Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Come back in 2 hours

People that entertain shopping at garage sales are in my opinion rabid hoarders, now and then you do have the person that is simply looking for a good deal on an item they need or would like. The majority are absolute freaks that plan out the entire weekend from the very moment the newspaper hits their porch, they tear into the print and start circling each advertisement fiendishly with their red markers and itemizing their attack with a chronologically efficient itinerary.

As my husband and I prepare for our 10th move in a little more than that many years we've come to terms that we really have too much shit. Seriously, we are ALL hoarders in some respect but we have to set ourselves onto a healthy course we must release ourselves from the bindings of material objects.
Enjoy them while you have them and when you stop using them and they sit stacked in closets, remain in boxes unseen for weeks, months ...years it's time to say goodbye and let your junk become someone's treasure.

A couple of weeks prior, I had packed a fat box of beautiful clothing and sent it off to my sister, she really needed a boost and it was my pleasure to help her. Over the years I'd picked up some rather nice items that I wore while doing the cat show circuit, but since I've quit that game I had all of these lovelies hanging in the closet with no where to wear them.
Well I could still wear them but I don't want the memories attached to them.

There are still more to dig through, other items that my mother would have called 'schmatta' or 'rags'. Everyone loves to wear certain things until they are practically falling right off of you. These old things bring you comfort and these are the ones that give you good memories.
My sister gave me a shirt 13 years ago that I still have and absolutely love, wear frequently and doubt I'll ever let it go even though it should have been burned ages past.

Preparing for our very first yard/garage sale was quite the undertaking. It was overwhelming to say in the least because we have 2 households that are 6 hours apart round-trip and the majority of the goodies to sell were in the farther away home but we wanted to hold the event in the current homestead.
Seeing how we needed to get everything out anyhow it required the rental of an enormous rental truck and 2.5 days of blood, sweat and tears ...the husband's tears because I could not participate in the travel.

When he returned loaded down, eyes bleary from little to no sleep and smelling of day old B.O. I swiftly fed him a hearty breakfast of eggs and flapjacks and tucked him into bed for a few hours of sleep before we tackled the chore of figuring out which of our possessions would become someone's new prize and which would continue to lend a helping hand in our lives.

This didn't happen overnight mind you, it seems that we have to reminisce over everything we touch and weigh the needs against the wants. Processing those can be heavy on your mind. I once considered myself to be pretty much a non-materialistic person but have found with aging that we begin to have dependency on the good things in life.

For starters, gadgets are fun.
Duplicates of kitchen items are nice to have also.
I am especially fond of cooking but seriously, I don't think in the long run I need to have 4 colanders or 100 unmatched forks and spoons.
All of the trinkets and ridiculous tchotchke's that I have never even put out for decoration will all have to go. Why did I even pick this crap up? Dust collecting is all it's good for and as far as I'm concerned it can all go to the first little old lady that squeals like a 6 year old when they see it gleam in the early morning light.

We spend several evenings doing this, unpacking a box and blowing off the cobwebs and polishing what we didn't consider a turd. Keep? don't keep? Donate? wipe, assess and then price with a sticker and into a new box.
After each new box was filled to capacity we'd close it up and label "SELL" and shove it into a corner which was quickly looking like Mount St. Helen's and I beseech that it does not topple over in a loud bang along with the clatter and clash of glass smashing.
Not to be outdone, we have cat helpers jumping around and getting on every flat surface bumping into items and ...eventually breaking some of the items we would have sold.
Get pissed about it? no, because that's one less thing to have to worry about haggling and barter and will just go into the recycle bin. Accidents happen and you can never stay angry at a purring bundle of joy.

The weekend is coming and I've placed our announcement in the newspaper, it's a holiday weekend and from all that I've read about sales this is supposed to be beneficial to us because people are home (I guess).
The night before we frantically put together the last few items and find out from the weather channel that the weekend will be hot and wet, lucky us..Good thing I've thought ahead and purchased a pair of canopy's for the situation so that we are covered come rain or shine.
I don't believe in rescheduling because of a few sprinkles and there is little time left for my shit to go bye-bye before we pack another truck and move along to our next abode.

Up go the trusses and we stretch the canopy over the skeleton making a fast shelter for our junk. We line up the pair of these horizontally with the garage and then set out the tables which we've absconded from the husband's office for our weekend usage. what a coup to have these on hand instead or borrowing or renting from other people, or worse yet - rigging up temporary tables from pallets and stacked boxes.

