Remind me next year...

Every year around this time, I go insane and have a yard sale.

Every year, I forget how much work it is, and I also forget how much I hate people coming to my house to paw through my clothes and things only to decide that they aren't good enough to buy, or that perhaps the $.25 is just too expensive for a shirt was my very favorite and used to fit just right and made my boobs look good, but good-good, not trashy-good, and made me feel pretty, but now I can't wear it because I lost 40 pounds and the v-neck hits somewhere JUST north of my belly button.

It's a selective amnesia, really, kinda like when you have a baby and forget the pain and humiliation that accompany a hospital stay with your lady parts hanging out for God and the orderlies and everybody to see and that you spent the next six weeks sitting on your couch in your pajamas eating dark chocolate and crying, only to do the exact same thing three years later except the second time is so much more fun because now you have a preschooler to take care of who keeps asking you for shit like, ya know, lunch every day.

So anyway, last week the selective amnesia kicked in, and I decided to have a yard sale to rid my house of the piles of clothes that are too big for me, the piles of clothes that are too small for cj, the random toys that nobody here plays with and as much of RJ's shit as I could sneak out of the house when he wasn't looking.

Day one prep.  Good times.

You may remember that last year when I held a yard sale, I thwarted a potential shoplifter and held a class reunion in my driveway.  Actually, you probably don't remember that, because I surely didn't, thus leading to my decision to do this again.

This year was a bit more laid-back, though, if by laid-back you mean dead.  It was 110 degrees, plus  lucky for me the local road crew decided that day would be the best day OF THE ENTIRE YEAR to block the entrance to my subdivision, thereby preventing anyone from actually getting to my house.  Perfect conditions all around.

I did have a few customers though.

My favorite was the Fed-Ex man who was at my house to drop off a package.

As he walked up, my package in hand, his eyes started darting crazily toward all RJ's electronic stuff, most of which I could not even identify.  His gaze settled on a set of computer speakers - at least that's what I think they were - and stayed there as we completed our delivery transaction.

He started talking to me about the speakers, his voice rising in his excitement.

At least, that's what I think he was talking about.  He apparently only knew enough English to say "sign here" and "thank you have a nice day."  Everything else he said was in a language I do not speak, but from his expression, body language and eyes that were glazed over at the thought of owning a new electronic thing, I determined that he was interested in buying the speakers.

I said "Ten dollars.  It's a bargain."

He stopped talking and looked at me blankly.

So I said it louder.  That almost always works when there's a language barrier. "TEN DOLLARS."

He got it.  He reached into his back pocket, pulled out his wallet, and handed me... a credit card.

Um... ok?  Where do you think I'm gonna swipe this, big guy?  My ass?

I said "Cash only.  CASH ONLY!  MONEY!  DOLLARS!  NO CREDIT!" over and over to no avail.  Finally I walked over to my money box and pulled out a stack of ones that I shook at him like he was already halfway up a pole.

Understanding dawned, and he shoved his credit card into his pocket and ran back to his truck.  He was back in a flash, and proudly presented me with a five dollar bill and a giant handful of pennies.  As he stood there grinning, I shoved the money into my box, handed him the speakers, and waited.  And waited.  He continued to stand there, smiling at me, just waiting.  Maybe he needed a receipt.  Whatever.

Finally, I broke every one of my own rules about personal space, strangers, and good customer service.  I put my hands on his arm, gently tugged him around, and gave him a push in the general direction of his truck.

It worked, and he drove off, honking his horn happily.

At the end of of my two day ordeal, I had gotten rid of lots of junk, made a few hundred bucks, gotten a sunburn, and dropped everything that was left at Goodwill where I was presented with a giant tax write-off.

Totally. Not. Worth it.

So again, I'm begging you.

When I start talking in vague terms next year about "having a yard sale to get rid of some stuff" just remind me about the Fed-Ex guy.

That should be enough.


  1. You couldn't have posted this a couple of weeks ago, could you? I am currently hip-deep in yard sale stuff I will be transporting to Lexington for a yard sale at my mother's house this weekend. I promised my 12yo if he'd do all the heavy lifting and man his own table he could keep all the proceeds for his "laptop fund". This has "weekend from hell" written all over it.

  2. @Angie - I'm so sorry. You will be miserable. And hot. But you can just leave him in charge and go sit inside in the air conditioning and sip tea all day. So that part will be ok. Tell him to brush up on the weather, because that's all anyone will want to talk about, and make sure to help him hone his negotiating skills :-)

  3. What an ordeal!I often wish there was a Stuff Fairy who would come and take away all the crap while we sleep. In reality I think that might be an extra wife is for....


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