Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Yard Sale

There is a reason why we haven’t had a yard sale in ten years. I hate putting together and holding a yard sale. So why did I decide to have one last Saturday? Because there really isn’t ever a really good and justifiable reason for having one, I’ll just say that the devil made me do it and the fires of his domain were extra toasty that day— so toasty that I could feel it. I sweated in it. I was burned by it…extra crispy.

My kids were so excited to have a yard sale. Our oldest was only a baby when we had the last one. To make things more exciting, we gave up our home court advantage to set up shop in front of a friend’s house [who happens to live on a much busier street…and to our surprise had two other homes hosting a yard sale] and we invited or suckered another friend to join us for a fun filled day in the sun.

Anyone who has ever had a yard sale [I think I can safely say that everyone reading this post has held at least one…I mean it’s like trying to find someone who hasn’t at least once, touched a 9V battery to their tongue to see if it still had any juice left] can attest to the fact that finding stuff to sell in a yard sale is about as much fun as pulling thistle with your bare hands. To de-junk is one thing, to gather junk and place a pathetically priced price tag on it another story.

7:30 am I set up shop. One of the weird things about Lubbock, is that people hold yard sales 365 days a year, weather permitting. Having two other people on the street hosting yard sales only makes the garbage pile bigger, thus attracting more scavengerous beasts. I met some of the strangest people…perhaps they watch Antique Road Show too often. I sold a few items to a lady who even asked me “Why do people buy stuff like this when they don’t need it?” as she continued to add junk to the growing pile in her arms. Because I was shallow enough to want her $3.50, I refrained from honestly answering that question.

Another couple pulled up in their van, the wife toting a small plastic baggy of loose change. I dubbed her Queen Haggle. $1.00 was the only number she knew and for her, nothing at a yard sale should ever be priced higher than a dollar. In fact, she gathered up several items together and insisted that she get all of them for a $1.00. Now with each passing moment, her husband’s face was getting redder and redder, the veins were bulging… “Honey, give me a dollar.” “The ATM has run out of dollar bills!” “Oh, pipe down and give me the bag.” She proceeded to count out her loose change. Why was I so willing to give in to her powers of persuasion? I mean it was pocket change! I was hot. I was tired. I was burned. I was miserable. Did her jingle of coins offer any relief to what I was enduring?

I closed up shop sometime after 5:00, a few dollars richer, none the wiser, but in a last ditch effort to rid myself of my wares, I put up a sign that said FREE. Three ladies hopped out of a car, looked through everything that was left, loaded up their arms with stuff and left with smiles on their faces. What didn’t sell, was taken to United Way.

I think I'm good for another 20 years.


wendysue said...

Ugh. I had my first yard sale last summer. I'm with you, it'll be another 20, ok, maybe just 10 years.

I think someone brilliant should make a Mockumentary about garagesale shoppers. . . they are certainly a different breed.

We had so much stuff left over (or maybe we started with an extra large amount) that we did another sale one week later and everything really was $1. EVERYTHING. Some people got some good deals, but hey, at least it wasn't going back into the house.

Congrats on your survival.

~cari~ said...

I'm starting to chicken out of our garage sale we're supposed to have Saturday. I'm not sure I want to deal with it.

~j. said...

I've been toying around with the idea of having one myself. We threw our stuff in with la yen's sale a few years ago (before they moved to el paso, of course), and I saw one of the funniest things ever: two ladies were discussing some purses with each other, and when they went to talk with la yen about them, one pretended not to know english (I had heard them both speaking english just a moment before). The "translator" insisted on paying 25 cents for a purse that was marked 50 cents. Can you believe that? (Of course you can!) Trying to knock the price down from 50 cents to 25. Now the funny part: Jen looked at both of them, grabbed the purse, and kicked them off of her property. Because, what? 50 cents is just too much to pay for a purse? I laughed and laughed...

~cari~ said...

Well, I ended up having one today. It went pretty well. It's amazing the crap people buy. Suckers! I wish I knew Spanish though. I'm sure these two ladies were talking about me but oh well. I too had the person that tried to get something for nothing. I used to think I was the cheap one but not anymore!

Now I can't wait to get a dumpster and really go to town on my house!

compulsive writer said...

Two words: