Garage sale. Sunday morning. Posh neighborhood. Books. Collectibles. Fabric. NEB. So said the advertisement in the Saturday newspaper (oh, okay I’ve editorialized the area) that had us enthusiast g.s.’ers making this one a priority.
Sunday sales: fewer sales on a Sunday tend to tame the feeling of rush/rush/rush to overly abundant Saturday sales to get to as many as possible as early as possible………
Posh place: location, location, location influences attendance at garage sales, sometimes adversely: rich junk can be less worthwhile than poor junk.
Books: With new paperbacks starting around $8. books at sales for 50 cents (soft) and $1. (hard) are in constant demand. Bookies (dealers) supply stores who supply customers who don’t go to garage sales. And, in whispered, rather chuckly tones, tell of the book they got for 75 cents and sold on e-bay for $350. US.
Collectibles: Could mean the sellers have had the ‘expert’ in and now have priced the goods at auction house estimates. Could be these are old and lovely. Could be these are old and ugly. Could be just what you’ve been looking for but didn’t know you were.
Fabric: maybe there’s something unusual to turn into a garment for self or home or garden. Maybe there’s wool or cotton or hemp………
NEB: No Early Birds hopefully means that the pesky, pushy people who turn up the day before the sale, or very early on the morning of the sale, with any number of reasons why they can’t come at the appointed time, from leaving on holiday to having to work to taking sons to soccer games, have not been allowed access beforehand. It inspires a very cranky mood to ask, at the designated time on the designated day, if such and such is to be had to be told, “oh I had several of those but they sold………”
So, attracted by all the above features, twenty or more of us are spread out across the wide front lawn (pricey neighborhood, remember) behind the yellow plastic clothesline that has been strung in front of the goods (the clothesline must have been purchased specially for this event: clotheslines are not allowed in this municipality).
There is a lot of stuff out on the grass and I can appreciate the wish of the sellers to set it up before the public troops in. It is all set up. Let the public troop. We tell each other this. It is still twenty minutes to nine. Some people have been on site waiting for nearly an hour. No, not me. I ask.
More people arrive. It begins to get crowded. More and more shuffling feet.
None of us on this side of the yellow clothesline see the point in holding exactly to the nine o’clock time now that the sale is set up.
Someone pretends to cut the clothesline in a parody of a ribbon cutting ceremony. A little kid ducks under the line and is hauled back by his father. More shuffling. Someone is peering out the front window at us. “Open up!” someone calls out, quite hopefully in fact, as if it hadn’t occurred to the man in the window that he is ready and we are more than ready. The man in the window lifts up his wrist and points to his watch. A few of us groan and enough eyes are rolled to flash white.
Suddenly a woman appears from out the side door of the garage and aims a camera at us. All conversation and shuffling ceases and we stare owlishly back at her. She clicks two or three times along the crowd but the silence grows, as silence can, and she returns indoors more quickly than she came out. I have since wondered at her behaviour. And ours.
At exactly nine o’clock the man comes out the front door accompanied by a teenaged boy who looks awfully embarrassed and each untie an end of the clothesline which drops and is trampled as people rush forward, most now with an attitude.
No worthy fabric. No fibre. But I did get a cherry pitter that I had been looking for. Somehow it reminds me of the sale when I use it and I feel a bit sad. I expect it will be replaced at a more cheerful sale.