Friday, August 17, 2012

Life Lessons on ebay

About a week ago I did a very routine thing and ordered something small on ebay for my girls. When I say "routine," I mean that I've got over ten years on ebay and several hundred rated transactions. When I say "small," I mean a whopping $3.77, including shipping. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

The whole episode should have lasted ten seconds, start to finish.

As sometimes happens, it quickly mushroomed into so much more.

Apparently when I set up my paypal account to accept donations for my current election campaign, I inadvertently removed my other bank account--you know, the one that pays for things I buy on ebay. Assuming it would be a quick and easy fix (HA!) I filled out the online form and waited.

Long story short, I'm still waiting. Paypal is being spectacularly unhelpful, which is leading me to rethink our relationship.

On the other hand, the poor ebay seller who landed in the middle of my messed-up account, is quickly moving up my shortlist for sainthood.

So many emails between us that I've lost track. Two trips to my bank. Emails from me to ebay. Emails from her to ebay. Treks to the post office--one for me; one for her.

Yesterday I sent what I expect will be my last email, ending with my profuse thanks for her patience and good nature through this, all for a sale that won't even get her a combo meal at her local burger joint.

Her response: "The nice thing about complications like this is the chance to get to know each other. That's a good thing."

And here's what is just rocking my world right now: how many times do I look at the complications of life, the messiness of relationships, the little daily agonies of family life, the ups and downs of friendship, and think "this is a chance to draw closer together, this is a good thing."

I believe the answer to that is never.

I roll my eyes, I huff and puff, I drag my feet, I whine, I complain, I throw up my hands, I walk away. I think my solution to annoying problems is more along the lines of "grit your teeth, hang on tight, and ride it out."

Yet aren't relationships built out of complications? Isn't it in the messiness, loudness, and craziness that we truly connect with each other? My kids and I love each other because of fun swim trips and happy snuggle times and awesome giggle sessions, but we love each other even more because of cleaning up puke in the middle of the night and footrubs for sore feet and saying "I'm sorry" and freely forgiving.

Ms. Ebay Seller Joni could have rolled her eyes, gritted her teeth, and been a total jerk about my problems. After all, there were MY problems. She didn't ask for me to stumble into her ebay shop and spend (or attempt spending) a whopping $3.77. She could have made things much more difficult. She could have basically ignored me, because really, $3.77 is hardly worth it.

She chose to be nice. Don't we all kinda pretty much love people who show kindness even when they don't have to, even when we don't deserve it, even when it wasn't their problem? Yeah.

I saw a sale. She saw a relationship, even if it was just a teensy-tiny one over the internet.

I'm thinking that what I got out of this is worth far more than $3.77.

1 comment:

Kathy V said...

You are worth getting to know, even if it's for $3.77. And I'm going to stop reading your blog right now because I'm on the train and the tears are embarassing me.