Ah, garage sales; not normally the thing one thinks to pull together in the WINTER but due to what I can only describe as a seasonal hiccup, this year East Texas was robbed its winter.
I’m pretty ticked about this because now I won’t get to wear my one winter sweater.
Nope, gotta fold it up and put it in the Ziploc alongside the rest of my winter garb.
So, I’ll quit complaining 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 and give away items that are no longer useful or needed. I do not function based on the fear that I might need a particular item ten 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 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.
While that Grandma may have treasures in her attic, mine won’t be the catalyst for an allergic reaction or a full-out search and rescue party when my 9-year-old grandchild happens to venture in.
My attic is intentionally organized, with boxes stacked according to size, wearing printed labels detailing the contents therein. I painstakingly engineered it 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.
If I’m not using an item now, and if it isn’t a seasonal thing, then I want it gone. So, I spent two weekends sorting several not-needed-items into three piles: Attic, Give-to-a-good Home, and Garage Sale.
Yesterday was the garage sale.
I have concluded that those who throw a garage sale and those who attend them are two entirely different breeds.
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 an avid garage sale attendee, I would display my manners and not arrive at a garage sale at 5:30 am when the paper expressly said it began at 7:30 am.
And if I were to be so rude as to show up a half-hour early, I would NOT try to OPEN the garage door for a preview.
It was DARK outside, Internet!
The lights in the house were off.
We sat in the dark hoping no one would see us drinking our morning manna (coffee) and snorting sugar-laden donuts.
The early-lack-of-boundary-garage-sale people came with flashlights in hand, wearing little fanny packs (And why are they called that when they wear them across the front?) full of singles and coins.
These people come in layered clothing for the morning cold and afternoon heat, and they always wear sneakers for quick entry and exit.
They swarmed in and out like a hive full 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… “HOLY MOLY, eight people just climbed out of that Geo Prizm!
Oh crap, there’s another one, that makes NINE!
What’s this? Are they opening the trunk? NO WAY!! TWO MORE!”
And the day went on and on.
One particular guy asked me three 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] “Seriously? You’re asking me that seriously?”
Me: [Having stopped laughing] “Oh, no way, you are serious. Okay then, let me think about 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’s too attached to them and won’t take less.”).
Guy: Standing there staring at knives.
Me: Standing there staring at the guy staring at the 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!! I AM OUT!”
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 donut. Are there any donuts 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, try 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?