Brooklyn, so you didn’t get it dirty.  And plastic runners (that my brother liked to fall asleep on) on the floor leading from the kitchen through the living room to the porch.  And my favorite place in the house was in front of the banister that railed off the stairs leading down to the front door.  I used to practice my ballet there at the banister.  It was my own personal barre.

I wish I knew more about my grandmother when she was young.  I still pick up little stories from my mom and her sisters at holidays around the dinner table (still our favorite gathering place) but I hope to learn more about her so I can share how wonderful she was with my own children.  And I hope that one day soon, my kids will have the same relationship with their grandma, as my brother and I did with ours.

Rest in peace Grandma, we love you and miss you everyday.

And thank you Ms. Rosman for sharing the story of your most wonderful, courageous mother.  It was truly a beautiful story and you may never know how you’ve helped me remember a woman who meant so much to me, but of whom I know so little about.

This is an original ROSCMM post.  It was written for the From Left to Write Book club from which I received Katherine Rosman‘s book “If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Reporter’s Notebook” for free.

This post is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Frances.  July 26th 1917- July 10th 2006

“May the Lord bless you and keep you: May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”  Numbers 6:24

Copyright 2010 by MastermindMommy


Categories: From Left to Write Book Club | 6 Comments