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Friday, June 27, 2008

I’ve Been Keeping a Secret From You

It’s been this way for years. I’m not the only one – it runs in my family, and it appears now that I am a carrier. I’ve infected friends, a couple old boyfriends, and now, my husband. People who know me think it wasn’t on purpose, but it was. It was on purpose, and I’m not sorry! JOIN US…

That’s right. I’m talking about Garage Saling.

No, not Garage Sailing, a completely different weekend pursuit in which one outfits a garage for maritime sport but Garage Saling (excuse me whilst I verbify), a weekend pursuit whereby one cruises for home-made signs posted about town in the hopes of being lead to cheap, used goods. On foot, on wheels, these signs – hand-made neon or store bought, wheedling “Multi-Family Sale!” or my favorite, last weekend’s “Buy My Crap” – lead me on, lead me in, a Siren’s song of instant gratification and cheap thrills.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking to buy your old underwear. Unless they’re really cool underwear. No, no, just kidding. Not even if they’re really cool. Well, unless they were your great-grandma’s bloomers and I need them for a Halloween costume. No, not really. Well, yes, really. But don’t tell anyone.

As I’ve said, my husband has been sucked into the Garage Sale Vortex with me. We can spend whole Saturday afternoons chasing down “Huge Sale” signs, our car veering inexplicably to the left, to the right. Luckily, our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods are rife with garage sales, people selling quirky art and funky clothing; and like the faithful horse of yesteryear trotting its drunken master home safely from the pub, the LeSabre seems to know what we’re after.

Best deals ever? Fifty-cent vintage Ray Bans in perfect shape. A three-dollar leather coat that fits like a glove. A three-dollar 1920s rolling cocktail cart in passable condition. A set of turn of the century framed and hand-embroidered floral depictions with slight water damage. Best of all? A five-dollar unopened Husker Du original pressing. Mwa ha ha ha haaaaaa! Victory is mine!

Which is not to say that we haven’t been had, even if “had” was only in the sense of pulling over and getting out of the car. There are people out there selling pit-stained, button-less blouses; cup-less, cracked saucers; and sweat pants with blown-out waistbands. And what’s with trying to sell me things you’ve received for free?! I know where you got those Pert Shampoo samples, lady.

There are also “professional” garage sales held by people who never seem to bring their items in from the garage/yard/driveway but simply cover them with tarps from Monday to Wednesday and have their “sales” again come Thursday. My belief is that these people buy items from other garage sales, double the price, and re-sell them at their own sales. These sales, to use the vernacular, “suck”.

And of course there are some pretty specific garage sales out there: tons of stuff for babies, the terribly skinny/overweight, tools but not much else, that sort of thing. It comes with the territory. We Garage-Salers are a hardy bunch and accustomed to the disappointment that comes with, say, a garage full of romance novels or cardboard cut-outs of Easter bunnies and “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons.

A baby shower keeps me out of the Garage Sale rat race this afternoon, but tomorrow! Ah, tomorrow. The LeSabre and I will be out; and if I see you at a garage sale, then, good luck to you, and may the sharpest eye win.


mbuna53 said...

I am shocked, shocked, I tell you. I had no idea. Some people's parents, I tell you....

R. Jacob said...

Now I know what you do with your free time!
you do have free time don't you?