Yard for sale. Make offer. House and contents not included. Day one.

Author oh, rebecca. Category

Garage salers are a weird bunch. Of course, I'm including yard salers, estate salers, and anyone who buys anything potentially/probably/most likely used from any private source other than an actual resale or thrift store in this group. This was one of the most important things I learned in the past two days, having co-chaired my first ever* garage/yard sale with my lovely friend Sharon.

It was a somewhat hastily-thrown-together event, mostly because I forgot that we'd planned it for this weekend, and the leftovers of 'mostly' was because I procrastinated in getting stuff together when I actually did remember. I was up on and off most of Thursday night/Friday morning, catching a few hourlong naps on the couch, with TV blaring and lights blazing so that I wouldn't actually allow myself to fall all the way asleep; my waking moments were spent frantically washing clothes to sell, frantically gathering my multitudinous boxes** of books to sell, frantically trying to price things, frantically making signs for the sale, and frantically doing everything else I forgot to do beforehand, but sleep. Yep, nope, I frantically slept too (see: "TV blaring and lights blazing"). I might've eaten at some point; I probably did, because I love eating and it's one of my favorite activities, but really I was so busy it's hard to say. (I would never forget to eat, we'll leave it at that.)

We didn't have many customers the first day. I was at my 'day job' when we got our first sale, with Sharon manning the sales tables and holding down the fort most excellently, after doing most of the set-up without me, due to my stupid job(s) that require me to be up at the ass of dawn. The first thing to sell, conveniently, was one of the remnants*** of my life with my ex-boyfriend: boxes of Legos we bought together so he could make Mario, Luigi, the Dr. Mario viruses (virii?), and Link with the connecting tiles, and Lego kits so we could make weird-ass dinosaurs and creatures and whatever. Good riddance, Legos! - a phrase I never thought I'd utter, but in this context, it works. Sort of. Don't know what you've got till it's gone. (I mean the Legos, not the ex, in case you were suspicious.)

I came home laden with soups and sodas for all - well, not all the shoppers, as I'm not that nice, but for Sharon, my mom, who'd come to visit, and myself. When I got there, my adorable neighbor with her two adorable children were there, shopping and being adorable. I hate how some people get to be adorable all the time and not have to work hard for it like I do. I gave her small adorable little boy a banana, and didn't even charge him, all in the name of brotherly love, even though I live in Hazel Park and that ain't Philadelphia. I also learned that her darling baby daughter was having a birthday the next day, and that said darling baby daughter has the same name as my dearly departed doggy; I did make mention of that, but left out, for Neighbor's sake, the fact that dearly departed doggy's ashes were in a planter not six feet (get it?) from where she stood. Neighbor and I introduced ourselves, formally, which was good. I'd never actually MET her, or any of my neighbors really, so it was a pleasant surprise and I welcomed the chance to get to know the people I've lived around for the past THREE YEARS but have neglected to make any sort of contact with. My bad.

My friend Paul and his wife Katie (MORE adorable people) with their equally adorable baby Lilly accidentally showed up - I know Paul pretty much only through Livejournal, and then by stalkingly looking him up on Facebook since he lives near me and I love being a creeper, and it would facilitate me stealing his two adorable dogs. Luckily this didn't deter him (much) from being my friend, and he occasionally visits me at work and even once threatened to give me a hug when I was feeling particularly garbage-filled. Anyway, they don't know where I live, other than in the grand sense of 'The Universe/The Milky Way/The Earth/America/Michigan/Oakland County/Hazel Park/a street/a house.' But they saw one of my awesome signs**** and were either awed by its awesomeness (in which case I'm glad it fulfilled its destiny) or were bored enough to come check out a yard sale where there might be stuff they could buy. Given that they didn't know my address (but do now, in case they want to stalk me and/or leave their baby with me so I can have her), I was surprised to see them walk into my jungle-esque backyard.

"Did you read my tweet on Twitter about my yard sale?!?" I squealed to Paul when I saw him, even as I remembered that he doesn't have "The Twitter" yet.

"Did you read about it on Facebook!?!" I squealed again, even as I remembered that I didn't post anything to Facebook about it.

I guess olde-fashionede print advertising still works these days, somewhat.

Unless they saw my post on Craigslist about it, which I just forgot about till now.

Anyway they bought a bunch of stuff, books and a DVD that I later forgot was sold when my aforementioned adorable neighbor sent her father back to inquire about the next day. Paul made me take a dollar more than I was going to charge him. I hate him. So much.

Most of our customers on Friday were tolerable, except for that rapscallion Paul. Some stop-and-lookers, but mostly everyone bought something or another. Sharon and I were both shocked that she priced and sold a whole stack of little plates (six or so?) at 25c. For the whole stack. When she easily could have asked for/gotten 25c for each one, or all for a dollar. WHATEVER*****.

