garage sale season


Every summer or so, the neighbors all get together for one of those huge, neighborhood ‘garage sale’ days. Everyone ponies up the money for a big ad in say, Westlife or the Sun weekly suburban papers, and proceed to price and tag every single item they otherwise would throw away.

The idea, obviously, is to take your cast-off stuff and spin it into cash. Easier said than done.

We tried this a few years back and the experience taught us one very specific thing: no one wants your crap. Even if it’s really cool old crap you’re having an emotionally tough time unloading. I can still recall the hellacious amount of time we spent going through our crap…er…’neatly used cool stuff’, and getting it ready for the big sale. Often, we were putting things out that to us, had some tangible memory….something the kids played with…a book we read on vacation….only to put it out for pennies on the dollar.

Inevitably, the garage sale hunter-types would show up, intensely perusing our life’s wares…our memories…only to pass right on by, in spite of the appealing 75¢ price tag.

It was all so humiliating…I mean, that’s the book my Aunt Martha gave me at Christmas, in 1998, goddammit! It’s a steal at 50¢! How the hell can you walk right past that $2 Fisher Price Little People Farm House that my kid spit up on in 1994? Huh? I even cleaned it up, fer crissakes!

At a garage sale, your life story (or least the parts of it you desperately want to unload) is laid bare for a scavenger hunter’s approval or non-approval – it’s real black and white.

At the end of the day, though, we made very little for our herculean efforts to de-clutter and become millionaires. I recall it was somewhere in the range of a paltry $40.

Which we promptly used to go out and buy more crap.

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