Saturday, July 10, 2010

Garage Garbage Judgement Day

I have so much to tell you all.
That it is hard to even find a beginning point.
I want to write about my road trip to Utah with my family.
I have some pictures that are burning a hole in my camera...
There is a more URGENT matter.
That I must get off of my chest.

My garage sale...oops I mean "yard sale" It sounds so much more refined don't you think?
I am not cut out for this kind of thing.
I could say that it seemed like too much manual labor.
I could say that the heat was so oppressive that I sweat...
Even when I walk on the treadmill at a Mount Everest incline for 30 minutes
(OK so maybe Mt. Everest is a wee bit of a exaggeration but it seems really steep)
But I don't.
My third grade teacher Mrs. Ash always told the girls upon hearing our conversations on the playground.
"Boys sweat....girls perspire...ladies glisten"
And I do...
I glisten all over the place. It just never turns into sweat.
Now where was I...oh yea...
I could say that it took the better part of three days to pull off and by my calculations I believe I made about 3 dollars an hour. Way below the minimum wage I am accustom to.
All of those things,
though true,
are not why I should not ever ever ever ever have a garage I mean yard sale.
I don't think that I can take scrutiny.
And I KNOW that Mr. T can't!


–noun, plural -nies.

1. a searching examination or investigation; minute inquiry.

2 .surveillance; close and continuous watching or guarding.

3. a close and searching look.
They came today and did a close and searching look of my "treasures" and I did not pass muster.
OK so "treasures" is a strong word.
It was actually the stuff that has been kicking around in the garage I mean "yard" and just getting under foot.
You know,
the stuff that you keep moving from stack to stack or the pile that you have to step around or hurdle if you have pulled the car in too close.
My neighbor Mrs. H. was having a garage sale herself asked me if I wanted to join in the fun and have one at the same time. People respond to multi-house yard sales...
Mrs. H...three time winner of the Yard of the Month.
Mrs. H...the most meticulous housekeeper I know.
Mrs. H...with the figure of a sixteen year old and nails that are always perfectly polished.
Mrs. H...who even her garbage on trash day looks clean.
I should have known better.

I know, I know...
It was not a competition.
Then why did it feel like one.
We woke up early at 6:30 to lay out all of the treasures, each one clearly marked with a price on a little pink circle. I had gone to bed the night before, every muscle in my body screaming at me...
"You haven't used me before....WHY NOW?"
 My mind was filled with visions of the eager looks on the shoppers faces as they eyed my son's bike or the painted watermelon from my sister.
I made Mr. T aware of the fact that we would have to be careful since sometimes things could go missing when the crowds were thick.
And I had done a preliminary look see of Mrs. H.'s stuff and it was good...but I felt ours was better. 
The first bargain hunters arrived a half hour before the agreed on time.
I had been told that they would so I was prepared.
The first one...6:35.
A woman who got out of her truck. (the "real" shoppers have trucks) 
She walked up to our beautiful display of treasures and circled them...
And didn't even stop.
I mean it.
Her feet never stayed in one location,
not even a break in her gait.
She was on to the next stop.
My next door neighbor...the house that sits in between Mrs. H and I.
Didn't slow down
Didn't miss a beat.
Clearly she was looking for something specific...not in the mood for the fine treasures that we offered.
On to Mrs. H.
Wait...what is happening...she is not only stopping but she is looking...AND
A lot.
Well that's alright I thought here comes the next victim customer,
A man with a kind face and smile.
Now we are talking.
I smiled back.
Circle Circle he picking up speed?
Next door neighbor..
then Mrs. H.
Dang it....he is buying. 
I am now starting to see the handwriting on the wall.
This is NOT going to be good.
Mr. T turns to me and says,
" Why would anyone want to buy our garbage? We need to seriously slash our prices."
He grabs a page of pink stickers.
"Have faith dear" I say. After all it has only been 9 minutes.
It was all downhill from there.
Within the first hour I had sold a total of
One dollar.
Which I used to walk over to Mrs. H's yard estate sale to purchase a
pair of The Incredible Hulk hands and a Frito Bandito mask.
Who says Yard Sales aren't profitable?

P.S. Four good things actually came out of my garage sale shame.... (in addition to the hulk hand purchase of course)
1. We made just a little under a hundred dollars.
2. My garage is much cleaner.
3. A 16 year old boy came by and asked how much for the basket ball goal. It hadn't even occurred to me to sell that even though I have hated it in my yard almost from day one...actually since day one. I said 20 dollars and he looked shocked. I thought, "Dang I overpriced again". But he said, "Great" with the biggest smile ever. I guess that was a good price since his mom had said that he really wanted one and was going back to purchase one he had found at another garage sale for 50 dollars. Truth is I might have given him twenty to make it go away. He was so happy that it made me happy.
4. I was able to give a lady who had lost everything including her trailer to Hurricane Ike, two pink chairs. She didn't ask me for them. I just followed a prompting to give them to her. After loading them into her truck she said very sincerely, God bless you. 
Thanks...He already has.

Here is a little teaser to my next blog...
It will be titled..
Road Hog; A "Pig"torial



Twins Squared said...

You are so funny. I am sorry it didn't turn out well. HAving had many Mary Kay functions, while some are successful, many can also be similar to what you described. However, I used to have events sometimes where the turnout was ALMOST nothing. But the two that came would spend between $100-200 and I would think, hey? Even if the turnout is low that is more than I would have made if I hadn't done it.

I have never had a garage, excuse me, yard sale. I have a feeling it would go like yours. :)

Heidi said...

Bring on the Pigtorial! I can't wait!

Brooke said...

I love your sense of humor! I laughed and yet still felt a little sadness that I missed your garage sale! It was probably seeing that cute wooden leaf in your pic....I would have totally bought that.....I love finding little treasures. Yes I am a garage sale addict, and to think it all started when I had one little baby girl that would not sleep past 6am. I HAD to leave my house or I would have possibly attacked my husband out of jealousy just for sleeping!-keep up the good work, can't wait to read the next post.

Cynthia said...

Ah man, I'd have the same experience you did. I am WAY too lazy to go to all the work for a garage sale. And the judgment factor just seals the deal- no garage (I mean YARD) sales for me, ever.

Just ME the MOM said...

I loved your narrative, having never had the patience to accumulate enough stuff to sell at a garage (ooops! yard) sale. I'm too much of a tosser! Toss this, toss that, my husband has to keep a close eye on me, I'm always trying to get rid of his treasures (but who knows, maybe I should save them for a yard sale!).


Anonymous said...


evelyn said...

You didn't give my two pink velvet chairs away, did you? I would have charged at least a dollar apiece for them. Very funny blog. If you ever need me to remind you not to have another yard sale, I'm volunteering.

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