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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dream Dinners - A Postmortem

Well, I figured I'd squeeze in one more Dream Dinners post. After all, I seem to get most of my traffic from wayward web surfers who type "dream dinners" into Google. I need to take advantage of this momentum!

Today, the remaining dinners, about 10 of them I'd say, were given away to someone found through freecycle. The freecycle process was a bit strange. I didn't know what response I'd get, because, personally, I'd feel strange taking food from someone I didn't know. I'm paranoid like that. I mean, what if the person was dirty, or psychotic? What if the dinners were made two years ago? But, clearly, I'm one of the only cynics in Toledo, because I received like a zillion responses. Or, maybe 20. Way more than I expected, though.

And, here's the weird thing. It wasn't just people who needed the food. Some people just wanted to try it out before spending their own money. Some people just wanted free food because, well, hey, why not? In addition to being a cynic, I'm apparently also quite naive. I use freecycle to give stuff away. I've never taken anything because, so far, it's all stuff that I can afford to get on my own, and I just figure that there's someone else out there who really needs it. I suppose that this isn't really the way freecycle is supposed to work. The goal isn't charity. The goal is cutting down on waste. But, wouldn't it be nice if the stuff being given away only went to people who really needed it?

Well, anyway, that's what I wanted to happen with these meals. And, they did go to a family that really needed them. A woman emailed me that she knew a family in need who was having a hard time buying enough food to get by. She picked up the dinners this afternoon and sent me this lovely note:

I wanted to thank you. XXX cried she was so happy that someone would help her and her three children when you don't even know her. She said that is enough to feed them all for at least two weeks.
I just wanted to thank you again.

Awesome, right? Here are some of the other, less charitable (and/or just plain strange) responses I received:

Hi. My family and I would love to take those off your hands. Husband loves to eat.

Um, really? So do I. WTF?

Hi Danielle, I know I'm probably too late responding, but if the Dream Dinners are still available, I would love to have them. Never heard of them before and wondered what they are?

So, you have no idea what you are getting, but you want them. Huh?

I would love to take them off your hands. Email me with pick up instructions. BITCH.

OK, I made up the bitch part, but doesn't it fit well with the rest of that email? People, have you heard of the words "please" and "thank you"?

last week i had an operation on my right shoulder so it is in  a sling and my 15 yr old son has been cooking so this will surely be better than soup and hot dogs.

Yeah, you'd think they would be, but they're not. Basically, just smoosh together the hot dogs and soup in a ziploc bag, slap on a cooking instructions sticker, and you've got yourself a Dream Dinner.



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