The Garage Sale

There are many other things I would rather do than put on a Garage Sale:

I would rather photograph a dozen children, all under the age of 3, half of whom just came from getting a booster shot and the other half in need of a nap.

I would rather cut the grass on my front lawn with kitchen scissors.

I would rather sit on an ant hill while covered in honey.

I would rather spend an hour listening to Joy Behar…

all these things I would prefer over the dreaded Garage Sale, and yet, last week, host a garage sale is exactly what I did. It’s been about ten years since I last had one, and despite the pep talks I gave myself (“Come on, it will be fun! Hey, it’s not that bad!”) I dreaded it like the plague. Perfect Michelle came over to help organize. She didn’t have to; I told her she didn’t have to, but she insisted, furthering my belief that she is, indeed, perfect. Plus, there was day-drinking, which helped.

And after two days of people filing through my garage and backyard, I have come to a conclusion–I have determined that while most of the people who attend garage sales are kind and gracious and respectful, there are certain Garage Sale People who show up at every garage sale and make me oh, so glad there is more than water in my water bottle:

1. The Garage Sale Person who holds up a $5 beautiful lined wool blazer with the tags still on it and ask, “Will you take a dollar for this?” (If you’re wondering, the answer is “No.”)

2. The Garage Sale Person who gathers up a bunch of items: alabaster vases, a porcelain doll, a tea set, a lamp, a set of dishes, and asks for a deal if she buys them all. Your heart is happy that you are able to help someone find things they love; items that will now find a new home where they are valued and appreciated. You help this person carry the discounted items to her truck, and find it is PACKED full of other garage sale items she is undoubtedly going to re-sell on eBay or the flea market. You watch with sadness as your items drive away. You secretly hope this person gets a flat tire.

3. The Garage Sale Person who looks at you with exasperation when they find out you don’t have for sale what they want to buy. “So…you don’t have ANY tools for sale? Really? None?”

4. The countless Garage Sale People who want to buy everything that isn’t for sale in your garage, requiring you to say every ten minutes:
“No, the freezer is not for sale.”
“No, those ladders are not for sale.”
“No, the paper towels and toilet paper and cases of soda on the back wall cabinet are not for sale.”
“No, the drinks IN the garage refrigerator are not for sale.”
“No, NOTHING but what is in the designated GARAGE SALE AREA is for sale.”

5. The Garage Sale Person who asks where your $4 snow boots are made and when you say, “Probably China” informs you that she ONLY buys Italian leather boots. You shut your mouth tight, lest the words, “Then why are you at my garage sale?”make their way into the world.

7. The Garage Sale People who show up an hour before the Garage Sale starts, despite the hours being posted everywhere, and ask if they can just take a quick peek.

8. The Garage Sale People who don’t watch their children, thus requiring you to host the Garage Sale AND provide baby-sitting services.
“No, no sweetheart. That’s breakable. Let’s go find your mommy.”
“Honey, let’s not pull the clothes off the line; they’ll all get dirty. Where’s your mommy?”
“No, no…that’s the door into my house. You need to stay in the garage. WHERE THE HELL IS YOUR MOMMY?”

But, that’s all behind me now. My garage is empty and cleaned, with the unsold items donated to organizations where they can make a difference. And hopefully, as their new owners receive their beautiful items, no one will balk at my warm snow boots while asking, “Are these made in Italy? ‘Cause I only wear Italian Leather.”


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