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THE OPENING BELL ON THE HAGGLING MARKET HAS RUNG

Are you sure you want to do that?

The Glee cast breaks in with “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?” My finger hovers over the snooze button poised to give them additional time to ponder this question. At 6am I am hung over from waking up earlier on Saturday, herding kids and friends to various sports tryouts. I also dread the remaining prep work for the garage sale. “Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality…” Dammit, they are not going to let this go!

After hearing my neighbors preparing to kick things to the curb, my guilt for not pricing my items pulls me upright. The coffee aroma lures me to fill up a cup of personality to greet impending customers. Don’t get me wrong, I love earning a cleaner home plus bonuses like mint Disney Dollars between book pages. I love the bonus spending cash – no, we didn’t accept Disney Dollars.

I don’t love sorting because things get worse before they get better – my apartment and my mood. Pricing is tedious and I’m horrible at estimating values. The feverish lookie loos closing in on us 45 minutes early almost made me lose it! I prep inside to avoid eye contact and postpone engaging them in savage haggling before my coffee takes effect. The moment we show our faces they circle like vultures waiting for our discards. No one helps carry things, they just want to dive in.

No early lookie loos!

I give them kudos for being the first ones there for treasures. But when they went shopping on Black Friday the stores didn’t let them in the stores before the official hours! If I plant now I can grow a hedge with a gate for our next sale.

Upon surviving the first crowd, I regroup then settle in for what becomes a fantastic day. We spent this California day soaking in sunshine, gabbing with old and new neighbors, bartering amongst ourselves, eating delicious lunch from one family, discussing business ideas, while the kids bounced between apartments. We made a few sales and planned our next get-together – a house-warming party.

It was not my highest selling garage sale ever but hanging out in our lawn with my neighbors restored my right mind.

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