If you know me or Sharon, you know we are Giant Book Nerds™. Sharon used to work at the bookstore where I still work, and has not lost the ingrained sense of bookly organization that bookselling inflicts upon those who deign to enter its ranks. At one point, instead of being as lazy as we previously had been, we decided, ridiculously, inanely, "omfg, what is wrong with us"ly, to organize all our books into categories: beach reads, chick lit, school books/classic literature, cooking, house/home/garden, health, general fiction and general reference. I'm not talking like two boxes of books here. I'm talking a lot more than that. Ten? Maybe more. Fifteen? Maybe more. Between the two of us? Entirely likely. Probably more, considering the next day I dragged out five more boxes of new additions and it felt like nothing. It was ludicrous. But we did it. And we felt such such nerdy glee and satisfaction when it was done, so it was worth it for that, even if our shoppers didn't care.

I'm not even gonna talk about the snacks we had. We had so many snacks. So many. Snacks are our BFF. They kept our energy up, so don't hate on us for loving snacks. You'd probably love snacks too if all you had to do on a beautiful Friday was sit in a cute, if overgrown, backyard and sing along to the oldies station and talk about people and read and make origami and wait for people to buy all the stuff you didn't want. Snacks are LIFESAVERS.

I also shouldn't talk about the shopping we did, both from each other. Or the shopping we did from ourselves as we realized we couldn't, wouldn't part with whatever it was that we once deemed useless in our lives. So I won't talk about it. Compared to what we put out, what we took back or bought for zero dollars from each other was miniscule. But I got some killer stuff, dudes. So did Sharon! Granted, we could have probably gotten dollar dollar bills for that stuff, ya'll, but sometimes you need to treat yourself to something you spirit away from your friend, right?

Around five, we closed up shop, which consisted of putting a heavyweight dropcloth over the 'book section' on the patio and packing up & putting inside some stuff that might get ruined by dew overnight. Shortly after Sharon left, I left to go visit my mom at our barn and try to coerce her into buying me dinner since she forgot, for the millionth time in a row (or third), the fudge, my very favorite kind of fudge, she'd bought for me in Ohio (Maple- no nuts -by the way, if you want to get me some). Shortly after that, it started sprinkling. And then it started raining. I ran home to lug everything inside, eliciting a promise from my mom that she'd come by and help me (since she refused my offer to let her buy me dinner - hmph) as long as she didn't have to "bring in EVERYTHING" by herself. Well, she didn't have to bring in anything because I brought it in all myself, a great feat of accomplishment. That was the least fun part of my day, and it is with this that I justify the aforementioned snack consumption and in-house shopping. So there. Take that, naysayers in Horseville! WORD PLAY!

So that was our yard sale, day one. Day two tomorrow. It might have pictures. Day two was the crazy day. Boy howdy, was it ever the crazy day.

*When I was about ten or eleven I would gather up stuff my seven-year-old neighbor would never need, and insist she give me quarters or dollars for them. It usually worked. One time her mom made her return the stuff to me to get the money back. Losers. Apparently that doesn't count as a garage sale though, since I was really only targeting one mark, errr, person. So this was my first ever official garage sale.
**It is sick how many boxes of books I had/have to sell. Sick. You'd commit me to a mental ward if you saw. Sharon's about to, I think. That's why I'm at Starbucks, hiding out and nursing a white chocolate mocha and stealing wifi, instead of waiting for the short bus to come get me.
***All of his life with me that's left now at the house, other than the Uglydolls he gave me over the years (which I'd rather hide in a closet and occasionally hug when I need a hug than sell) is the vacuum cleaner he "lent" me, and a few plates I tried to sell but might keep so I don't have to keep not-washing the ones I already have. Everything else sold this weekend. But then I found a necklace he gave me. That's going in the next sale. True story. PS those Lego figures of the 8-bit Nintendo characters were pretty BAMF. But I broke them down one day when I was feeling particularly vindictive towards our failed relationship. True story. Sometimes you have to take it out on the kids, you know? (Jokes)
****On my way home from work, I stopped at a stop sign in my neighborhood, and looking to the left, saw a cute handmade sign for a yard sale. "What a cute sign!" I thought. "I should stop by there before I go home... wait. That's my sign. I made that. That's for at my house! For our yard sale!" Tricking myself into going to my own sale: awesome, or devious? Deviously awesome? That.
*****Our main objective in this sale was to Get Rid of Stuff. With Sharon's impending move to the Big Apple and my impending descent into poverty, it is imperative that we both get rid of stuff and obtain money. The best way to do this, it seems, is to sell things. Anything. At almost any price. If 25c for a whole stack of plates accomplishes both objectives in one fell swoop, so be it. Even if the money obtained is probably not even enough for a pack of gum. But it will buy one individual mini Reese's PB Cup at 7-11. They're only fifteen cents, so you get change back, almost - but not quite - enough to buy another one. Maybe you can haggle the cashier down, which is the theme of tomorrow's blog post about day two of the yard sale.


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