Garage Sales, Disability, & Ethics

I love garage sales. I love the whole idea of something that you do not want/need any more becoming someone else's newest treasure. I love meeting the local color and I love cleaning out my house and ridding it of clutter that is no longer useful. But most of all I love to bargain. The thrill of a little debate and coming away from the exchange feeling like you made the best possible deal. Secretly, I do not like to price any of the things that I put in my garage sale so that people will have to ask, "How much do you want for the star shaped chip and dip?" Thus the beginning of an entirely interesting conversation.

This past weekend we had a garage sale and I spent all week in anticipation of the great event. On Friday, the kids made signs for their lemonade stand with the intention of making enough money to make it to the Dollar Tree to get a prize. By Saturday morning all persons involved were in my driveway ready to make a deal. The coffee was good and the smell of sticky bun was in the air (as well as all over my fingers).

I must stop now to tell you that in all my excitement I did advertise on Craig's List in an overzealous way. The advertisement was so enticing that I had my driveway full of people by 6:45 am. Unfortunately we were not completely ready to go at that time and had stated that the garage sale would be open at 7:30am. James was still trying to get the old bunk beds down from Tucker's room and several other big items. Tucker and Elizabeth were helping with these items and it was a regular 3 ring circus. A man that came early was quite cranky because all of the things I advertised were not out yet. I could only offer a smile and some sticky bun as condolences, but he scolded me with a, "well then you shouldn't have advertised if you are not going to be ready!" He left. More sticky bun for me.

We met several interesting people thourghout the morning....people who buy things that will never fit them, people who buy things that they know do not work, people who buy things that they will never use, and (my favorite) people who have no intention of buying anything but just really what to see what kind of used junk you have in your front yard.

By Saturday afternoon we were hot tired and ready to quit for the day. Despite the fact that I totally enjoyed myself, most of the things that I had intended to sell were still right there in my driveway. We decided to open again on Sunday and see if we could get rid of most of this stuff.

Sunday morning.... much of the initial excitement was gone and I dragged myself out of bed. No sticky bun.... no time to make coffee. However, Sunday turned out to be a much better day in terms of financial gain. Most of the big furniture sold and I was ready to haul the rest to goodwill when an older woman and her disability check hobbled up the drive. I was already packing up the unsold clothes and James was ready to take down the tables. She asked for a chair, a glass of water and some help looking through the pile of clothes that was at least 3 sizes too small for her. (She told me "she needed something to look forward to"). An hour and a half later we were loading up most of the things I had left into her car when she spotted the train table for sale. I had marked the train table kind of high b/c I was a little emotional about Tucker's train phase. It had all of the wooden tracks and trains and I loved watching him sit there and play with it all. She said that she thought she would have a new grandchild soon and she just needed that table. I tried to talk her out of it...but she insisted. I tried to give it all to her free, but I think that insulted her. I had already marked all of the clothes down to a quarter each. She handed me what had to have been a large chunk of her disability check and told me she would be back in 30 minutes to get the train table. I hated taking her money.... but she would not take no for an answer. She drove away and I waited and waited and waited. She never came back. I still have the train table.

All of this to say.....

Lady - please come get your money ...or the train table.... or just let me know that you were able to feed yourself despite your spending at my garage sale....geez.

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