Who Owns Your Stuff?


On October 29, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear an extremely important case.

If you ever buy or sell used items on eBay, craigslist, half.com, amazon.com or anywhere, this case affects you. Buying used is one of the main tenets of my life. It’s what makes life affordable. And I resell sometimes, especially books. If I’ve read it and know I’m not going to read it again, why not get back a couple of bucks, while giving someone else a bargain and the joy of reading?

This is not only an ownership issue. It’s an environmental issue. It’s the “reuse” part of “Reduce, reuse, recycle.” If you can’t pass on things you no longer need, what happens to them? Landfill?

It’s an equality issue. It would hurt lower-income folks disproportionately. Think of kids who have a computer at home for their homework, only because their parents found one used.

I keep re-reading information on this, and it never becomes more believable, even though it’s true. Thriftiness, financial responsibility and environmental stewardship could be criminalized. Crazy.

Spread the word, sign the petition, and don’t let it happen.

DIY Obituary

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been busy writing my obituary. Okay, that’s an inappropriate joke – as referenced in the poem below. But really, I was writing my own obituary recently. I hope to have many more decades to polish and edit it before it needs a final version.

It’s one of those self-discovery writing exercises. Write your own obituary. So, here’s the first draft of my response to the prompt.

At My Grave

At my grave, remember me
for my morning grumpiness.
Think about how socially awkward
I could be in crowds, sometimes fleeing
to hide in a restroom stall
when the pressure to make small talk
became too much .
Don’t forget my problem skin
or the perpetual spilling of food on my clothing.
I’ve heard tell I was a toddler who bit –
may as well include that, too.
Remember my poems and stories.
Remember I loved my children more
than was fathomable.
Remind them how I stayed up all night
caretaking when one of them was sick.
Then recall the time I threatened
to return my kids’ Christmas presents
to the store and spend the money on myself.
Remember when I shared my picnic lunch
with the hungry man in the park.
Remember I always mislaid my glasses.
I got lost on every road trip.
I strove to be kind.
But I cared a little too much about being liked.
I kept my word when at all possible
and didn’t give it if I thought I couldn’t follow through.
Don’t recall my endless patience; I didn’t have it.
Repeat some of my witticisms,
while keeping in mind I had a hard time knowing
when the situation made joking inappropriate.
Look back and notice I accomplished a lot
by flying under the radar of naysayers.
Speak of how I was complicated
and some days that was lovely
and some days infuriating.
Don’t airbrush my life.
Remember all of me.