Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Garage Sale

Hey Guys!  Welcome my very first Guest Blogger!  Jen Womack is my newest bestie!  She's the one this blog was written about.  I never told you that I didn't scare her off!  She took a few weeks to reply to my text, but we are friends - like for real!  Our littles are similar in ages, our sense of adventure and humor are in sync, and....importantly, she had enough junk in her garage to make my junk into enough to be a fabulous garage sale!

Here's her take:

I remember so clearly my first garage sale. It was summer, and my sister and I were looking for ways to earn money. We picked weeds and washed windows but, frankly, we had our eyes on a bigger payout.  My mom agreed to a garage sale as long as; one, we did all the work, and two, we absolutely did not have it at our house. No problem! We enlisted a friend and had our first multi-family sale. I remember the sorting, and pricing, and the thrill of a sale. I remember haggling with strangers, but mostly, I recall the stack of cash at the end.

Until this summer, these childhood yard sales were my only point of reference. Perhaps because I associate said sales with such rosy memories, two decades later, I jumped all over the invitation to combine my unwanted things with a friend’s (Erin’s) in yet another ‘multi-family’garage sale.

Now, I know this sounds a little heavy for a topic like garage sales, but it was such an  insightful weekend. I would never have guessed two days of unloading my ‘junk’ on others could invoke such a range of emotions. Here’s my take-away:

1) Garage sales are a lot of work! As a kid, the prep work was fun. It’s easy to price and sell something you didn’t pay for yourself. It is also easy to sit around with friends and make signs when you have no other obligations, namely 3 kids and a household to manage. This was so different! The week prior to the big sale was manic and my kids watched a month’s worth of cartoons and scavenged for many of their meals while I priced items and strategized with Erin. I felt like a bad mommy by the end of the week and was so happy when it finally began and we could think and talk about something else.

2) Friday is THE garage sale day in Edmond, Oklahoma. I would have never guessed this, but the crowd on Friday morning blew us away. The bargain-hunters descended long before we were set up, and didn’t let up for hours. Erin and I barely spoke the first half of Friday. Saturday, though, was painfully slow at times.

3) Letting go of your baby’s things is all kinds of hard. I had zero problems selling the plastic slide or turtle sandbox but was surprised at the pain I felt selling some of the baby clothes and tiny blankets.  “Don’t you know,” I wanted to say to the person talking me down a dollar, “that Avery wore that in her first days home,” or that “Hunter took his first steps in that romper,” and so on. But memories have no cash-value and I am no hoarder, so I let go….but, it hurt.

4) Two hormonal women + too much caffeine and sugar + too little sleep = tears. We watched an expectant mother carefully shop the cheapest used clothes for her firstborn and listened as another mom explained how she wanted to come by after pay day and shop the leftovers. It’s hard to put into words what made me want to cry. It’s not pity for them, or guilt that I feel….we’re all just doing the best we can. It’s that, pay day never enters my mind if the kids need new shoes, clothes, etc.  This was a good reminder to not take that for granted.

5) A thing is only worth what someone will pay for it.  I’ve heard this saying countless times but a garage sale is absolute proof. I had people talk me down to scandalous prices. I lost count of how many times someone tried to haggle for Erin’s liter of apple cider vinegar we were using as a bookend. One lady offered me a quarter because, ‘it’s leaking a bit.’ We sold things I would never have guessed anyone would want. And other, ‘nice’ things, just didn’t move ‘til we were willing to almost give them away. I had a woman try to give me one dollar for a pair of shoes I wanted two for with the excuse that they were a half size too big. Worth and value are certainly in the eye of the beholder.

6) Lastly, garage sales, like most things in life, are better with a friend. Without Erin, I would have made a few more trips to Goodwill and called it done. Instead, we plowed through together, laughing and sweating, and made a great team. We began our weekend with a shot of espresso and too many Krispy Kremes and ended it drinking iced white wine through a straw (no judgment…it was good.) The de-cluttering that took place in that weekend was downright therapeutic, but, for me, the most exciting part was bellying up to Erin’s kitchen table and counting our stack of cash….we were giddy as little girls.


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