Facebook is a fascinating, strange, and more times than not frustrating (for lack of a better, printable set of words) place. If it isn’t a mess of algorithms that produce posts days late or not at all, it is every piece of personal information sold to any bidder. However, nothing is quite so strange and outright weird as that of the Facebook marketplace.
At first, the marketplace seems similar to a local garage sale or newspaper sale listings with individuals offering a variety of everyday items such as furniture, clothes, and toys. Back in July, I made my first and so far only purchase from the marketplace without any problems. The seller was attentive, the transaction simplified via PayPal, and the purchase arrived at my doorstep without complications a week later.
I continue to visit the marketplace from time to time, whether a narrow search for a particular item or to gloss through the main page as a time-waster. However, after perusing item after item, nothing has left me with more questions than food sales. In particular, the day I crossed paths with a multi-layer pink and white half strawberry shortcake cheesecake cake (say that three times fast!) on a white plate. The cake was in a kitchen judging by the blurry background though whether it was a home kitchen or commercial, I could not tell.
My curiosity and apparent boredom made for a strange mix. I began to click and click and click some more, but there was no mention of a business such as a bakery, as similar food posts showcased. (Example, custom cake creators show off their ability and sales via photos of previously made custom cakes.) There was nothing on the baker or if it was a store-purchase or homemade. There was no mention of whether the seller had eaten half the cake. There was a clean half-cut leading one to speculate it wasn’t home devoured. There were none of the tell-tale, dead giveaway fork marks amongst the cake crumbles and buttercream.
It becomes a rewritten Dr. Seuss book — would you, could you buy half a cake from a stranger on Facebook?
Now, I know we eat food produced in the average kitchen all the time. The co-worker that brings in home-baked goodies, grandma with her prized fruitcake to a holiday gathering, potlucks, picnics, and more. There have been plenty of garage sales or various sale drives with home-baked Saran wrapped on paper plate goodies for purchase. We don’t stop to think about what condition their kitchen or cooking habits. We purchase and consume without comment or thought, for the most part.
It sounds innocent at the start. However, as I reflect on a former church cook who dipped their finger (repeatedly, without a break between) in every dish for a taste test, I feel uncomfortable. I get the willies the longer I contemplate a half cake for sale on Facebook. It begs the question, would you even buy a half-eaten cheesecake from someone you do know, like a relative?
I can hear the phone conversation now:
Mom: Hey, how goes it?
Me: Good, good, you?
Mom: Great, but a little tired.
Me: Oh, doing all right?
Mom: *Big sigh* Yeah, just I made this huge, expensive cheesecake, and there is no way I can eat it all.
Mom: Would you want the leftovers?
Me: … Uh …
Mom: It’s half a cake.
Me: … I guess?
Mom: *A little too excited* OK, good, just make a check out for $25.
Mom: Yeah, for the remaining half of the cheesecake.
Me: I’m not buying half an eaten cheesecake for $25!
Mom: Why? I’m your mother, it’s a steal, and we have the same germs.
So, what brings a person to sell a half cake on Facebook? Do you eat half and decide one morning to sell the remainder? (No one is going to eat it. I may as well make a few bucks!) Inquiring minds want to know because it’s one purchase I would not make outside a grocery store. There are half things in the deli section, such as subs, wraps, and single dessert slices, but not half an enormous cheesecake that I have ever noticed. There are no absurd questioning thoughts, such as whether the deli maker ate the other half.
Maybe I don’t get out enough, and perhaps I should get out a little more often. After all, I spent far too much time reflecting on the sale of cheesecake on Facebook. I even posted the question on the social media giant — would you, could you buy half a cake from a stranger on Facebook?
I need better hobbies.
Bethany J. Royer-DeLong is a reporter for the Daily Advocate and Early Bird and a life-long resident of Darke County. She holds a bachelor’s degree in work psychology and a master’s degree in organizational leadership because she’s a sucker for all things jobs. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.