It’s garage sale time.
The season has manifested itself in a number of ways: the car pulls over of its own accord, two dollars suddenly seems like a lot of money to pay for a pair of pants, and heated footraces from the car to tables laden with pre-owned items of dubious quality occur between normally amiable people.
I’m watching you, Mary.
Garage saling is not for the weak. It takes a sturdy bag loaded with change, a stout pair of shoes.
Ah. 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, the wheedling “Multi-Family Sale!” or my favorite, last weekend’s telephone-pole-posted and tragically misspelled “Hudge Sale! Eveythig Must Go!” – lead me on, lead me in, a Siren’s song of instant gratification and cheap thrills.
Don’t get me wrong. I mean, I’m after a bargain; but it’s not like I’m 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.
Don’t tell anyone.
Many a friend has been sucked into the Garage Sale Vortex with me. We can spend whole Saturday afternoons chasing down “Huge Sale” signs, the car veering 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 Honda seems to know what to do.
Best deals? 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 only slight water damage. Best of all? A five-dollar unopened Husker Du original pressing.
Mwa ha ha ha haaaaaa! Victory is mine!
And that’s what it’s about. The treasure – no matter how you define it.
Which is not to say that I haven’t been had, even if “had” was only in the sense of having been tricked into pulling over and getting out of the car. There are people out there selling sweat-stained, button-less blouses; cup-less, cracked saucers; and sweat pants with blown-out waistbands.
I already got those.
And as an aside, what’s with trying to sell me things you’ve received for free?! I know where you got those Pert Shampoo samples, lady.
Of course there are some pretty specific garage sales out there that do not concern me at all: a yard full of toddler accoutrements, the grimy and esoteric tools of an old man’s shed. It comes with the territory. But we Garage-Salers are a hardy bunch and accustomed to the disappointment that comes with, say, a garage full of two-for-a-quarter romance novels or cardboard cut-outs of Easter bunnies and “Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons.
As I say, it’s not for the weak.
But as we say on the garage-sale circuit: If you can’t handle the eight-tracks, stay in the car.
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