Today, some friends had a yard sale and I was invited to bring some stuff to try to unload in exchange for acting as "cashier." It's a pretty sweet gig -- I sit in the shade, eat some delicious homemade cinnamon rolls, and maybe end up with a couple bucks in my pocket. Often, there is some bartering amongst us all to take some things off each other's hands. One year, I ended up with an amazing desk that sits in my den as well as a cute little two-shelf bookcase that sits in my kitchen with my microwave on top and all my cookbooks on the shelves. This year, I ended up with a breadmaker which I am dying to try out!
Because of my move last summer, I didn't really have a lot of stuff to try to unload. I'd gotten rid of a lot of junk in the move and some other things had been given to friends to make the moving load a little lighter. What I had not sorted through until this week, though, were tubs and tubs just full of clothes. I spent yesterday sorting through those tubs, deciding what I wanted to hold onto should I lose some weight, what was too gross to try to sell, and what was acceptable for someone other than me. I arrived early this morning at my friend's house with four tubs full of clothes and shoes and purses that I had decided I could live without.
As I sat watching people paw through our soon-to-be former belongings, I was kind of struck by the surreal nature of yard sales. All of us had gone through our homes and determined that these things were no longer desirable to us. We have priced them at ridiculously low prices in the hope that we will entice someone else to take them off our hands. And people buy this stuff -- old candleholders, pasta makers from the 1970s, a hideous pair of pink pants that I bought in a fit of what can only be insanity, a bag of wigs. People shell out their quarters and walk away happy at their find. It also is kind of odd to sit and watch people paw through your things, to see them pick up that t-shirt you bought when you went to see the Smashing Pumpkins, crinkle their noses when they see what band it's for, and throw it back in the pile, to see them reject the shoes you once loved until you realized how much they made your ankles hurt, or even to see them find that hideous pair of pink pants and gasp with delight when they see that the tags are still on, allowing them to get a pair of nearly $30 Isaac Mizrahi (for Target) pants for $1.
At the end of the day, I'd made about $20 which I promptly took to Target and blew on the goodies to be found in the dollar bin . . . goodies which could very well be finding their way to a yard sale table years from now. Here's hoping that some discerning future shopper will approve of my new salt and pepper shakers and Rolling Stones magnet.