Recently, my sister and I had a yard sale - because we needed to get rid of all the crap that has been gumming up our lives... It sounds so very cleansing, yeah?
Well, the truth of the matter is that where yes, it was, neither my sister nor I were prepared in any way for the full-out cleansing that we should have had. I essentially packed my car with some books I wasn't going to read again, all of my VHS tapes (VCR died - I'm not replacing it because I never used it, never taped anything, never programmed it - never really watched anything on VHS...), some old toys lying around, CD's a lot of games (I'm not much of a game girl to be honest, although I have one or two funny stories about the subect), an old bike helmet, and the like...
My sister and her husband, Chris, tried to sell old clothes, record albums, a Thigh Master, unwanted wedding gifts (I am surprised what people think we'd like...) curtain rods (?!!!) CD's - and books. Her neighbors came down and sold some of their stuff. One particularly invasive neighbor kept coming down, donating things to my sister to sell, and telling us what to do and how to do it...
"Put the signs here, here here and there!"
"If you really want to sell that, you should take it out of the box so people can see it!"
The best sellers of the day - were my CD's (which sold like hot cakes to my brother-in-law)
"Kelly, I can't believe you don't want these!!!" said brother-in-law, as he cradled "Snoopy's Classics on Toys" and "Bach meets the Beetles" and carried them to his hoarde.
Then the people showed up who wanted to purchase the stuff that wasn't on sale, yet was outside... because it belonged there:
"How much for the garden hose?"
I made the mistake of leaving a pad of post-it's out on the table. I'd been using them to price the merch.
"Ooh! Post it's! How much!!???"
"Um," I said, thinking quickly on my feet, "Twenty-five cents per!"
"Do you mean 25 cents per page, or for the whole pad?" asked the shopper (who was wearing a Seussian-style stovepipe hat)
"For that price, you can have the WHOLE PAD!" I exclaimed, channelling Larrytheusedcarsalesman as best I could.
Soon, a mother, daughter, and pair of grandkids showed up. They'd come from the pizza place across the street (where we bought lunch) My sister is very diet-conscious, and noted that the children had shared a two-liter bottle of root beer) When the family arrived at the sale, the kids were active.
Mother: "If you kids don't calm down, I'm going to knock your heads together!"
My sister: "Her kids would be calm if she hadn't sugared them up..."
Grandmother, handing us the near-empty bottle of root beer: "Im leaving this for you, in case anyone wants soda...."
My sister: "Who does that?"
Next - the rather attractive hippie guy, who purchased a peace-sign candle
"I have a friend who's gonna love this!"
I answered, "To everything there is a season..." I'm not sure what prompted me to quote the Birds and King Solomon that day, but the attractive hippie looked at me most admirably...
Then came the hoardes of young teens who greedily scooped up nearly every one of my brother-in-law's 80's hairband albums (Including the one where Dokken members wore the multicolored Zoot Suits.)
"Dad, I have to have "Bark at the MOON!"
The father shelled out the cash, and came back in ten minutes' time to purchase the rest of the Ozzy collection. "I called my other son. He said I should take all of these..." (Picture for a moment the relative incongruity of a 65-year old man hauling 8 Ozzy albums through town... I distinctly heard Ozzy's voice yelling, "SHaaaaawon! Can you believe this old f****?)
Then there were the wheeler dealers - like the 12-year old who picked up my copy of Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. album (Please. spare me the laughter. Someone already mocked me up and down for buying it in the first place) I was selling it for a buck.
"Will you take 50 cents for this?"
"No," I said, "But I'll take a buck for it."
She ran back to her father and said, "It didn't work."
And then, the purchase of the day. Note. My sister post-it noted that the Thigh Master for sale, was the last known specimen on the planet. Perhaps it was the memory of Suzanne Sommers perfectly fit thighs or no memory of Suzanne Sommers at all that encouraged a young shopper to shell out 3 bucks for the promise of fitness. Without any trace of the expected sarcasm in her voice, she said, "I'm going to use this!!!"
After it left, my sister looked sad. "Maybe I shouldn't have sold that!"
That's how the day went. What started out being purge day, ended up being more like live Television - and stories of the eccentricities of people we'd otherwise not have met unfolded before our very eyes.