Technology has given me so many gifts in the last few years.
Thanks to wireless phone service, anyone can call me anytime, anywhere: early in the morning, late at night, on the beach, in the hair salon. Friends can ring me up at Shea Stadium when my husband catches a foul ball and they see us flash across their television screen miles away. (Well, technically no one can call me at Shea any more, as it's a parking lot now—but hey, there's always Taxpayer Field, oops, I mean CitiField.)
Thanks to the GPS monitor on my dashboard, I can now know at any given moment during a long road trip exactly how many more minutes the teenager in the backseat will complain about the leg room and the smell of dog breath assaulting the back of his neck. (On the upside, I can navigate straight to the nearest Starbucks, usually in less than two minutes.)
Thanks to a BlackBerry, I can carry my work e-mail around in my pocket 24/7, so I never have to be away from it.
Thanks to Facebook, people I went to high school with 25 years ago—some of whom, I'll admit, I wasn't even that great "friends" with back then—can read about what I'm up to now, tell me what they ate for breakfast and tag me and my big old hair in pictures they've scanned from the Class of '85's Senior Beach Week in Ocean City, Md. (At least we were prudent enough, unlike the kids of my stepson's digital-camera-toting generation, not to be photographed engaging in activities that attract attention from authorities, owing to the fact that you had to send your film to a lab full of strangers to have prints made.)
I'm so grateful for all this, I've decided it's time to give something back.
Using the powers of e-commerce software, the seamless integration of eBay, PayPal and several shipping companies, and the reach of the Internet into living rooms across America, I'm planning to divest myself of a lot of stuff for a little money and the chance to make some cyber-shoppers happy.
So far, I've managed to send a decorative cake plate to one sweet lady in Nebraska and a set of glassware to another in Arkansas.
I tried to sell an antique wooden box to a perfectly normal-sounding fellow in Pennsylvania, but he turned out to be a crook operating in Canada, or maybe India. One UPS'ed counterfeit check and a police report later, it turns out there is a perfectly normal fellow by that name in Pennsylvania, but some other guy has his identity, his eBay account handle and his ire.
The vintage, hardback 1960s-era Nancy Drew Mystery Stories books I've toted around since childhood are going next, hopefully to a home full of curious little girls who will enjoy them as much as I did.
Perhaps they will grow up to become Internet crime detectives.