Hello! I haven’t written any newsletter/blog posts in almost a month! Am I being lazy? Hell, no! May has been a super busy month and passed by in the blink of an eye.
What have I been doing? Well, thank you for asking!
I threw an impromptu 70th birthday party for my mom. It involved her wearing a beauty pageant sash that read “It’s my fucking birthday” in gold sparkles. I got my sense of humor and craziness from her, so I knew she wouldn’t be too shy to wear it…until we saw a local priest at the bar/bowling alley where we had her party and she had to cover it up and act all modest. My mom also had to go up to the bartender and ask if she was allowed to wear the sash or if they’d kick her out. After she was assured that her bawdy accessory was perfectly legal, she did a few tequila shots with her hairdresser to celebrate.
No, we don’t do things normal in my family. That’s what’s so great about it! I also got her a fantastic marble cake with raspberry filling from the grocery store. That’s not relevant to the story, but I was fondly recollecting the event and food always pops into my head!
What else have I been up to? Ah, yes. The rummage sale.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that my husband and I are a pair of hoarders. Does it make sense to have four potato mashers and four strainers? Yes…because the first three might break.
Anyway, I went through the house room by room in early April and planned to have a rummage sale in May. For whatever reason, I like to call it a ‘Rummage-o-rama’ instead of a yard sale. It sounds more elaborate.
So I filled the garage with crap and priced it to sell. Please understand that when I use the word ‘crap,’ I’m simply referring to stuff that we bought at estate sales and didn’t sell on ebay. I’m talking quality merchandise here. Clothing such as L.L. Bean pants, Nordstrom dress shirts, Suits, Igloo Coolers, shot glasses from well known sports teams, vintage cookware, and so much more.
I had board games priced at $2, all the clothes priced at a buck, and a huge table in the center of the garage where everything was a quarter. It was a major pain in the ass to price stuff, set it up nicely, and get ready for business. I had to lift heavy items upstairs from the basement and do a shit ton of manual labor.
As someone who works in an office environment, I’m allergic to anything involving physical activity. However, I powered through the pain.
Blah, blah, blah. Let’s fast forward to the best part about having a rummage-o-rama. Making money? Fuck no. It’s the customers! Would you like some examples? Of course you would!
Exhibit A: I was selling a NEW in the ORIGINAL PLASTIC vintage blanket from JC Penney Made in the USA. It’s a normal blanket that you’d put under a comforter for added warmth and not a fancy bedspread or anything like that. I priced it at $2.00. That price is reasonable as fuck. However, some random lady came up to me and offered me a buck. In a moment of weakness (the sale had been going for two hours and there wasn’t as much traffic as I’d hoped), I caved in and said, “Meet me in the middle at $1.50” like I’m on Pawn Stars and haggling over a hundred dollar item. Naturally she accepted my generous offer.
Exhibit B: I had a pair of tape measures on the ‘Everything is a quarter’ table. One of them wasn’t marked as to how many feet it was. So an elderly lady held one end of the tape measure and forced her husband to back up until he was 25 feet away….halfway down my fucking driveway. Really? It’s a quarter! Just buy it and take the risk! Naturally it didn’t roll back into the holder as quickly as it should have, so my husband told her to just take it for free. He likes to give stuff away because he’s insane. Honestly, I didn’t mind because I got 25 cents worth of entertainment value watching the poor guy slowly back up until the tape measure stopped.
Exhibit C: This is actually a cool story of a customer who taught me a new trick. Some old dude was trying to figure out if a pair of pants would fit him, and he stuck his elbow into the pants and stretched them out to his wrist. I just thought he was a wack job until I saw his son do the same thing. I asked, “Okay, you got me curious…what are you doing?” He was kind enough to explain that your waist measurement is the same as your elbow to your wrist. I thought that was cool and then thanked him for the new knowledge…until I tried to wrap my head around that one. What about people who are overweight? I just tried to measure half my waist and then measure my elbow to my wrist…not happening. I need ‘elbow to tip of my index finger.’ That dude sold me a line of bullshit. Maybe it just pertained to him?
Exhibit D: This is also a cool story. There was another old dude who seemed to be a collector of vintage stuff. He picked up a silver serving platter that was made in France. The guy began speaking with a French accent and said, “Perhaps I used this tray to serve my many guests during a formal party attended by royals and commoners alike.” Then he smiled, forked over his two bucks, and added, “That would be cool, wouldn’t it?” Being a writer, I can certainly relate to anyone that uses their imagination to come up with a backstory.
I should also mention that I had one RUDE customer who had no money, stole two stuffed animals, and took a piss in my yard. Okay…in all honesty…it was my dog…but still! She doesn’t handle my rummage sales very well at all! The day we were in the garage pricing stuff, she plopped her ass on the floor and stared forlornly at the cars driving past. If one would keep going and not pull over, she huffed and laid her head back down as if to say, “We have quality merchandise, jackass, why aren’t you stopping?” I also had a box of old stuffed animals priced at fifty cents each. While we were setting up the garage, I noticed that the dog was sitting in the front yard happily playing with the new toy that she stole from the box of stuffed animals. I started screaming, “Hey! That’s not yours and you didn’t pay for it! THIEF!” to which my husband replied, “Quit yelling at the dog. She can have whatever she wants.” Yeah…she’s a bit spoiled.
[I feel the need to mention that my dog currently has roughly 30 stuffed animals, balls, toys, and Frisbees in her possession. She is by no means toyless. Sigh. Don’t we always want what we can’t have? Dogs and humans are no different.]
Hmm. What else happened? I met two new neighbors and promptly forgot their names in about three seconds. I’m super awful with that. I really need to repeat their names when I’m shaking their hands in order to commit that shit to memory. That’s why I love talking to people on facebook…their names are RIGHT THERE! Who am I talking to? Oh…that’s Karen…because her name is right there!
The sad part of the rummage sale is packing up in the heat of the afternoon when you’re hot, sweaty, and have given up hope that any more customers might show up. I box up a ton of leftovers to donate to our local thrift store, but still have a few boxes of stuff that I just can’t get rid of, even though I happily would have sold them for a dollar if any customers would have been interested.
That cake pan for $2? Keeping it. The purse that is identical to another purse that I already have that was $2? Keeping it. The ice pick dangerous weapon thing that was in the fifty cent box and I will never, ever use in this lifetime? Keeping it…because it would be great to use if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse and I need to spear those fuckers right in the brain.
Am I rational? No. That’s why you like me. Logic and reason are for sane people…and who wants to be normal? Not this lady, thank you very much.
In conclusion, if you’re thinking of having a rummage sale…might I share my two best-selling items?
Seashells and Aloe Vera plants.
Oh yeah. I sold three boxes of old seashells for $1 each to THREE different customers. They were a hot item that was popular with a multitude of shoppers. I also sold two aloe vera plants. I priced them high ($4 and $5) because I didn’t want just any random weirdo grabbing my beloved plants for nefarious purposes. If you want my dirt babies, you’re going to PAY UP for those bastards. Strangely enough, two ladies snapped them up without even quibbling on the price!
There you have it folks…just another day in the life. I hope you found my rummage-o-rama story entertaining. If you have any interesting rummage sale stories, please share. I love a good story…
Til next time…