Saleing through other People’s Garages
Last weekend I had some sweet success garage saleing in my neighborhood. Garage sale day is exciting where I live because it only happens twice a year (not unlike my dating life through most of college). The reason for this is that I live in a “planned” community, one where everything is beautiful and orderly and there is an ordinance somewhere that explains why the universe would self-destruct if word got out that its residents had garages or junk in them or wanted to make a couple of bucks out of the whole situation. We’re also not allowed to have wind-chimes, old refrigerators on the front lawn or loud belching contests between the hours of 10:00pm and 7:00am. We live in relative peace.
So twice a year we have our fun. We all open up our garages and take turns buying and selling C-R-A-P with our neighbors (since Little-C began to speak, Dan and I have become all kinds of great at spelling and just skipping certain phrases all together. Who wants a two-year-old who tells her friend she will “kick their trash” or exclaims, “WHAT THE ….?” when things don’t go her way? Well, I do in some of my wickeder parental moments but this is all totally beside the point).
I scored big-time. I got 4 books I had been planning to buy, two of them for my bookclub this year, for 50 cents each. I got a Little Tikes dollhouse and tons of furniture and accessories for $2.00. TWO BUCKS people – for everything! We had been planning to buy one for Little-C for Christmas to the tune of about 100 big ones but she paid for it with $2 from her own purse and proudly helped me carry it to the car. This week sofa slipcovers were on sale at Linens and Things for $50 and I planned to buy one but found a better one IN the right color at a garage sale brand new for only $10. Then, and telling this part brings a tear to my very cheap and deal-seeking eye, I found the exact file cabinet I had been looking at at IKEA to match our desk set. Brand new they cost $60 but I picked it up for a cool $5. Best garage sale day OF my life, EVER, hands down, NO doubt. And the peasants rejoiced.
A blessing on the noggin of the lady who sold me that dollhouse for $2. She sold us a bunch of other stuff really cheap too. (I should mention that most of it is now out in the garage where Little-C earns it back a piece at a time by being obedient at naptime.) We had a blast and I’m sure the lady was just in it to get rid of some stuff and find a good home for it. Sadly though, all garage sellers are not like cheap-dollhouse-lady. Sadly there are others.
First is the person who connects their belongings so firmly with their own memories of them, like the woman who wanted to sell her son’s spitup stained jammie for $4. “What, you don’t want to pay $4 for this? Don’t you think my son was adorable in it? You have no soul!” These are the people who should not be allowed to have weekend garage sales. They should be given a government grant to buy up acres of space in storage facilities to house all of their treasures until such a day as a suitable buyer can be found for the $80 piece of dried up chewing gum they shared with their husband the night of their first kiss. And on that very chilly day in Hades, I’m sure wacky-spitup-stained-jammie-lady will finally find peace in her soul.
Then there are the people who just “know the value of a dollar.” These are the people who haggle with a 4 year old over the price of a used Barbie doll, trying to explain why it really IS worth $8 because its hair has never been lit on fire. They send the 4-year-old home crying because her life savings of $4.53 just isn’t good enough. These people must be stopped and I believe I must be the one to stop them.