In every head resides a hole. In fits of lunacy, the hole is permitted to grow shut. We can’t quite explain what comes over us in those moments. “The hole in my head grew shut, and… and, … …” we lament, searching frantically for a rationale that could explain the tomfoolery in which we so haplessly find ourselves entangled.
Such is the case with the ‘neighborhood garage sale.’
One would think that mere consideration of the garage sale as a viable option to current circumstances would be insulting enough. One would be wrong. Add injury to the insult, and while you’re at it, shake some salt on it. Rub it in a little. I’ll wait…
Burns a little, doesn’t it? You’re forced to acknowledge that while you’ve been accusing your husband of being a closet hoarder lo, these many years, you, yourself wear the brand equally well. Maybe better:
And those treasures stashed away in the basement for the eventual ‘someday, the kids might want this…’
Nobody wants your Longaberger baskets. Your handbags and wallets are too yesterday. And the antiques? Sure, mid-century modern is a thing now. But the thing is, the current crop of buyers wants reproduction numbers, not items from the actual mid-20th century. A bed from the late 1930s or early ’40s??? A kitchen table and chairs circa 1950??!?! Pffff. “Crate & Barrel for $2000, Alex.”
Even worse is the mere fact that friends aren’t supposed to let friends hang on to this stuff. Or buy it in such massive quantities in the first place. Or keep it for nearly twenty years, stored for the someday that never dawns. I’m beginning to realize that having a good friend who sold the dang baskets, and other friends who offered sympathy over our loss of a grandmother rather than advice about her stuff, or friends who always say ‘yes!’ to a ‘let’s go shopping’ invitation have aided and abetted me in my crime of accumulation. Still. The crowded closets and the rabbit trails winding through the basement warehouse have driven me nearly mad. And then, the Homeowners Association secretary sends the damnable email, announcing the dates for the neighborhood garage sale. And the hole in my head gets a wee bit smaller as I say to myself, “Self, this might be the year to go ahead and try a garage sale again.”
See. Right there, the crucial mistake was made. The hole in my head was already too small. No rational thoughts could get through. The baskets. The closets. The drawers and cabinets and crap crammed everywhere!!!!!
And what did my friends (so-called!!!) do?!?!?!?!
I can tell you what they didn’t do. They didn’t jam a crowbar in that teeny-weeny hole in my head and pry it back to its usual size, I can tell you that much. Nope. They merely shook their heads in that tut-tut’ mode of condescension — you know the one — that inevitably moves otherwise sane individuals into an “I’ll show you!” attitude of ‘do, or die trying.’
Next thing you know, I’m having a garage sale, exhausted from the hauling out, the pricing of items, the haggling over every single price tag.
Now, now. Friends don’t let friends judge. (maybe there’s another post lurking in that advice, hmmm?) There was a time when teal was quite “in.” Sure, that time was in a galaxy far, far away. We called it the ’90s. In any event, the leather loveseat is now someone else’s has-been, I am delighted to report. And the $30 price tag? She wore me down. I took $25. Honestly. Garage sales. The worst.
I’m two weeks post-garage sale now. Sane enough to talk about it with a laugh. Glad enough to have done it, I guess, given the fact that I sold every single handbag and wallet, the loveseat, the flotsam and jetsam, and, even found buyers for the forty-five or so Longaberger baskets. (I know, I know! It was a dark time, okay? Again with the ’90s…)
But I am not, I repeat, NOT doing it again. I’m done with collecting. I’m so over keeping stuff ‘for the kids.’ If ‘essential oils’ are the new Longaberger basket, I’m all booked up.
And then, the hole in my head crusted over…
Friends. Send help………..