I have a lot of useless junk in my house and I want to have money to buy new better junk that won’t become useless for at least another 5 minutes. I enjoy sorting through my junk multiple times and then sitting around all day trying to convince strangers that it has great worth to them even though to me personally it is, alas, junk. I especially love to haggle over a fiddy-cent price difference.
So my neighbors and I decided to host a garage-sale-ic event later this summer. I’ve been piling all garbage that is not compostable or recyclable up in my garage in the hopes that someone will want to give me money for it. I’ve scoured the house from top to bottom looking for any little thing that might not be enriching my health and happiness fully or that might be slowly poisoning me or my children to death with its questionably toxic toxicity. Phthalates in plastic, lead in paint, parabens in beauty products, mysterious things that clean really well in cleaning products and must therefore be carcinogenic.
So the Magic Date Ball, the too-short shirts, the old nail polish, and the stacking rings all had to go. I was going to wait until September to do a sale with my whole street but a friend asked me to bring a few things over to bulk up her garage sale this weekend and I decided to consider it a practice run.
I learned from my previous mistakes and decided not to dress up like a millionaire prom queen for the sale. A couple of weekends ago I went garage-saleing dressed in my nicest possible mom clothes and no one had any pity or mercy on me when it came to haggling. They gave me that look that said, “If you can dress like that, then you don’t need to get a deal from me.” I tried to give them a look that said, “But I got it at Ross! On clearance! And I just want my husband to think I’m hot for the day!” But it didn’t translate well. I was like a character on the show What Not To Wear — Garage Sale Edition, where all the rules are the exact opposite of the conventional show. So this weekend I wore ripped worn-out cords, an old t-shirt, no makeup and no jewelry.
Besides the toys and household items I was selling, I pulled together all the non-natural cleaning products and personal hygiene items I’d been planning to toss, marked them 50 cents or a dollar each and tossed them in big Tupperwares, not expecting anyone to buy them.
Surprise surprise! They were my biggest sellers. Seriously. People were all over my lightly used lotions, cleaners and nail polishes. Sweet.
In fact my favorite customer was an elderly woman with an Eastern European accent, which I will exaggerate slightly in the following dialogue to give you a feel for the way she talked and for added comic effect, who had her eye on my box of cleaners. There were 15-20 bottles in the Tupperware, marked at 50 cents each. She stood there for a while inspecting each one. Pinesol, softscrub with bleach, windex, stainless steel cleaner. She looked thoughtful.
“I give you two dollars for whole box,” she offered.
“Sure,” I said, glad to avoid a trip to the dump. “Let me help you with these.” I started to pull the bottles out of their case.
“No!” she said sternly. “I want the box.”
“Oh. Well. The box doesn’t come with them.”
“WHAT?! NO BOX!? I only wanted them because uff the box. This is horrible.”
“It’s my kids’ toy box. It’s worth more than 2 dollars.”
“Well this is horrible! I don’t want it now.” She started walking away and then called out over her shoulder, “Unless you give me all uff them for $1.50.”
“I luff you! You are vunderful girls!”
As she continued to shop through our junk, she would periodically call out how vunderful we were… because we gave her a 50 cent discount and because she LUFFED us.
As you can tell, I am a master bargainer/negotiator and saleswoman. I worked the sale hard, although not as hard as my friend’s cute 12-year-old son who walked past people muttering under his breath about Xbox games being the best thing ever and why didn’t anyone want his Xbox games? Didn’t people play Xbox games anymore? Wasn’t it great that we had Xbox games available at this very garage sale?
Can you guess who would get the money if any of his games sold? Yep. I almost had mercy and bought one from him. Almost, but not quite. The last thing we need is one more electronic game in this house. With Dan and his Call of Duty addiction and me with my love of the Wii, it’s a shock we ever speak to each other anymore.
Last night I created a Mii that looks like a demonic butt-ugly mutant and Laylee has named her Floraburr. Whenever I think of or see her, I laugh until my guts liquefy and drain out the corners of my eyes as hysterical funny-farm-worthy tears. Aaaahhh, the joy of my own electronical hilarity.