Yard Sale Tales, take three.

Author oh, rebecca. Category

Seven thousand years after the fact, I realized I have not updated this olde blogge with the rest of the yard sale tales. I'm rectifying this situation, post-haste. Sort of.

After the lady who punked us out of two quarters, the strangeness kept coming. A bunch of ladies kept moving boxes of books to peer at the (empty) boxes we'd laid on the ground as a buffer between books and damp grass/soil, and I kept having to tell them that the items pictured (my crappy pot/pan set, my crappy dishpan set, etc.) were not in the box, nor were they for sale. I didn't point out that if they were for sale, they probably would be in a more prominent place than under a very heavy box of very heavy books.

Sharon and I made a pizza run and left Noah to his own devices, pleading with him to not a) walk away or b) let people have things for free. In return for obeying, he got a free pizza from us. Not a bad deal. Of course, while we were gone, an actual book lover came by and asked for a specific author, one I'm sure I had some books by, but they were probably on my 'keeper' shelves. Harrumph. After a near-disaster at the pizza parlor*, we made it back to my house juuuuust as it started to rain. Hurriedly, all the books on the ground were covered with a plastic groundcloth, while everything else got a bedsheet, and we retired inside to enjoy our pizzas and not get rained on. A lady (waiting for the bus down the street) came by so we all marched outside and listened as she inquired as to whether we had very specific items, like elastic waistband pants, or Wrangler size 34 mens jeans. We didn't. She also really liked to look at the empty boxes to see what they might've held, and was really interested in the box that held my torchiere living room lamp. She asked if it was battery-operated. I have never met a battery-operated tall (6'+) lamp ever in my life. Like our very first "saler" she talked a lot and bought nothing. I guess for lonely older people, garage sales are like free therapy. Or new friends. Sharon and I also were pretty certain that she was going to try to walk into my house, as she slowly made her way over to the front door and stood uncomfortably close to me as I sat on the stoop, chomping on pizza. Sharon inched over to help blockade the door. After saying repeatedly that she didn't mean to make us come out in the drizzle and she would let us go, she stood there still, talking more and more about her life, and then finally made her merry way down to the bus stop. Before she left, though, a couple who'd visited briefly earlier that day came back, and with $40 in hand, bought Sharon's big-ticket item: a set of authentic, licensed Harry Potter chairs. It was really fun seeing him try to get them in their midsize sedan: two in the trunk, one next to his baby in the backseat, and the last one went upside down on his wife's lap in the passenger seat. Ha! Hopefully she made it home without any of her vital organs impaled by the chair legs.

Our last honest-to-goodness legitimate weirdo was an older man who came up, asked first off if we had a table and 4 chairs for sale, then picked up one little dayplanner thing with ponies and pandas on it and asked if, nay, proclaimed that everything we had was for children. (Nevermind the clothing, kitchen and household paraphernalia, books for one and all, poker and drinking stuff, movies, etc.). He then started a lengthy conversation with Sharon about a (women's) leather belt, trying to fit it around his rotund belly and marveling when the ends didn't meet. This is a nice leather, he said. Sharon said it was. He said it must've cost fifty dollars or more. Sharon was pretty sure it didn't, because she is like me in that she rarely spends $50 on something like that. But he insisted. He browsed around and argued incessantly with me about the price of two books, which he assumed went together just because we'd placed them together. I did cut the price a bit because he was buying two of them, but was pretty firm on the $1.25 for two freaking books. He was pretty adamant about paying me no more than $1.00. I'm a fairly stubborn person and don't like bargaining or haggling or any of that stuff, and I also like saying no with some regularity. In my big-chain bookstore day job, I rarely get to say no to people, and when there is a chance to say no, I have to 'turn it into YES!' for the customer's benefit. Barf. So I took all the 'no's I'd been saving at the day job for years, and I countered every "$1.00?" he uttered with "No. $1.25" and eventually it worked. Took a while. But it worked. After he paid up the dollar and the freaking quarter he'd been so reluctant to fork over, he stood creepily in front of my house/door. We three had been tromping through the house fairly regularly, for snacks or bathroom or to unearth more treasures to put outside, so the inside door was open, screen door was closed. He started asking me if there was a refrigerator for sale inside. I got to say no. An oven. No. A washer and dryer. No. A refrigerator (again). Wait for it.......................... NO. Undeterred by my negativity, he babbled on about buying my house, with all my appliances. I'm pretty sure all I gave him was a stony glare, and eventually he left. Thank goodness.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, and I don't recall having to argue with anyone else about quarters, which is always a good thing. A few more book people came, and some kids from across the street came, and one of them asked about baby clothes which kind of freaked me out because it put notions of that kid in England who impregnated some girl at a ridiculously young age, and then some neighbors from down/across the street came over with their cutie orange tomcat following them like a dog or a child. He investigated many of the books we had for sale while his people looked at the dvds. They left with a few things each, while he left with nothing in hand (paw?). When they left, he hesitated slightly, obviously wanting to check out more of our wares, but then trotted after them with much aplomb. It was probably the cutest part of the day. Wait, no it wasn't**.

As we were closing up a few people came and went and one woman even bought some stuff, apologizing because we were hustling to get everything inside and here she was buying stuff. She was nice, so we let her browse and didn't give her a hard time. (Not that we would've done that. We're probably a little too polite to do that. Maybe.)

Everything got shoved into my second bedroom, formerly the library, more recently, the former potential roommate's room***, and it only took about a half hour to get everything back inside where it belonged. We divvied up the cash money and though we didn't make the millions we expected to make, it was a fairly good haul for both of us, for our first EVER yard sale, and relatively early in the season. Noah got to take home some of my vintage clothes as compensation for all his hard work, and he was chuffed about that, I think!

I expect that with the additional advertising/pre-planning we intend on doing for the next one (June 13/14! Be there!) we will have an even crazier cast of characters, and probably some recurring ones too! Woo! Can't wait!

I will keep hoarding my 'no's at the day job, and plastic bags at the grocery store, and keep reading through my 'to sell when finished' pile of books... till next time!

*So, we ordered pizza at the parlor, ran to 7-11 to get refreshments, and came back. This kinda skanky girl - ok, she was REALLY skanky, kinda hit, and way too orange-tan for the middle of May - was waiting with her derelict boyfriend in the parlor. An order came up that looked suspiciously like it could be ours: two mediums, a small, and an order of bread. The cashier called out my name. I went to go up there to get it but skankwhore was right up at the register and nabbed it. I watched incredulously. Halfway to the door she goes, in a skankwhore way, "I don't think this is ours." So I grabbed it back. Disaster averted.
**Neighbor brought over some bricks to hold down our tarps when it was sprinkling. With her were her adorable children, the tiniest one clad in a too-big raincoat that overflowed past her hands and knees. She found a puddle, splashed in it, and entranced, could not be pulled away. That's adorable spelled with a capital ADORABLE.
***jerk reneged. End of story (for now).


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