Eighty is Different

What People Don't Want

In Cambridge, Massachusetts where we live, people put things on the curb that they don’t want, but think others might. Outgrown toys or bicycles. A not-needed chair or a bookshelf.

The other day I walked past a stroller and thought to myself, “Boy, I wouldn’t leave a stroller like that out—someone will take it.” But the next morning when it was still there, I thought it was probably meant to be taken. On my way home, it was gone…either the owner realized their mistake or someone had acquired a  like-new stroller.

Which leads me to the trash room on our floor of our apartment building. It’s about the size of a closet with the expected chute for garbage, two recycling bins and lots of signs about what one can or cannot throw where. It also has a shelf with containers to recycle batteries and light bulbs.

But there are some things left that people think others might want. Like the time there was a very old aqua night table. And I have to admit that I took a badly off-kilter straw basket to “temporarily” hold a begonia that someone gave us that didn’t look great in its plastic pot. Of course I intended to buy a nice container for it, but so far I haven’t.

The other night when I went to throw away the trash the “give-away” shelf was fascinating. It contained five Christmas ornaments, an unopened package of three aluminum foil loaf-sized baking pans, and four cans of coconut milk.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

P.S.  Today is the 11th anniversary of the first blog post on!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Paul Albert

Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your insights for 11 years. I'm grateful.

Diane Dahli

I like the idea of a table in a common area (the trash room will do) in which you can leave unwanted items. Reusing is a great way to keep things out of the landfills—I'm all for it! Good post, Judy!

The comments to this entry are closed.