Monday, June 10, 2013

The Menstruating Garage-Saler


I grunted, rolled over and attempted to open one of my sleep swollen eyes. It took a second to focus on the glowing red numbers on my nightstand. 


In the a.m.

Ugh. I wanted to go back to sleep but that familiar pang in my gut coaxed me out of my warm bed.

Great. My period started. Those recent mood swings and raging desires for crappy food weren't only the result of lack of sleep. I was also PMSing. Joy. And now I get to go deal with the bargain-hunting, boundary-pushing,potentially stupid  general public. May the Lord help them all.

That was the morning of my friend's garage sale.
The garage sale that I was running for her for four reasons:

1. She watched my spawn overnight so that my husband and I could go to the mountains ALONE and remember why we "like" each other.
2. She was out of town "liking" her new boyfriend.
3. I like her and I like to do nice things for my friends. (No quotes on that one.)
4. I had some crap taking up space in my garage and it needed to go.

So I hauled my bloated form out of bed, filled up my coffee mug with piping hot Chock Full O'Nuts coffee, topped it off with soy creamer and headed across town to sell some shit.

It was a beautiful day, complete with gale-force winds.

I was so thrilled that I had worn a dress.

My friend had warned me about her last garage sale. People tried to enter her home. People tried to take her storage containers. People attempted to buy/take her tools and bikes and other NFS items in her garage. People wanted to get something that cost her $150 for 50 cents. It all sounded magical. I couldn't wait to deal with these folks!

In an attempt to eradicate potential problem areas, I blocked off the sidewalk to both the front door and the backyard with large objects. Then I spread an assortment of items that both my friend and I had for sale all over the driveway and inside the garage. Then I set up the Lemonade Stand that my children were going to run as soon as my husband showed up with the munchkins. Then I labeled a few more items. All the while, I sipped my coffee, in an attempt to prepare myself for people; the kind that wanted everything for nothing.

Then those people arrived.

My first customer picked up a metal Tonka tractor out of a laundry basket full of trucks. It was an antique; the kind that would sell for no less than $35 at an antique store. The grey bearded fellow held out the truck and asked, "How much?"

I answered, "$7."

He said, "How about $5?"

I shrugged and said, "Sure."

He handed me the five then proceeded to take THE ENTIRE LAUNDRY BASKET FULL OF TRUCKS down the driveway.

My STOP hand snapped forward like a rattlesnake. I said, "WHOA there. I said five for the one you were holding."

He said, "Oh. Then I'll take me five back."

I handed the bill back to him and said, "No problem." Then I took the tractor out of the basket and handed it to my three year old that just arrived with my husband and said, "Mommy's going to buy you this tractor!"

My second customer was looking at the carseats. My friend had two for sale. Naturally, they were in perfect condition. One was an Evenflow (which retails around $70-$85) and the other was a Britax (which retails around $150). I pointed at the Evenflow and said $15 and the Britax and said $35.

Yes, I was pulling numbers out of my ass.

Then she started pandering.

The woman was frumpy, annoying and physically moving at the pace of a turtle. She also kept positioning herself right in front of me. I immediately wanted to push her to the ground.

I didn't, because sometimes I pretend to be a nice person.

She told me a big story about her daughter having friends coming into town for a week. They needed a carseat. Then she made a big spectacle of trying to call her daughter and took 500 pictures of the carseats to text to her daughter. She literally stood in front of the motherloving seats for 30 minutes.

Then she walked over to me and asked if I thought my friend would take $25 for the Britax. In my mind, both seats had actually increased in price simply because this woman was annoying me.

I shook my head, sighed, and said, "I don't think so."

Then she launched into a long diatribe about how she could really only spend $25 on a carseat because blah blah blah..... I honestly stopped listening for fear I was going to punch her.

Instead of the violence that my hormonal body was craving, I pointed at the Evenflow and said, "Then you should buy this one that I priced at $15."

More pandering.

I walked away.

She finally bought the Britax for $30. I really wanted to tell her that the price had gone up to $50 on the principle of SHE WAS ANNOYING THE FUCK OUT OF ME, but I decided to mock her on the Internet instead.

The rest of the day was an assortment of friendly smiling people, adorable children and entitled, ravenous, "professional' garage-sale goers.

I gave the friendly people and excited children excellent deals on everything. I even offered them bags for their treasures and sent them on their way with well-wishes and good cheer. For the other people, I quoted inflated prices and shrugged as I told them in a faux-frustrated way, "That is the BEST I can do. So sorry."

I did what I wanted, simply because I could.  And you know what? It made me happy because there is a tiny, sick part of me that LOVES messing with people.

And my friend sold her shit. And so did I. And my kids sold lemonade and brownies and played with their new toys. And we all sat in the driveway and drank lemonade. And some of that lemonade contained vodka.

There are three lessons to be learned here:
1. As soon as you drive that shiny new car off the lot, it automatically decreases in value by $10,000.
2. Don't irritate the people who are serving your food or setting your prices.
3. Don't let a freshly menstruational woman run your garage sale. Or maybe do.

Peace, Love and Tampax,


  1. I am proud of you for not cutting anyone. I stand at the top of my mountain & howl like a goddam werewolf when I'm on my rag. In the past I have insisted that Blake lock me in the spare bedroom for 3 days until the uncontrollable rage at nothing in particular subsides. Ya know, for his own safety & stuff. I am THAT bad. Power to you sister xx

  2. I went garage sale-ing this weekend. Probably a good thing I didn't end up at yours. Car Seat Lady would have annoyed the crap out of me as a buyer. Even if I'm not interested in car seats, I want to be able to look at them and make sure I'm not missing out on anything. People who block my view are annoying.

  3. This is the exact reason why I never have garage sales... I would overcharge for annoying and/or hideous people. And also because I'm way too lazy to go thru all my crap.



  4. I love your style. I had a garage sale once. That was enough. And I still won't tell Joe where his Waterford Crystal golfer disappeared to....for $3.

  5. LOL. I tried to run a garage sale once. Never again. People just suck too much. Blech.