Friday, November 03, 2006


Friday morning, while driving to work, I decided to have a yard sale. My husband was out of town, and I didn't have any thing better to do, so when I got home that evening, I finished tagging everything (I've been trying to have one for months now), made signs announcing my sale, and set my alarm clock for 5:55 a.m.

The next morning I hopped out of bed, surprisingly energetic and filled with the hope of making lots and lots of dollars getting rid of the things I no longer wanted. I imagined sitting there from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., casually reading and taking money from the many passersby who were eager to get their hands on the treasures I had been storing for so many years.

Talk about naive!

After posting my signs, I spent about two hours (three times as long as I had estimated) setting out all of my belongings on our rather slanted yard. I did get a few visitors (the true die-hard garage salers out there who don't think twice about searching for sales at 7:30 a.m., even in mid-October).

By 9:30 a.m. I was starting to get depressed. I had finally organized everything to my taste (I worked retail for more than six years, so I'm a little picky when it comes to organization), and my best customer at that point was my landlord's daughter at a wopping $1.75. So much for making a ton o' cash.

Things picked up a little after that (by which I mean that a family of five came along and bought a few things, including my old sewing machine). And then it happened. The lunch-time lull. I was starting to get antsy--only three more hours to go. My ears became specifically tuned to hear cars coming from three or four blocks away. I learned how painful it can be to have cars slow down, as if they are just about to park in front of your yard--and then quickly drive off after they've scanned all of your lousy junk. I wanted to scream after them, Wait! Come back! Just give me a chance! I have a cappuccino maker! A beautiful dress from the 50s! Half-used yankee candles!

At one point I talked to a friend of mine and swore that I would never subject myself to the dreadful experience again. At least this experience ensures one thing, I told her. I will never be tempted to have another yard sale!

A little later, though, things began to pick up, and the last hour and a half was pretty good. Some lady came by and spent a whole $17 on my clothes. (You know you're desperate when you're excited about someone buying your clothes to make halloween costumes.)

But then it was over. I packed up my doubly unwanted items and drove them very far away (to a friend's house and to a second-hand store for one final attempt to be sold). And then, when it was really over, I counted my earnings.

$104--not so good for 12 hours of work, but at least some of my stuff found a good home and my storage space will be a little less tight. I soon found myself thinking that maybe it wasn't so bad afterall. Maybe I would try this whole yard sale thing again sometime....