The heat is downright nasty to work in and I'm dreading the following morning which will begin at 5:00 (the sale advertised for 8:00) so we both try to climb into bed for an early evening nap after dinner on Friday evening. No sooner have I shut my eyes than I hear a pounding and ringing of my doorbell.
Who might this be?
Sometimes the neighbor children kick over a ball into the yard and they ring but they never beat with such a tempo on my door to create a racket like this. This is deafening and I'm becoming incensed because my slumber has been disturbed and they have not stopped, seriously - a few knocks and rings are more than enough to alert a person that you are at the door.

Rubbing my eyes I open the door to find a non-English speaking man and a young child waiting there for me and the kid says, "You have furniture for sale?"
I said, "are you kidding me? the sale is tomorrow, go away you are rude"

WTF I cannot believe someone has come to my door 13 hours before we would even be beginning and try to buy things. No I am not going to stand for that and I'm not going to stand there and talk to you and let you come in and get a look at everything we have so you can make me offers early.

Back to bed I go, but I can't fall asleep right away because I'm so pissed off by this interruption. The knocking and banging on my door must have gone on for a full 3 minutes before I went to answer it. As a home owner I don't feel its necessary to always answer my door nor my phone, my solitude is paramount to me and unless I hear sirens I could care less about what's happening in the world unless I pursue it.
The knocking that kept going on though, that finally had me out of my bed to see what the commotion was about and for me to get up through my exhaustion and pain only to be confronted with this bullshit left me madder than a wet hen.

I finally did calm down and rested for about an hour to get up and start all over again and I worked all the way through the night, the husband was able to put in almost 4 hours of sleep. I knew that I would end up crashing and burning before the day was through but that's how I tend to roll.

Out into the pre-dawn light I bring out my boxes and start placing items onto tables, the humidity so high that sweat is rolling off of me in rivers. There's no feminine beading on my brow, I'm soaked to the bone by 6:00 and by then the man has come out and is hauling the bigger items of furniture on a dolly into the garage from our living room.
we are quietly working and I look up to see a car has pulled in front of the house. Here comes a woman onto our lawn at 6:15!

She starts with, "what else do you have?" and I SNAP!
Look lady, the sale is posted at 8 a.m. and you are 2 hours early - you can come back then because there are no early sales!

She eyeballed our tables and inside the garage area where he was working and then trounced off in a huff, we never did see her again that morning. No skin off my knuckles if you ask me because I found out by 10 a.m. that all of the early people are the ones that come with coin purses only.

Several cars were circling the house by 6:45 and they just converged onto us en masse. Instead of cockroaches scurrying away when you turn on the lights, these attacked when the sun came up. There was no way I could start barking at the 20 people that showed up and walked across the grass at this hour and it was just going to have to be the beginning of our day whether we were ready or not.

Let the fun begin!

What felt like 8 hours was only 4. I was dripping sweat like I'd just jumped into a swimming pool, swiping it away from my eyes and steadily taking money from people left and right. Dealing with the usual "will you take this much instead" and instead of being pissed off to be offered so little for these treasures I'm happily dealing with them because i don't want to wait for the next person and maybe being left with this crap still left in my garage at the end of the day.
Finally I could take no more and had to take a small break and let him take the reigns, inside I went for a breather of A/C and 5 minutes on the sofa. My eyes were so heavy and I felt the threatening of a nap stealing over me but I went back out and faced the day for the remaining 4 hours.
There were very few slow downs even though we were drizzled on many times - both of us rushing to the tables to toss plastic sheeting over the goods and weighting them down.

Just as we decided to close up shop and a final 'customer' was returning to pick up a large item the clouds opened up and that was it. Sheets of rain came down, the plastic whipping in the wind and both of us with our hair plastered to our skulls ...we just threw our hands up in the air and sat down in the garage and enjoyed the coolness of the breeze that came in with the storm.

There are still things to be had - just ask and you may receive but ask quickly because I'm going to have the Salvation Army come and pick up the rest this week.
No more sales for me, there's not enough quarters and dime's to be handed over on a hot July day to make up for the misery I experienced.

Remind me to stop buying crap I really don't need.