Heather Sanders

Inspiring Homeschooling Families Across the Nation

Sunday

15

January 2006

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I’ll give YOU money, just TAKE the stuff already!

Posted in: Everything Else

I'll give you money, just take the stuff already!

Ah, garage sales; not normally the thing one thinks to pull together in the WINTER!!, but alas, due to what I can only describe as a seasonal hiccup, this year East Texas was robbed its winter. I’m actually pretty ticked about this because now I won’t get to wear my winter sweater. Nope, gotta fold it up and put it in the Ziploc alongside the rest of my winter garb.

So, I’ll quit my bitchin’ and get back to the whole garage sale thing already. Now, one thing you must know about me is that I did not inherit the pack rat gene that runs rampant on both sides of my family. I CAN and DO discard/sell/give away items that are no longer useful and/or needed. I do not function based on the fear that I might need a particular item 10 years down the line, so I’d better store it now rather than buy it later.

What this means is that I will never be that Grandma with the attic full of broken down high chairs, discarded frames, antique wrapping paper, linens, mismatched puzzles, trunks full of newspapers, old wedding gowns, or wardrobes covered with dust from years long gone. Nope, not I.

THAT Grandma may have treasures in her attic, but my attic won’t be the catalyst for an allergic reaction or a full-out search and rescue party when my 9 year old grandchild ventures in. My attic is intentionally organized, with boxes stacked according to size, wearing printed labels detailing the contents therein; resting within a lay-out painstakingly engineered for timely access according to need and the alignment of the moon and stars. Rainman could live in my attic – everything has a place and everything is in its place.

At any rate, with the mindset that I will be in this home for a considerable amount of time, and that if any item can’t be used NOW, then it needs to rest in another’s home, I spent two weekends sorting several not-needed-items into 3 piles: attic, give to good home, and garage sale. Yesterday was the garage sale.

I have come to the conclusion that Garage Sale GIVERS and Garage Sale BUYERS are two entirely different breeds – no seriously, they are, don’t fight me on this. See, me, I don’t go to garage sales. The thought of rising early on a Saturday morning to look through the cast-offs of another family holds no attraction for me. BUT, if I WERE to be an avid garage sale ATTENDEE, I would be so very kind and NOT show up to a 7:00 a.m. garage sale at 5:30 a.m. and try to OPEN THE GARAGE DOOR FOR A PREVIEW.

It was DARK outside internet! The lights in the house were OFF as we sat in the dark and hoped we couldn’t be seen drinking our morning manna (coffee) and snorting sugar-laden do-nuts. The early-lack-of-boundary-garage-salers were PREPARED with flashlights in hand, wearing little butt pouches (and why are they called butt pouches when they wear them across the front?) full of singles and coins, layered clothing for morning cold and afternoon heat, and sneakers for quick entry and exit.

They swarmed in and out like a hiveful of bees, looking to land on something delightful and get their honey on. Some arrived with trailers and trucks. Others came in compact cars and we watched them emerge like clowns in a circus … 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, … “OH MY STINKIN HECK, 8 people just poured out of that Geo Prizm … CALL RIPLEY’s! Oh crap, there’s another one, that makes NINE! What’s this? They are opening the trunk? NO WAY – TWO MORE!” And the day went on and on.

One particular guy asked me 3 times if I’d come down on a set of knives:

Guy: “Ma’am, would you take less for these knives?”

Me: “No sir, the garage sale will start in 25 minutes, I am going to take my chances.”

Guy: “Will you take $5.00 then?” (Knives marked $10.00)

Me: “No sir, I can sell them for $10.00 – I will sell them for $10.00. You can have them for $10.00.”

Guy: “How about $8.00, will you take $8.00?”

Me: [Now laughing] “Serious? You’re asking me seriously?”

Guy: [Silence]

Me: [Having stopped laughing] “Oh, no way, you are serious. Okay then, let me think on it a sec. Oh yes, here’s my answer: NO! NO I WILL NOT TAKE LESS THAN $10.00 FOR THOSE KNIVES!”

Everyone steps back from their tables to watch the interaction. One woman takes bets as people figured their odds on who would win the Garage Sale Showdown. Me or Guy.

Guy: Whispering to his wife (probably saying, “Let’s put up the knives, she obviously is very attached to these knives and doesn’t want to take less.”).

Me: [Waiting]

Guy: Standing there staring at knives.

Me: Standing there staring at guy staring at knives.

Guy: “So, will you take $8.00?”

Me: “Oh for crying out loud, TAKE THE KNIVES ALREADY! TAKE THE SIT-AND-SPIN! TAKE THE PIZZA HUT LAMP, TAKE IT ALL. TAKE, TAKE, TAKE IT NOW!!”

Guy: “O-o-o-kay already, so here’s $8.00.” Walks off with the knives, an elephant hamper, two trivets and a crocheted toilet paper cover.

Me: Shaking, rocking back and forth. “I need a do-nut … are there any do-nuts left?”

In other news, the Kenmore man is due to show up tomorrow and replace the seal on my dishwasher. I’m to be home from 4:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., not to use the phones or internet, trying only to read fiction, not to walk out to get the mail, and to sit at the ready with a hot meal prepared to serve once he arrives.

But you know, what else do I have to do on a holiday?