I’m finding that buying things for the baby is inevitable. I wanted to believe – so, so, badly – that I would find some loophole in the universe and get away with buying barely anything for Noam (yes, he has a name, finally!). Then I realized that he is a little person, who needs a little place to sleep, little clothes to wear, a not-so-little place to put those clothes…well, I’m sure I don’t need to go on.
I decided that at least if I had to buy baby stuff, that I would do it second hand for some things. Things like this are very expensive here in Braz, so I identified some high-ticket items and set about cruising Craig’s List, the idea being that at the end of this month while I’m in the states (for all of four days), I could bring it back with me. The catch was: with four days on the east coast, running after Craig’s List people wasn’t going to be feasible. I decided to enlist my parents to aid in the process, and they were beyond helpful.
What I didn’t anticipate, however, was the level of skepticism with which I would be viewed online. When the first person heard I was in Brazil and wanted my Dad to pick up the baby carrier, they stopped responding all together. I felt burned, but not discouraged.
Then the second person, selling me a bassinet, warned me that my transaction “better not be a scam” and that her “whole family was NYPD.” Wow. Never thought of myself as a scammer. I felt kind of badass for a minute, but then mainly worried because I really wanted that bassinet, dammit. Despite the signs that she was slightly crazy, I wrote her back, explaining my situation.
Well, she responded with a string of expletives, informing me and my “fake self” that I had been reported to the police. I was so mad, indignant even, but eventually tried to reach out to other people, being careful not to sound like a fake identity:
I live in Brazil but am from NY…
I’m asking my parents to gather some baby stuff for me…
I’m really Nigerian royalty but have been robbed in the United States and just need a deposit of…WAIT NO! That’s not me, I’m not a scammer! So why did everything start sounding like I was? This woman had given me a scammer complex.
In case you’re interested in the epilogue, I’ve since managed to coordinate three successful purchases through Craig’s List. I’m still awaiting the official police investigation to begin, and I still haven’t found a bassinet. Message me if you have one – I’m legit, I swear I am. You gotta believe me.