On Friday night, Ned and I had one teensy modicum of fun; we decided to go to the food truck rodeo before we commenced our pre-garage-sale work. Not that we hadn't been working on that goddamn sale all week.
I had a glazed pork chop from the Cajun truck and Ned had something salady-looking. Since we were already downtown, I said, "Can't we pop in to my friend Kit's store and say hi, and THEN we'll start doing yard sale stuff?" My work ethic is powerful.
Finally, we headed to Ned's, where we got his damn couch and his 943599394 books that he had to go through one by one and debate endlessly whether to keep to sell, and we loaded 900 winter coats he hasn't worn since 1994 and we were ready. Did I mention Ned lives on the second floor, and that it's an endless labyrinth to get from his place to his parking lot? It took me a year to dating him to not get lost in all those stairways and hallways.
Then we went to his aunt and uncle's and got stuff from them they they said we could sell. We loaded THAT in the truck, and went to my house, where I finished getting stuff down from the attic, and what I am trying to tell you is I didn't get to bed till midnight, and I'd been tired since 6:30. We crawled into my bed and realized we were starved. I got these packets that I have, of 100-calories-worth of almonds and walnuts. We ate those in bed, because sexy.
"Walnuts can't even carry almonds' luggage," munched Ned. "Walnuts are almonds' bitch."
"I really can't agree. I think walnuts are much more flavorful."
"Yeah, but almonds have the better texture."
"Well, I guess if we're ever roommates. I'll never have to ask, 'Did you eat all the walnuts?'" That's funny, see, cause we're killing ourselves to become roommates. Anyway then I was in REM.
When the alarm went off at 6:23, I considered committing hair-kari but I was too sleepy to find my Ginsu knife. I checked the weather, and it wasn't going to rain till evening, but in the meantime the humidity was going to be 100%. So it became a yard sale/freak show extravaganza, where folks gathered and watched my har grow.
We immediately started schelpping things outside, and the coffee wasn't even done brewing before Faithful Reader Laurie showed up. You know how sometimes people swoop in and do everything? I am never that person. But Laurie and I took the nine thousand doo-dads I'd piled on my dining room table for the last two weeks and put them outside. Ned schlepped two couches, two coffee tables, a TV display and chairs out, and also my exercise bike, which dropped on his hand and hurt it, and I am sorry to tell you couldn't help but worry that that injury would affect my sex life. Cannot help. However, I do have to say that later in the weekend I was playing a particularly rugged game of tug-of-war with Edsel and Blu, and Ned said, "If that dog bites off your hand, it's going to negatively affect my sex life," so we are equally awful.
The point is, when people started arriving (on time! No early birds! Left strongly worded discouragement in my Craigslist ad, which by the way several people said was funny), you shoulda seen Laurie. Oh, she talked people into buying things, and she upsold, and she might as well sell Mary Kay or life insurance, such a saleswoman is she.
It was one of those mornings where you never sit down, and you never stop trying to do 40 things at once, and the first person to say, "I wish you'd taken PICTURES of the sale!" gets slapped with my Gunsu knife. Ned and I both had a pocketful of singles, and I told him that whenever it was possible, he should make change because y'all know how I am. Some really dumb things (a Mary Englebright jar, for example) flew off our nonexistent shelves, and some things did not that surprised me. "I can't believe no one's bought the Lite Brite," I said. "It'd be the first thing I'd get."
Two faithful readers came, which was lovely, and they both said they weren't sure if they'd really say hello or not, but they did, and they can both tell you firsthand about my humidity hair.
Laurie eventually drove out and got us lunch, and did I mention indispensable?
After several hours of performing free manual labor for us (actually, it wasn't at all free, seeing as she bought stuff), Laurie left. We'd all decided our favorite shopper had been the large handsome man of color, who bought all three of Ned's Fifty Shades of Gray books. "I want you to know these aren't for me," he'd said. Then he told me how funny my Craigslist ad was, and he was charming in general and also did any of you really think those books were Ned's? Oh, honey.
But after he left, this bearded man came. We seriously had four or five huge boxes of books out. "Whose are these?" he asked. "Both of ours," Ned said generously, when really all the diet and horoscope books were mine, and all the fancy smart-guy books were his. "Good books," the bearded man said. "These are the kinds of books a writer reads." Turns out he's a writing professor at the university, and after he left, Ned said, "I'm kind of full of myself right now."
I also had a very deep talk with a woman about migraine and pain and I can't quite explain it, but we had this sort of weird connection. She sat right down at my table with me and wrote down her chiroprctor's info. "I think I was meant to come to this garage sale," she said. I mean, we practically kissed.
Finally, though, I was splayed across my as-yet-unpurchased couch, when two young girls got out their car. "We already loved you because of your ad, but now you're all relaxed on your couch, and we just said, 'That woman is our new best friend.'"
I mean, the ad wasn't that great, y'all. But you know how I seem funny when you aren't used to me? Yeah.
Anyway, I could tell I loved them, but then the red-haired one picked up my Lite Brite. "Lite Brite!" she yelled to her friend, and right then I knew, she was my people. She headed to the tree, where we had coats hung up. She picked up the beige swingy '50s coat with the real-fur leopard collar (I KNOW, okay?) I bought at a thrift shop in 1985. I have adored that coat and wear it at least once a year, but something that seems quirky and cool at 20 does not deliver the same message at 49. It goes from Look how quirky! to She needs meds.
The redhead tried it on. It looked perfect on her. "How much?" she yelled across the yard. "Five bucks!" Her friend bought a sewing kit and a sifter, so she must have been the practical one. "That coat has been with me four decades. It's gone to many bars and parties," I told her. "And it's going to many more," said the redhead.
I could not have asked for a better home for my leopard coat. I will miss it, but is there anything more cliche than an aging woman trying to look cool in leopard? Who am I, Mrs. Roper?
How long do you give me before I buy another leopard coat?
Anyway, at day's end, we left whatever remained outside with a FREE! sign, and people came like buzzards and snatched most of it up. The rest we loaded in the truck on Sunday, and donated to Goodwill. We also went to the used book store here, where they COULD NOT HAVE more attitude, and dealt with the official World's Snottiest Young Girl, who gave us $30 for the rest of our books. I'd love to complain at length about her but at this point it's dinnertime for you, when you began reading at 5 a.m., so I will be off.
Oh, but the point is, we made almost $300, and it was such little work! So. Probably going into this professionally.
Love, Fifity Shades of June