Sunday, June 26, 2005

Saturday madness. What were we thinking?

6:00 a.m. - I wake up and wonder why I've made plans to get up earlier on a Saturday than I do during the week.

6:15 a.m. - Necessary cup of coffee in hand, all full of high hopes and anticipation, we set out into the sunrise and post our signs announcing to the world that we are having a yard sale from 8:00 - 2:00 and we would love for you to come over and put your hands all over our stuff and offer us next to nothing for it.

7:00 a.m. - We return to the house and start displaying the stuff on the tables. Five tables. Lots of stuff on the tables. Lots of clothes along the fence. Sweaters and wool jackets. It's already so hot that I can barely stand to touch them. No one will buy these things in the 94 temp we're expecting today, so I think the exercise futile.

7:01 a.m. - The first person who ignores the time on the signs shows up and pretends not to understand when we say "It doesn't start until 8:00," but is capable of asking us questions about this or that and putting her hands all over this and that before walking away without buying a thing. Sharon snaps, "Come back when we're open."

7:10 a.m. - The second, third and fourth person who ignore the time on the signs show up and touch all the stuff, rifling through clothes that I just folded and tossing them back into a heap on the table. Sharon growls, "We're not open until 8:00." They leave.

7:15 - 7:30 a.m. - A nice lady (because she is the first to say "Good Morning" when she walks in) and her son come by. Because we're used to company by now and she's actually picking up stuff and keeping it in her hands - without questioning the price - we let her be.

7:30 a.m. - First sale of the day. She scooped up the goods: two Ralph Lauren purses, a couple platters, some t-shirts, and a pair of boots. Yeah, let the cash box ring!

8:00 - 10:00 a.m. - A fair amount of people come and go, make purchases from .50 to $14.00 totals. Some want to pay .50 for things that are marked a dollar. I know that money is tight but we're only talking a .50 difference. And I know I said yesterday that we'd nogotiate, but today I'm not in the mood for it, so we don't budge because on our end that .50 will buy what I'm not sure but we decide that we need it.

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - It's slow, maybe one or two groups of people. They do buy stuff but we're getting bored and let our .50 cents go to the wind and start saying "yes" when they ask if we'll take .50 for something that's marked a dollar. A couple friends stop by. They give me $100.00 for the paving stones they bought the night before and return a lock they'd borrowed. I put a dollar sticker on the lock and put it on a table. It's the next thing to sell.

11:15 a.m. - Sharon says, "Only three more hours." I want to cry. We have a lot of stuff left and it's hot and I'm bored with the whole thing and tired of watching people pick up J.Crew dresses or Banana Republic pants and asking if I'll take a quarter. No, I won't. I would give it away before I'd sell it for a quarter, but not to you. They look at me like I'm a bad person and I do not care. I return a look that says, yeah, well you're a cheapskate. In a weird way, the buyer has become the enemy.

11:20 a.m. - Sharon says, "Maybe people can't find the street." I ponder this a moment. We're in a grid neighborhood, numbered streets east to west, named streets north to south. And then her street, which is secret and invisible.

11:30 a.m. - A woman tries on a wool jacket. It's so hot that I have to go inside the house because I cannot watch her do this. She buys the jacket though. Sharon starts putting reduced tags on her stuff, taking a dollar off of everything and even breaking out the .10 cent stickers. I'm starting to sell pants and dresses for .50 without the potential buyers having to ask first. Someone asks if Sharon will take 15.00 for the Baker's rack priced at 20.00. She'll only go so far on the price slashing though and says the price is firm but to come back at 2:00 and, if it's still there, she'll negotiate.

Noon - We sit inside now with the door open and wait for the dogs to bark to alert us there's someone approaching the gate. A few people wander through and they buy a lot of Sharon's stuff; we have to send them away with boxes to hold all their stuff.

12:30 p.m. - Friends come over. Their dog pees on Sharon's luggage beneath one of the tables, then he pees on the box of tee-shirts. While they're beside themselves with apologies and running after the dog and into the kitchen for paper towels, I almost fall off the porch with laughter. We throw away the luggage and box of shirts. We are tired and hot and bored and do not care anymore.

1:15 p.m. - Hunger sets in, impatience rises up. This sale is over. Sharon makes signs "Take what you want, everything free," and tapes them to the fence. Yeah, that's negotiating. We head out for lunch. On the way, we pass two garage sales across the street from each other, just around the corner from her house. There are cars everywhere, and so many people that it looks like a street party more than yard sales. There is actually traffic. The street is a numbered street. I reconsider Sharon's comment about her street.

When we come back from lunch only two things have been taken - a set of Christmas plates and coffee mugs. A few things are put just outside the fence and the rest is boxed up and put into Sharon's car to deliver to the resale shop on Sunday. It's not five minutes later that the Baker's rack has been scooped up by someone. Within an hour the rest of the stuff on the street is gone. It's over and done.

All told, I think we made about $300.00. And I say here and now that garage sales are officially a thing of the past in my life.

No comments: