Precious Objects

Renee Fisher | Life in the Boomer Lane

Life in the Boomer Lane suspects that most Loyal Readers have, at some point, held garage/yard sales or attended the garage/yard sales of others.

LBL and Now Husband were recently part of the annual neighbourhood yard sale. Each year, LBL starts the process by announcing “We have to get rid of everything” and Now Husband responds with “Why do we want to do that?” There then follows a lot of steps that ultimately results in LBL dragging items out of closets, the attic, the basement, and the garage, while Now Husband becomes increasingly more enthusiastic and starts adding items of his own to the growing piles. The process continues until LBL’s living room looks like an episode of “Hoarders” and LBL, herself, is astonished that all of these items ever resided in her home.

One pile consisted of about 12 umbrellas that dinner guests and meeting attendees had brought over the years, arriving in the rain or on an evening that projected rain. They left when there was no rain, and so the umbrellas were forgotten. She had a thought that she should keep these to make up for all of the umbrellas that she had left at the homes of others, under the same circumstances. But her mission was to divest, so the umbrellas went
into the sale.

Other dinner guest and meeting attendee paraphernalia included jackets, dishes, scarves, and utensils. 

The pricing thus began, with LBL torn between her attempting to recoup even a tiny fraction of what she paid for these items and a desire to just get rid of them.  Years of yard sale experiences have resulted in her coming to the conclusion that getting rid of them is the ultimate reward.

Hours before the sale was due to officially begin, cars started pulling up to the curb. Most early arrivals know exactly what they are looking for, namely priceless items being sold at giveaway prices. Others look like they were still awake from the day before. One gentleman left and was ultimately arrested for public intoxication, a few streets over.

The actual sale was lively. People bargained for items that LBL had grossly overpaid for. Thirty-five dollar artisan coffee mugs went for $1 each.  The remains of Only Daughter’s $70 per place setting wedding registry dishes went for $5. And on and on. No offer was turned down The piles began to disappear, along with LBL’s energy level.

At the end of the sale, LBL pulled out a few items that she decided to keep.  She and Now Husband then stuffed everything they could into their neighbour’s car and he took his remaining items and theirs to Goodwill. All that remained was one barely-used folding co-sleeper/infant crib and various small, random items. LBL stuffed all of the small items into three shopping bags and set those, along with the co-sleeper, on the curb. Sometime after that, a woman came along and took it, along with all of the bags of unsold items.

LBL was delighted that virtually all of her formerly precious objects were gone. She did have a momentary thought that it would have been really cool to see them being used in other people’s houses.  Yesterday evening, she got her wish. She and Now Husband went to a neighbour’s house to have wine in their new gazebo. The first thing LBL noticed was a small, ornate stand that held a large candle. That item used to be LBL’s cake stand. On the settee were two large throw pillows that no longer adorned LBL’s family room couch. On the end table were two coffee mugs that came directly from LBL’s kitchen cabinet.  LBL felt right at home, sipping her wine.

She looks forward to next year’s sale, at which she is entirely sure that she will yet again come up with countless items to sell. She will also be aware throughout the year that, whenever she has a dinner gathering, guests will arrive with umbrellas and articles of clothing which they will then leave behind, adding to the mix.

She only regrets not having taken the contact info for the woman who took everything away at the end.