Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's Wrong With the World

Friday afternoon, the kids and I headed into town with my van FULL of crap. Not literal crap, just crapp in the sense that I've bought my children entirely too many toys in the past few years and why did I think I needed four sets of mixing bowls and I don't make homemade bread, so why do I have a bread slicer? That kind of crap.

We unloaded said crap at Mom's and then Kady and Sam stayed with Mom while Abby and I went back home to get a second load and to help Paul put the desk, toybox and changing table in the truck. As we hefted that extremely heavy, yet worthless for a college student, desk into the back of the truck, Paul told me if I brought it back home he'd burn it. (So when that nice young couple up the street offered me $15 for it, I took it just to save our neighborhood from threat of wildfire due to desk burning.) Tater had brought a load during that time and was headed back for more. By the time we got back the second time, she and the kids were there and the fun began.

It is tradition for Tater, the kids and me to stay the night at Mom's on garage sale-eve. It's easier than having to get up and around and get the kids around and drive to town, etc. So the night before a garage sale we usually polish off a bottle of wine or two, laugh until our heads hurt and sleep horribly. It makes for a really long next day.

After staying in the yard Friday night until we could no longer fend off the mosquitoes as large of Buicks, we went to bed at 12:30am and got up at 4:30am Saturday. Mom and Tater both had to shower because Mom had an auction to work and Tater is now single and therefore cannot be seen sans makeup and her hair must always be perfect, so she says. (I'd be danged if I'd work that hard for a man. Probably why I will never leave my husband - there's too much effort involved in being single. The one I already have is used to me the way I am.) Knowing they had to impress people the next day, I showered the night before then set my alarm 15 minutes before theirs Saturday morning and got in the bathroom and put on my makeup and fixed my hair before they had to get around. This effort of foresight on my part earned me the name of "Prom Queen" the rest of the day. Not sure why since I wasn't out to impress anyone. Maybe I just look that good.

The ad in the paper said we would open at 8, so we figured we'd have customers by 6. Our first one showed up at 6:30 and thus began a steady stream of bargain hunters that didn't end until 2.

It was pure heaven to sit in the garage with her Saturday and swat mosquitoes with my baby sister. She threatened to kick my butt in front of a group of garage salers and I offered to sell her to several people. Things were wonderfully relaxed and hilarious amidst the sweat, lack of sleep and as she said, "the continual and horrific threat of malaria."

There's one at every garage sale - the guy who will bargain with you no matter what. You could have a big-screen TV for sale for $5 and he would do his best to get you down to $4.50. Just to say he did. He bargained with me on a $7 convection/ nuclear radiation cooker Papa bought off of an infomercial. He asked, "What'll ya take?" and I replied, "$7." He said, "Oh come on. In the spirit of things, let me have it for $5." I replied with, "I have no spirit. Take it for $7 or don't take it." I ended up letting him have it for $6 only because I was ready to poke him in the eyes with the PlaySkool fork on the next table. Through gritted teeth I said, "Pay me $6 and get out of here now." He opened his mouth to say something else and I held my finger up and shook my head. He paid me $6 without another word.

This particular guy is a garage saler who makes the circuit and is a "collector" who probably doesn't really collect, but instead re-sells stuff on eBay. We recognized him as he walked into the yard. He sauntered up to the table and said, "Do you have any guy stuff?" We both immediately answered, "No." He said, "Translation: guy stuff is guns, knives, fishing equipment, tools, et cetera." Tater blinked once and said, "Translation: no." After he left I said, "You don't know how badly I wanted to say, 'Nope, no guy stuff here. Translation: we're lesbians.'" She spit sweet tea all over a table Mom had for sale for $5.

This one cranky looking old lady kept bringing piles and piles of stuff up to the table then going back to shop. Every time she brought a load of stuff she'd make a cranky comment about how she had to buy stuff because "those kids just cart if all off to their house every day." I didn't care of she had cleptomaniac kids in her house every day as long as she was buying my stuff. One time she said, "What's wrong with the world today is that no one has control of their kids. [That wouldn't be you, would it? You know, the one who lets kids steal from her? Nah, of course not.] Those kids I watch, they have to sit at their desks and I have a world map on the wall for them to stare at. All day." And I thought Well, no wonder they steal from you - they have to have fun somehow. Well, then she overheard me saying I wanted to make enough money off of the garage sale to buy the new Harry Potter book and let me tell you, that cranky old lady nearly came right out of her support hose. She said, "Girl, I wouldn't have one of those books in my house for nothin'. You don't want to get me started on that subject." I said, "You're right, I don't." She hmph'd at me, but at least she didn't honk her horn.

Later in the morning, a little boy who was probably about three or so, wanted a toy and set to work wreaking havoc on the toy table. All of the toys were priced insanely cheap because we wanted them to sell and what kid doesn't want to get the bargain of the century at a garage sale? Well, he decided he wanted this particular toy and told his mom she was buying it for him. She jerked it out of his hand and said, "You can't have it because you didn't ask." Then he threw himself on the ground and began shrieking, "MAY I PLEASE HAVE TOY? I SAID 'MAY I' SO YOU HAVE TO LET ME HAVE IT NOW!" and we politely ignored the scene because we've all had a kid who throws a humdinger in public. She told him that just because he said "may I" that didn't mean she was going to buy it for him. Then he took off running and ran into the yard next door and she just sighed and looked at her cup of coffee like "Do I put down the coffee and reign in my child or what?" She opted to keep a handle on that coffee cup and just kind of ineffectively batted at him while he ran around her, in between tables and around the tree. It was at that moment I stuck a sign on the wall that said, "Not responsible for accidents."

The little darling then ran into the neighbor's yard and got a good head of steam going as she ran screaming past our table, "YOU CAN'T CATCH ME YOU F---ER!!" And while I'm a big fan of the f-bomb (in appropriate places), I heartily disapprove in its use in the preschool set. I bit my lip, Tater quietly put her eyeballs back in and picked her chin up off the table. Eventually the mother caught him and put him in the car where he screamed and banged on the windows until she was done shopping.

As they drove away Tater said, "What that boy needs is a world map and someone to steal from."


Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Sounds like a rockin' good day, man! I just can't believe that you put on makeup and fixed your hair so that you could sweat it off by 8:30 a.m. :)

Catch Her in the Wry said...

Garage sales are like restaurant buffets - alot of work for alot of crap and I swear I'll never do either again. But then I forget. Besides, they make good fodder for blogs.

polkadot said...

you're so brave, dealing with the general public willingly and all... a much better woman than I! I hope you made lotsa cash and went out and wallpapered your house in Harry Potter book covers, that lady was a crackpot.

polkadot said...

you're so brave, dealing with the general public willingly and all... a much better woman than I! I hope you made lotsa cash and went out and wallpapered your house in Harry Potter book covers, that lady was a crackpot.

Cazzie!!! said...

Tater got THAT RIGHT!!

WHIP's said...

have you heard of this???

Queen Of Cheese said...

You know, if my kid said that my first thought would be "your right, I can't catch you" then my second would be "but I can throw hard enough to knock you down at full speed and make you cry". Yet another reason the Mother Of The Year Award is not collecting dust in my trophy case.

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