Yard sales we have held since we’ve been married: 2
Ugly things we got out of our home this weekend: 127
Things I didn’t want to sell and begged to hoard instead: 12
Full disclosure: I may, possibly, come from a long line of women who don’t like to get rid of stuff.
This is an unpopular concept in today’s world of reorganization, revamping, renovation and “Hoarders.”
On the one side, I have my mother, who is convinced that I throw away everything that isn’t nailed down. On the other, I have my husband, who gives me that look when I get attached to, say, a platter.
This past Saturday was our neighborhood yard sale. My husband got very hyped up about it, the way one might get if one were preparing to compete in an Ironman triathlon or the Iditarod. He trudged up and down two flights of stairs to the attic and garage and back, shirtless, hoisting things and swearing for about a week ahead of time.
My son got excited the way he does when we throw a party and there are going to be his two favorite things: people and food. In the case of a yard sale: people and money.
My husband begged, cajoled and bribed me to clean out the guest room closet.
Dude. Just because there are five garbage bags of towels and sheets with holes in them that no one in their right minds would ever touch, much less dry his body with does not mean I have a problem.
I threw away bags of stuff. I sat down in front of the guest room closet door and read through scenes from my past: recommendation letters for my CNN internship from my cute Psychology professor and my Tinkerbell-like drama professor. Floppy disks (!) with copy for newsletters and flyers and ads. Newsletters I created at my very first job, writing profiles about teachers in a local school system. (Which was somewhat humbling, because I am now almost twice that age and still writing profiles about teachers.)
The evening before the yard sale, my husband brought home a price labeller thingie. It was making me edgy. It looked efficient and businesslike, and there was a lot of stuff that was getting labelled.
Namely, my daughter’s aquarium that used to hang on the crib rails. I remember the first time she learned to kick it to turn it on in the middle of the night. I was tired. So tired. And when I heard her cry that night on the baby monitor, then the distinct click of the aquarium switching on, it was one of the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard.
This Saturday, we played it for our kids before we put it out on the driveway.
“Creepy,” my son pronounced. “That music is creepy.”
I really wanted to keep it. But it’s gone now. As my BFF said this morning on our run, what am I going to do: sit in the middle of my living room floor some random Thursday evening and play it?
But along with the sentimental items, there was a whole lot of junk. In England, when my husband was growing up, they called similar events “jumble sales.”
It was a jumble, all right. As I sat on a nylon chair in our driveway sipping coffee, I felt two things: embarrassment at the low-level junk we were displaying in front of our house for everyone to see and relief.
The first things to go were some kids’ soccer cleats that were barely worn. I’m so glad they will go to a good, soccer-loving home. And when a lady asked me if she could buy a huge, stinky candle for one dollar instead of two, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.
My husband is right, of course. We needed to get rid of things so that our attic doesn’t catch on fire or baby clothes come crashing through the rafters onto our children as they sleep. The headline would read: “Crushed by Junk.” So that’s good.
But I can’t help feeling a little victorious about the things that didn’t sell or get donated: the red Cozy Coupe that my grandmother got at a yard sale and my son’s bunnies-on-a-cloud mobile that played the Everly Brothers:
“Dreeeeeeam, dream, dream dreeeam,
Dreeeeeam, dream dream dreeeam
When I want you
In my arms
When I want you
And all your charms
Whenever I want you
All I have to do
is Dreeeeam dream dream dream…..”
And in other news, I wanted to thank Dennis Langley at Hare’s Tales for the ABC blogging award. Dennis, I really appreciate it!
I will do a brief ABC-themed, yard sale-themed nod to the award:
A is for Awkward, which is how I feel when selling my old stuff on the driveway in front of my house.
B is for Beloved, which is what the items are that I can’t part with.
C is for Cash, which will help us pay for a laptop for our son eventually.
Out with the old junk and in with the new, I say.
Congrats, new ABC Award winners! And now for some blogs that you should be reading, if you aren’t already:
And they all start with R… how’s that for knowing my ABC’s??