Monday, August 29, 2011
"The Event" - Status Report, 8/29/11
Still don't know WHERE we're moving, which means I also don't know WHEN, and we're somewhat hamstrung this week by the fact that our adjuster has the week off, but I am proceeding as though our move is imminent.
Saturday we had a garage sale - a serious one, with items sorted into departments (clothing, housewares, craft supplies, holiday decor, electronics) and an ad in the paper (print and online). I even remembered to obtain a city permit. What I didn't remember to do: work the phrase "NO EARLYBIRDS" into the ad copy. Thus, we had people showing up as early as lunch the day before, wondering if they could do a little advance shopping.
Earlybirds are one of my least favorite thing about garage sales. This time, I was determined to marginalize their negative impact on my already crumbling psyche to the fullest extent possible, so I staged everything in the backyard the night before and waited until fifteen minutes prior to the sale to carry the tables down the driveway. In between, I actually had a dream in which an earlybird WALKED INTO THE HOUSE (really, I wouldn't put it past one of them to do that), I dialed 911, she finally got the hint, and I followed her out the door only to find, congregated in my backyard, a slew of thuggish young male earlybirds, sporting Miami Vice suits, Ray-Bans and five o' clock shadows. Because, apparently in my subconscious mind, garage sale earlybirds and the Columbian drug mafia are cut from the same ice cream pastel cloth. The police arrived, and a firefight ensued.
In the actual waking world, I encountered precious little earlybird interference, and almost without exception our interactions with would-be buyers were pleasant. (I have to make exception for the woman who was insistent that I advertised my sale as an "estate sale," not a "garage sale." Um, no, ma'am, no one dead around here except for our house. Sorry that you can't read and properly retain information. Moving on.) I attribute our good luck, in part, to the fact that the Grapes of Wrath Family has departed our neighborhood. The Grapes of Wrath Family previously lived in a fixer-upper on the other side of the middle school from us, and they only seemed to emerge from said fixer-upper when a garage sale sign went up. Then they would all spill out of their Ford like so many clowns at the circus. The overall-clad patriarch of the GOWF, or "Pa" as we liked to call him, made enemies with my spouse early on when he purchased a personal computer from us on a Saturday and came back on Sunday for tech support. Not making that up. Knocked on the door, wanted Parnell to tell him how to make the computer do such-and-so. After that particular episode, Parnell got very good about attaching "AS IS" signs to all electronic items, printed in letters that could be viewed from space.
The next time we had a sale, Pa's adult daughter (well, I assumed that she was a daughter - guess it's not outside of the realm of possibility that she was a sister-wife) came up the walk, clutching a small rag doll under one arm for reasons that I cannot explain, and, with the hand attached to the trailing end of her other arm, grabbed the hem of her t-shirt, raised it all of the way up to her brow to wipe off some sweat, AND FLASHED ME A SAGGING MAMMARY in the process. It was a no-bra day for Sister-Wife. (Based on the extent of the sagging, I'm guessing she had a lot of those.)
Post-Boob Flash, the "AS IS" signs were joined by "WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO SELL TO ANYONE" signs.
I can report that, true to prior garage sale experiences, patrons at this sale fell into certain categories that corresponded neatly with the hour of their arrival. Early and late patrons tend to be vultures, the nicest people show up around 9:30, the neighbors venture out closer to 10, etc., etc.
We sold a lot of stuff, and the whole exercise forced me to move a metric ton of junk out of the house and carriage house. What was left after the sale concluded filled sixteen boxes - eleven marked for Goodwill and five for Junior League resale. Since the League's resale shop does not accept donations on Mondays (okay, I'm a member, and a bunch of my friends are working today, so I totally could have forced an exception, but I felt like playing by the rules), we staged everything in an out-of-the way paved area outdoors, remarking that it wasn't like it was going to rain or anything, given current drought conditions. And then the clouds rolled in this morning. Really? Oh, I see that rain is also forecast for this coming Saturday, being the same Saturday on which I have scheduled an outdoor kid party. Really again?
But back to Saturday - packed up the leftovers, headed to the club, enjoyed several evolutions of my new signature cocktail. Yes, I have my own signature cocktail at our club. Very long story involving an eager-to-please bar manager with a creative bent who, I guess, saw in me a kindred spirit. That, or he has me pegged as a lush. Either way, as of cocktail #3, recipe was perfected (Ketel One vodka, UV Pink Lemonade vodka, actual pink lemonade and pineapple juice, whirled in a blender with crushed ice, topped with an orange twist and a cherry), and I made a mental note to go back up to club on Sunday and partake in at least one yummy beverage - you know, for purposes of assuring ongoing quality control.
That was before I started going through my bedside chest. Which is not a normal bedside chest, because I could not possibly house the minutiae of my life in one of those. No, this is a five-drawer antique chest of drawers, of fairly large size, cram-packed with paper. Which paper I have now sorted into "going into storage" and "going with me." "Going with me" items include: receipts for furniture that the movers, theoretically, might damage and I might have to repair or replace; assembly instructions for Connor's bunk bed unit from IKEA (thinking the movers might like to have that bad boy on hand); and voluminous magazine tear-outs with recipes and home decorating ideas that I have resolved to winnow through during my "displacement time." Except there were just too many magazine tear-outs to pack to take, so I started the winnowing process on Sunday. Found a bunch of the recipes on the Internet, pinned them to various Pinterest recipe boards and recycled the paper copies. TEN HOURS LATER, I glanced at the alarm clock on top of the now-empty five-drawer chest and realized that happy-pink-drink-pool-time had passed me by. Bugs. Also realized that, because the kids had turned on Disney Channel first thing in the AM and I had been too distracted to change it, I had watched the same episodes of "Good Luck, Charlie," "So Random," "ANT Farm," "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Shake It Up" at least three times each.
Now I have moved on to the walk-in closet off of the master, where I am playing the "which clothes will you ACTUALLY wear?" game. Do I bring a formal gown, on the off chance that I might be invited to the White House between now and the end of October? If I take the leopard-print pumps, can I also justify the black cap-toes with the cheetah-print haircalf wedge heels? Leopard and cheetah aren't exactly interchangeable. There's a certain degree of overlap on the Venn diagram, but it's not complete by any means. And so on.
Predicting more resale donations in my future. It's all good - this needed to happen. Or so I keep telling myself.