Today I gave Goodwill a massive, ripped, soft double bass case, a fan with a detached front grill, a box of Halloween costumes that have been in the attic for 20 years, a cat scratching post and 3 bags of old clothes. The gentleman who took my belongings repeatedly thanked me for my donations, but I sensed, from the look in his eyes, that he was shocked that anyone would be donating such worthless nonsense.
An older woman, also dropping stuff off, asked me if I had a cat. I said that our son and his partner visited us during the pandemic and brought their cat and dog, but alas they had left months ago. She said, "My cat died. She's been gone for seven months and I still can't bring myself to get rid of her things. I miss her so, but I'm too old to get another one."
Then she held up a plunger that still had the tag on it and said, "They wouldn't let me return this to the store, but I never used it. I wasn't strong enough to push it down."
I thought that she must have used the plunger. Unsuccessfully, perhaps, but used it nevertheless. I could see she was embarrassed to be donating it, but why live in denial about the plunger's past?
A friend told me that he sometimes brings stuff to Goodwill at midnight so he doesn't have to see the reactions of the workers. I considered doing this, but I gathered gumption and drove over to face the music in broad daylight.
Shout out to the Goodwill workers for helping me through the shame of donating trash to their store.