Smile Politely

How the Garage Sale Went

Everyone’s asking me how the Garage Sale went

Having it on a Friday when The Preschooler was at work was the greatest idea! I started it at 11 a.m. instead of 7 a.m., too. I didn’t even know there was a 7 a.m. in The Morning.

So in the middle of the night on Friday morning, around 7 a.m., I hear these cars driving by, stopping, and then driving off. What the hell. The ad in the paper listed 11 a.m.! Still, that was kind of exciting. All morning people drove by, and then finally around 10:20 a.m., I started bringing the stuff out to sell. When I brought out one box, a lady who seemed to be just passing by stopped and asked me politely, “Mind if I take a quick look at what you’re bringing out?”

“Not at all,” I replied.

Instantly — five car doors slammed, people came running from all directions towards my driveway; it’s like they were lurking on the side streets! I think they even had walkie-talkies! It was a mob! One box and a rack of clothes and people were grabbing and pulling my $200 tops from Circles — “HOW MUCH FOR THIS? $4.00??? WOULD YOU TAKE $3.50?” (I smiled politely and said, “No.”)

I have to say, though: it was a wonderful, exhilarating experience, except that someone stole some 14K gold jewelry from me (labeled $1.00) and I think someone else nabbed a couple of books. But I loved meeting the people who were taking my stuff away. It made me want to go to every other garage sale in this town — except there’s no way I’m waking up in the middle of the night at 7 a.m.

So now, I have an extra $52.60 and lots more space in the house, but I am still left with some clutter. No, it’s JUNK.

Stuff I cannot part with, for some reason. We learn in Meditation Class in college that one way of Getting Yrself Happy is to label your thoughts. “Pleasing,” “Non-Pleasing,” or “Neither.” After labeling your thoughts, sometimes they disperse. So I thought, maybe if I label my JUNK, it will also disperse.

  1. The Beautiful Thing From Another Planet (examples: the black, rectangular pencil eraser from MUJI store in Singapore, replica of Space Needle from Seattle, yellow-dyed starfish from Florida) – either it’s way too beautifully-designed to sell for $.25 or let someone steal, or it’s from somewhere too far away, that I’ll never go back to again.
  1. The Frames That Sit On A Desk — easy — hung them on the wall.
  1. The Money From Another Planet. Like I’m going to throw a bunch of One Guilder pieces from Amsterdam into an Illinois landfill?
  1. Pencils, pencils, everywhere. Where do they come from? The pen cup is full, and I can’t throw a pencil in the garbage can because it will poke a hole in the bag and stream dead banana gunk all over the can. Besides what if there’s a nukular war and all of the pens in the house stop working?
  1. The Interim Hobby — supplies for a new hobby that never “took” — stained glassmaking supplies, scrapbooking materials, kung-fu staffs…
  1. The Large Collection of Tiny Buddhas — nothing says “I’m a Buddhist” more than your collection of tiny Buddha statues and other colorful Tibetan things. I gave most of them away.
  1. The Small Decorative Container. What do you put in this? More importantly where do you put it so it doesn’t collect dust, and how do you remember what was in it? Theory: If it fits in here you don’t need it.
  1. The Collector’s Pieces — The Playmobil Hazmat set was discontinued! I had to buy five of them! They will help put The Preschooler’s kids through college!
  1. The thing that reminds you of who you were in the past — (or, is being saved to prove who you were, in the past, to your spawn.)

For what it’s worth, there are plenty of awesome places to get rid of stuff. Champaign, Illinois has its own Freecycle listserv (where you get and give away things for free — the idea is to keep it out of a landfill — you’d be amazed at what you can list on there and someone will come to your house and take it away from you. Craigslist has another great local resource, and then of course there is Ebay, and last you can always resort to a bonfire.

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