Garage sale, moving sale, yard sale…they’re all a hoarder’s paradise and most definitely an interesting study of mankind. And the Princess and I, having nothing better to do with our limited time one Saturday, decided that it was time we tried throwing one ourselves.
After all, why not join the hordes of others and hang-out my outgrown biker undies for the world to see? I’m not ashamed of the fact that I’ve put on a few pounds since my mountain biking days. I’ve earned this midriff fluff that I’m sportin’ these days.
So, that’s exactly what the Princess and I did last month – joined the multitudes; gathered everything from clothing and books, to sporting equipment and household goods, and put the whole kit and caboodle out for the world to rummage through.
And rummage, they did!
We meticulously sorted everything – making sure we didn’t confuse anyone by placing a coffee maker next to a pair of biker shorts – and ten minutes before the scheduled 9 a.m. start time, we innocently opened the gates of hell to a stampede of garage-sale-savvy-shoppers, who picked through our meticulously placed items, like frenzied piranhas.
The Princess, naively thinking that she’d read the morning newspaper and leisurely enjoy her cup of coffee, choked on her first gulp of hot Joe and spilled it down the front of her shirt as one of the frenetic shoppers elbowed past her and stepped onto her Croc-covered toes. Meanwhile, I stood-by – totally frozen in place – and watched in horror as people magically appeared and ruffled through (what moments before) had been our meticulously organized belongings.
Talk about the trauma of coming out! I’ve changed clothing in our car, many times, while the Princess has been driving on the freeway, but never in my days of freeway strip teasing, have I felt so naked and tossed about.
I never realized how crazy people can get over a pair of well-worn hiking shoes and some padded biker underwear. It’s enough to make you swear-off drinking for a while – or if you’ve never taken it up, START!
The first wave of descenders disappeared as quickly as they showed up, apparently not interested in our high-end merchandise of Barbara Streisand CD’s and Harry Potter books, and I settled into reading the first paragraph of the new Karin Slaughter book, when a new trickle of fellow hoarders dropped by to look over what we had spread out for the world to pick-through. Only this time, we actually had a real customer…or so we thought.
“So,” he began. “What do you want for this book and hat? I’ll give you a buck-fifty for the two of them,” he bargained.
“Hm,” I responded. “The hat is brand new, and as I’m sure you’re aware, is worth over $25.00.”
“I’ll give both to you for $3.00,” I continued. “How does that sound?”
“Well,” he answered. “Sounds to me like you’re gonna be keeping a lot of your stuff today,” he gruffly responded.
“Have a nice day,” he added, and out the gate he marched.
At that point, there were other potential bargain hunters within our midst, and I looked at the Princess with raised eyebrows and telepathically asked her, “Are we supposed to be paying THEM to take our stuff, or what? I’m not quite sure how this works.”
The Princess, living with me long enough to read my mind, gave me one of her dumb-founded looks and just shrugged her shoulders while mouthing, “Don’t ask me!”
We got another book buyer interested in our leather-bound, illustrated edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s, “The Hobbit” with matching slipcase. This isn’t one of my books and I had no idea how much to ask for it. In light of my last negotiation, I figured a buck would be a fair asking price.
“Uh,” guy number two started. “What ‘cha want for this Hobbit edition? Your Harry Potter books, ya know, are going for 25 cents these days?” he coyly added on. “Just thought you should know.”
“Well,” I started out, keenly aware of gentleman number one’s rejection. “How’s a buck sound?”
“Sounds fair to me,” he said. He then quickly handed me the dollar and proceeded to tell me the story of how he and his wife met in her English class over thirty years ago; and the first failed assignment he had with her was an assignment on “The Hobbit”.
“Yep,” he continued. “Gonna give this book to my grandchild for her birthday present this week.”
“Well, what a lovely story and family tradition,” I told him.
“God bless you,” I continued. “Glad to hear that our book will be going to a loving family. Have a great weekend.”
“Yep,” he winked at me. “This book just made my day. You two have a good weekend, too.”
And with that, he got into his truck and high-tailed it down Woodside Avenue.
Now all the while “The Hobbit dude” and I had been talking, the Princess (like the proverbial rancher who closed the barn door after the horse got out) decided to use her smartphone to research the actual price of said “Hobbit book”.
“Well,” the Princess began. “I’m really glad you blessed the dude and he politely thanked you, ‘cuz you know how much MY hobbit book was worth?” she asked, while crossing her arms in front of her chest.
“Just guess,” she continued. “Take a wild guess, Lucie.”
“Uh,” I clumsily began. “I haven’t a clue.”
“But,” I continued while raising my voice. “If it’s more than five bucks, I told you to price your stuff! So, it’s not my fault.”
“No Sir-ee!” I persisted. “It’s definitely not my fault.”
“Yah, Babe, you’re right,” she jovially responded. “No biggie, Hun. Karma will bite him in the butt someday and 60 bucks ain’t gonna break us or make us. This is just another day in our storied lives; just another day in Lucie’s Shoes,” she said while winking at me.
And, of course, People, she was right.
Hopefully, this was our FIRST and LAST garage sale. The next time we need to down-size, I think a donation to some well-deserving organization is in order.
In the meantime, be kind to one another, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at “Life in Lucie’s Shoes”!