Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Awkward Garage Sale


[This is not my husband in the photo. He is definitely too excited about the garage sale to be Drew.]

The weekend before we moved we had a really awkward garage sale. [When are they not awkward?] But this one was especially awkward because I came down with some sort of throwing up thing the night before the sale. I still do not know if it was food poisoning or the result of me eating an entire crop of asparagus. It was just so good. My favorite way to prepare asparagus used to be to clean it, trim the stalks and lay it on aluminum foil. I would drizzle some olive oil over it, sprinkle some lemon pepper and kosher salt on it and then wrap it up in the foil. Toss it on the grill for about 5 -8 minutes and it is so tasty. That was my favorite way. Now, I cannot even think about placing it in my shopping cart. Kind of like when you are pregnant and you throw up a banana. Or some sort of milk product. You are done with that food item for a while. I broke up with asparagus.

So, there we were driving home from an impromptu bbq at Mark & Kristen's and I had the platter of leftover grilled asparagus on my lap and I just kept eating stalk after stalk. Drew even looked at me with a weird look on his face and said, "Man, you are really going to town on that." (Something he usually says to me while I am inhaling chocolate covered almonds, or a pint of ice cream. Usually it is said with a knowing look, because we both love our treats even though we try to eat really healthy. This time he was confused by his wife eating asparagus as though it is drizzled with chocolate.)

I said, "I know. I just can't stop eating it. It tastes so good!" Oh how I wish I had. I am forever ruined on asparagus. I can barely type these words without gagging. I was up all night next to the toilet. Hugging the toilet. Begging for mercy from the sweet Lord in heaven. Oh the darkness of my soul, please stop the madness.

So, garage sale day arrives and I am done for. And, that is a huge problem because Drew as "garage sale manager" is hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. If we were on The Apprentice and there was a garage sale task, he would be fired for sure. Here are some reasons why he is so terrible at garage sales:

-People walk up and he says things like, "We are just selling our old stuff. It is going to Good Will later." (it is quite obvious by the very nature of the "stuff on the sidewalk" that it is not precious to us, but he clearly gives away the fact that he's not really expecting high dollar offers)

-As someone comes up to buy something and says, "Will you take $5 for all of this?", he says, "Why don't we just do $4, and if you want those children's books over there you can have them too."

-He cannot make eye contact with anyone foraging in our stuff.

-What he really wants to say to every person who walks up is: "Please. I am going to turn my head. Please load as much of this crap into your car as you can while I look away. And then, after you leave, call all your friends and tell them to come and take as much stuff as they can."

-And if anyone offers him a 25 cents or a dime for something, he actually looks like he might start crying, it is just too much for him to handle to take "change" from someone. It goes against everything in him to reach out and accept their change.

He feels uncomfortable and awkward the entire time. Usually I am okay at garage sale-ing. I will talk to people about stuff. I am not pushy. I do not approach people unless they look like they want me to. I will show them how things work and prove that they function. And, I will almost always accept whatever price they offer (I sold my kitchen aid stand mixer for $25). It really is the stuff that is on the way to the goodwill and they are saving us the trip, but if I am going to sort through stuff and label stuff and put signs on corners and sit in my front yard all day, I am going to try and make something.

But, this time, I was so out of it. Why I did not just go lay in bed and be sick like normal people is beyond me. I think it was because I talked Drew into having this garage sale. I felt obligated. He kept telling me to go to bed. I just couldn't. Instead, I would sit in the beach chair looking half dead. At one point I was so tired that I just layed down on the driveway. Face on warm cement. I am sure people were enticed by that.

"Oh look, honey, a garage sale."

"Slow down, I want to see if they have any good stuff. Yep, I see a bike...a kitchen aid mixer...a tent... Oh, is that woman sleeping on the ground? Keep going, she is probably drunk. Go. Go. Go. Honey, hurry, before the kids see her..."

The normal awkwardness of people picking up your stuff, looking it over and then walking away and rejecting your junk was totally trumped by the awkwardness of my husband who feels awkwardly awkward at garage sales and his awkwardly ill wife lying on the pavement.

Awkward.

Any awkward garage sale memories you need to get off your chest? I told Drew the other day that I think the next Christopher Guest "mockumentary" movie (like Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, This Is Spinal Tap) should totally be about Garage Salers. I would share my idea with Christopher Guest. For 20% of the profits. No, wait, we want to entice him. 10% of the profits! [See, I am a good haggler.]

[By the way, if you have never seen Waiting for Guffman, you are missing out on something glorious. Especially if you like The Office. If you watch it, or if you are a fan, please come back here and tell me what your favorite Corky line is. Mine is, "You are bastard people." You can watch it below. If that doesn't entice you, I do not know what will.]

2 comments:

Kristen said...

Oh my gosh, Ali, this is SO funny! I am tearing up right now reading this because I am laughing so hard. First of all, I think sometimes we are married to the same person. That is EXACTLY how Mark would behave. (if he would even agree to a garage sale at all). And who could forget the asparagus fiasco?? Boy that stuff was good.

And the visual of the family driving by and seeing you . . . too much!!

My favorite Corky quote: "People don't like to have fire poked, poked in their noses. "


And look who posted twice in one day! :)

Ali Bray said...

I am going home to bite my pillow. :)

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