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Darth Vader Banks, Watches, Televisions and Foam
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
The late summer installment of our twice yearly association garage sale was coming up, and since I hadnít met my quota of moving heavy, awkward furniture in over a year, I decided it was time for not just a little extra money, but a hernia as well.
Iím proud to say I moved everything out the door and almost on time without smashing a finger or dropping anything. My first big sale of the day, a television set that, if it were human, would be old enough to drink, was carried off by two women who loaded it into a minivan. I was gracious enough to make sure when they were carrying the TV off the lawn, they didnít fall down the asymmetrical front steps.
One woman shocked me by buying a birdbath out of my front lawn that was covering one of the sewer line holes. I figure Iíll just let the grass grow over itóor maybe slap a lawn gnome in front.
As I surveyed my motley collection of goods, I wondered what a Beverly Hills garage saleóif they have themówould be like. Louis Vuitton handbags? Custom made furniture? Signed celebrity tell-all autobiographies? Certainly, you wouldnít see any Pocket Fishermen, or never opened Chia pets. Garage sales are where Americaís impulse purchases and gag gifts have their last chance at a new life before being donated to the thrifts. Ebay is great, but meeting people face to face, especially the person who is paying cold, hard cash for your junk, is quite satisfying. A gentleman was actually looking for watches so he could make a collage. Too bad he wasnít having an 80ís party, or else those black, confetti-patterned stirrup pants of mine would have been a hit.
About 2:30 a.m. the night before, my exhaustion was no match for my sense of humor. I was getting rid of a foam pad my mother had been planning to use, but never got around to it. I slapped a tag on it which read, ďbig slab oí foam, $5. You know youíve always wanted one.Ē Did it sell? Of course! If humor can get people to buy insurance from Geico, I figure it can help me unload crap.
You never know whatís going to sell though. I was sure the dining room table and the TV cart would go, along with a piece of furniture thatís sort of hard to describe, but it would be good if you needed storage space. It was way more shabby than chic, but at $10, how could you complain?
A friend of mine brought some stuff over, but none of it sold. She was a good sport by going on a food run. Since the restaurants she was going too werenít terribly far away, I was puzzled when it took more than 15 minutes for her to return. Turns out, she hadnít gone all the way to Tijuana to get my tacos; she couldnít resist the lure of a rummage sale my neighborhood church was having. At the sale a couple houses down, she scored a Darth Vader bank.
Stuck in my yard, I wasnít able to check out any bargains. But that was okay. I was keen on getting rid of some stuff, which I did. I didnít sell all of it though. A kind neighbor agreed to take the stuff that didnít sell Friday, and put it out Saturday. Iím at the point now where I donít really care about the money. Having a slightly less cluttered house is priceless. The key word is slightly. Seeing floor space in two of my rooms is a victory in itself. Just remember, if I ever invite you over, to watch your step. On the other hand, if the floor is covered with junk, you donít have to worry about mopping or waxing it. That leaves me more time to add to the dish sculpture Iím working on in the sink. Iím not ready to talk about the newspaper/book/dirty clothes creation developing in the bathroom. I donít want to put a label on it. Letís just say itís a work in progress, and leave it at that.