The Most Awesome (LAST) Garage Sale I Will Ever Have

Perhaps you recall the garage sale I participated in a few years back....the one I lost money on because I spent more than we made buying the neighbor's junk....yeah, apparently I didn't remember it either because last week I participated in the neighborhood garage sale....again.

It went something like this:
7:30 a.m. - I start dragging all our stuff out to the driveway.

7:45 a.m. - I notice the sprinklers are on......the driveway is getting drenched. Huffing and mumbling I give Kurt an earful. He switches the cycle around so that the sprinklers directly affecting the driveway go on immediately. Great. That's so much better.

He and Aidan leave on their way to Chicago for the weekend.

8:00 a.m. - Apparently people take garage-saling very seriously here. (Yes, that is in fact a verb here in MN.....you don't go to garage sales, you garage sale....."We went garage saling yesterday." No, I am not kidding.) As if a switch goes on, cars start flooding the street. People are walking through the area, already stopping in as I struggle to get all the baby clothes put out nicely on a sheet spread out over the wet driveway.

8:30 a.m. - I have already talked two people out of buying our popcorn maker, giving them expert tips (that I learned just last week) on how to make it on their stove with minimal clean up compared to this fantastic machine that I am getting rid of for a reason.

9:00 a.m. - Two sisters come up, one is celebrating her birthday, probably mid to late 50s, and they are celebrating by coming two hours into the cities to garage sale. We spend the next ten minutes laughing and making fun of my terrible sales skills. I love them already. And then I talk yet another person out of the popcorn maker, offering to pay him to take it. I am laughing so hard at this point, tears are running down my cheeks (he walks quickly away). The Birthday Lady tells me I am the worst sales person ever. And she means it. I offer to give her all of Solomon's clothes for her grandson for free, if she will just give me a few hours as I will have to go upstairs and pull them from his drawers. She asks if Solly might need them for the summer. I assure her he prefers the buff anyway, plus IT'S HER BIRTHDAY! We exchange cell phone numbers and they leave.

9:30 a.m. - A young mom comes up ready to check out with a huge pile of stuff.

"Hmmm, how about $1?" I suggest.

"What? Really?" she asks, surprised.

"Oh, no, never mind. Just take it! It's free!" I tell her. She immediately hands me a dollar and thanks me thoroughly.

10:00 a.m. - I accidentally knock over the damn popcorn maker and break a piece off the top. I lower the price (that I won't let people pay anyway).

10:30 a.m. - I am getting really bored. The stir crazy has begun and I pull out the yard waste can and begin weeding the landscaping.

11:00 a.m. - A few people offer to buy the cat. Apparently he is on his friendliest behavior (suckers) and I have to stop myself from giving him and all his stuff away.

11:30 a.m. - Some random lady comes up and starts petting the cat. He rolls onto his back and I warn her: "Don't pet his belly because he doesn't like it and will attack you."

She says, "Oh, I have one just like him," and immediately starts scratching his belly with rough enthusiasm, babbling in baby-speak all the while. He starts biting and kicking. Obviously irritated, she walks away to look at my stuff. A minute later, when she is entirely not expecting it, he runs around the corner and jumps up her leg, kicking and biting at her jeans.

Um, I told you so.

I give the cat a treat and scratch him between the ears ("Good boy!") before throwing him inside where he is safe from stupid people.

Noon - Liam and I settle in for popchips and trail mix as we watch people come in and out not buying anything. He asks me a million questions about each and every person. I tell him to just keep eating.

12:45 p.m. - I abandon my garage sale for twenty minutes to take Liam to school. If anything was stolen, I neither know it nor care. In retrospect, I should have just put a big FREE sign in the yard while I was gone and saved myself a few hours.

1:30 p.m. - A nice mom with two little ones come to check things out. She is a new neighbor from down the road and a pediatrician (originally from Jamaica but most recently from Boston where I believe she went to school.) We have a lovely conversation about being a transplant in MN and when she picks up her baby's pacifier from the ground and sticks it in her pocket, I tell her I am surprised she didn't just put it back in her kid's mouth, after all, a little dirt goes a long way these days. She tells me she would if she were at home but doesn't in public because of the judgement from other parents. I assured her she would get no judgement from me unless she failed to give it back to her baby right this very minute. She did. I invite her to be my new best friend and let her toddler use my bathroom and then give her free toys.

By the end of the nine hour day, after subtracting out what I paid a babysitter and what I will send a friend whose toddler bed I sold, I made a little over $18. I figure at this rate I can feed my family every Thursday, exactly one time. And I'm thinking maybe I'll hit a sweat shop for my next gig....but maybe not because I just don't know what I would do with all that extra money!

6:00 p.m. - I have packed up the garage sale stuff and a friend comes over for dinner. We had just poured a glass of wine when the Birthday Lady and her sister call to see if now would be a good time to stop by. When they arrive, I insist that they come in for a drink before they get on the road, after all, it's her birthday.

Upon entering the house, Birthday Lady asks: "Wow, are you like minimalists or something?"

I promise her my last born child (seriously, please take him!) and ask her to please move next door so that we can be best friends forever. For two hours, we laugh about everything under the sun. At one point, the kids come up from their movie and ask who these strange people are in our house. I told them I had no flipping clue but that they've been here over an hour so I think they're okay.  When they have to leave, I give Birthday Lady a bag of Solomon's clothes. I try to slip him inside too but apparently she isn't interested in parenting someone else's monster.

She is the best best-friend-forever-that-I-will-never-see-again. No drama. No sharing of silly life details and hopes and dreams and such. Just a stinkin' good buddy who mistakenly thinks for all of two hours that I AM A MINIMALIST. God I'll miss her.

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