Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Thursday 17th June 2020
Last week I was reminded of the joy of someone else having my stuff. It 'sparked' joy, indeed. Perhaps it's because it's still semi-lockdown, or becase I have a unique love of getting rid of things, but this little episode brightened my day.
(this is not my Beetle)
So, a while back I sold my green Beetle, relinquishing my last grasp on pre-children youth and a former identity. We owned a small and sensible car and that, alas, was all we needed. My much-loved Beetle (a very part of who I was) was surplus to requirement; it had to go. But on the Beetle was a personalised registration plate - L99 NKY. It came with the car. To be honest, I hardly noticed it was there, until one day at a petrol station a man said 'Bye Nicky' and I thought what? and then realised... N K Y ... Nicky. Oh yes, she'd been the first owner of the lovely Beetle. But let me get to the point.
After a fiasco around selling said Beetle (another story in itself), my dad did a bit of research into this personalised reg and told me the good news that he'd been offered £800 for it by a reg-plate-selling company. So he did further research (he's like that) and found that similar plates were going for around £3000 and the company were taking a rather cheeky cut. We decided to hold on and try and get its 'true' value.
Fast forward a few years and this plate was not shifting on the website which Michael (my husband) put it on. He gets rather a kick out of the process of selling things (I don't) and I think he likes snapping the photos and writing some humorous description about them on Ebay, so he took charge of it all. But he was only getting small offers, so I said we may as well hold out.
And then last week there was a surge of new interest in NKY and we bit the bullet and sold it for a rather diminished price of £265. Enough to buy me a pair of Apple AirPod Pro headphones, perhaps, or save towards a Pashleigh bike, but nothing like the £3000 dangled in front of my eyes a few years back. Perhaps a lesson in greed when we could have had that first offer.
What was really heartening, though, was the day the guy came to collect the plate and sign the docs. Signing on the dotted line, he asked why Michael was getting rid of it. I explained about the Beetle and Nicky. He said; 'green Beetle? I used to see you all the time!'. I thought he must be mistaken because I'd lived in Leeds in the days of the Beetle. But then he named a road I used to drive on to my mum's while I was living with her, pre-wedding. He said he used to see me all the time and wished there were a way of getting hold of me to ask about the plate. Turned out he'd wanted it for years.
So there I'd been, hesitating about selling this plate and wondering what I should settle for, and there he'd been, looking online for a similar plate and all the time he'd wanted L99 NKY. It suddenly felt worth selling, to see it go to someone who'd been 'eyeing it up' for all those years and funny to think we'd passed each other on the road many times - to Congleton of all places.
Yes, I'll admit there was a little part of me that thought hmm, if he'd wanted it that much we might have been able to get a little more. A sad part of (my?) fallen human nature, I suppose. But overall it was quaffed by seeing him so happy with L99.
And so it reminded me of the joy it 'sparks' seeing someone else getting so much out of something I don't use anymore. It reminded of the times people have come to pick up their Ebay purchases and been really chuffed with their Victorian chair or fire surround, or garden table and chairs which they're excited to renovate during a then-imminent lockdown. It's good to feel that the space-stealing things and trip hazards in my house are finding a happy home somewhere else, far away. It's almost inspired me to get my Wii down and sell it, finally admitting that my karaoke-singing days are probably on hold, and letting someone else have the joy of singing 'Karma Chameleon' when they should be marking their books.