Precious Objects

Posted on June 8, 2019


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. Such experiences have most likely resulted in a profound new understanding of both the human psyche and of an awareness that a lot of people are attracted to inexplicable objects.

A couple weeks ago, LBL and Now Husband were part of the annual neighborhood 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, most of them invisibile to the naked eye.

One pile consisted of about 12 umbrellas, none of which had actually been purchased by either LBL or Now Husband. They were, instead, 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. They were never claimed. LBL found the pile of umbrellas up in the attic, behind a crib.  She had a momentary thought that she should keep these to make up for all of the umbrellas that she had left at the homes of others, under exactly the same circumstances. But her mission was to divest, and so the umbrellas went into the sale.

Other dinner guest and meeting attendee paraphanelia included jackets, dishes, scarves, and utensils.  One year, a neighborhood resident was selling a ceramic bowl that belonged to LBL, one that LBL had left at her house, after a neighborhood gathering.

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 who had a personality type that LBL couldn’t quite identify, 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, before realizing she didn’t want them to begin with. 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, aong 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 neighbor’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 asked about the co-sleeper. Now Husband, who was working in the garage at the time, told her to just take it. She did, 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 momentray 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 neighbor’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 thoughout 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.

Posted in: humor, satire, shopping