Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

Tales for Sale: The Yard Sale Chronicle

Well, my daughter and her family are relocating. You know what that means: YARD SALE. And if you are familiar with this phenomenon, you probably understand that some of the customers may be a bit, umm, different. I truly embrace this observation as I frequent yard sales and garage sales, and I am as different as they come. Let me recreate the cross section of humanity that graced our sale.

First, we had two young ladies who were interested in buying a couch and chair. That sounds benign enough. Until a closer look revealed that these gals were very high. And not on life. One lady could barely keep her eyes open and kinda staggered through the whole transaction. Her shopping companion guarded her a bit and interpreted when the tongue sorta tied one on. I was amazed at the wad of cash they pulled out to pay for said furniture, but I did not “Just Say No” as they paid us. Heck no! I did not want to ‘meth’ up this sale! We had to get rid of the couch. Hours later they had located a truck and dumped both pieces of furniture in this vehicle. Wondered if my son had ever arrested them for possession. But who cares; they bought our old possessions and would surely need the couch to pass out on sooner or later. It was a sobering sale, proving again that yard sales are not all that they are ‘crack’ed up to be…no matter how much one tries to ‘weed’ out problems.

Then there was the old guy who came up the sidewalk making a clicking sound. I noticed that this gentleman was wearing a prothesis for his left leg. That leg sported a nice dress sock rubber banded to his artificial limb, complete with a nice penny loafer on his bionic leg. However, there was a problem. Seems his leg was pointing at an odd angle, creating the creaking sound. It was then he looked down and said:”Aww. Looks like I put my leg on crooked this morning. Do you have a chair where I can sit down and fix it?” I offered him a chair with castors, ever hopeful it would not scoot out from under his crooked leg. Now…before you think I am being rude to those with special disabilities, remember: my daughter wears hearing aids, has made her life’s work treating little ones with developmental delays and such. So I am not making light of this man’s prosthetic leg. It’s just that I have never heard someone lamenting the fact he put his leg on crooked. It was a first.

We had a Christmas tree for sale. I told my son-in-law not to even unload it. No one EVER buys artificial Christmas trees in the summer. Umm…I stand corrected. Not only did it sell, it did so to a  family friend whose family owns…yeah, I’ll say it: a Christmas tree farm. She commented how real it looked. And her name is “Chrissy” as in Chrissymas Trees. Didn’t I feel dumb. Proving once again…yard sales are unpredictable.

Then we had the gal bitter that she was pregnant with a boy. As she rummaged through my grandsons’ clothing, her mood never changed. She was having a male and she was MOST unhappy with this unborn child’s gender. And yes, this was her first child. This boy’s going to have real issues with his mother! At least she is dressing her unwanted baby boy in cute clothes.

And we had the folks who promised to come back and buy this and that and would we “hold it” for them. Umm no. Good thing….or we would still be standing under the maple tree with an exercise bike and a bookshelf. Folks requested a few items. Not guns or knives as I once had an inquiry for, a few garage sales back. When I said no, this guy just kept asking me, “Are you sure you don’t have any guns?” Huh? And if I did would I sell them to you? Umm…never. Finally, in exasperation, I told him, “Nope. No guns. Just bombs.” And then I walked away. Really?

But all in all our sale was a success. Sure I waved at everyone who honked, not realizing that such ruckus was not to greet me, but to show displeasure at folks who had slowed down to look at our stuff. Our most unpleasant shoppers? Two crusty ole’ gals who were very ugly when I told them the price of a necklace. What was hanging from it? A cross. I think their attitude needed more than that cross necklace could give, but then again, I could be wrong.

Maybe they had just put their ‘faith’ on a little crooked that morning.

Soon my kids will be driving off into the sunset, heading for a southern state. But the memories of our days together as Yard Sale Entrepeneurs will be lasting. Friends who stopped by, neighbors who came to see what we had to sell, and of course the serious shoppers who brought some dignity to the circus. If you want a crash course on humanity, put out a few items in your yard. But be prepared: they might not buy what you are selling, but you will be slightly richer for inviting the ‘have nots’ onto your property to share some of your ‘haves’. And if you make a buck or two, all the better.

Oh…and if they have to adjust their plastic leg….offer them a chair that doesn’t roll.