Friday, June 18, 2021

7 Quick Takes about Yard Sales that Probably Weren't Worth It, The Purpose of Men's Formal Wear, and Saving the World One Paycheck at a Time

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Remember the huge pile of decluttered items that's been sitting in the garage for months waiting for a good Saturday to hold a yard sale?

Well, we finally did it. The forecast called for some rain the night before, which apparently meant pouring all night and only stopping an hour before the sale was supposed to start. 

So with not much in the way of setup time, we were frantically pulling things out of boxes and throwing them out on the driveway as people were showing up. It was so stressful.

Come buy our crap! And it's not even our good crap, we keep that in the house!

As people bought stuff and carted it away, we kept unpacking more to put in its place. I lost count of the number of times people showed up and asked "Are you moving?" 

(The second comment I got a lot was "This is the most organized yard sale I've ever been to!" which was funny because I was so rushed tossing it out there I felt like my hair was on fire.)


We got rid of a ton, but by the time we closed down the sale and surveyed what was left, my 15-year-old remarked, "It looks like the yard sale hasn't even started yet." 

She was right: we had two yard sales' worth of stuff. I wish we would've had one more day, but we didn't and by my estimate we got rid of at least half of it.

We sold everything for $1, plus I gave away things for free and took any counteroffers I got, and we still made $670. 

When I take into account how much work and stress it involved, that was totally not worth it. But at least we got rid of things and there were a lot of happy people leaving with some pretty awesome deals.


The high point of the yard sale was how my 9-year-old set up a table and made a killing selling chocolate chip cookies. I love that entrepreneurial spirit.

They were really delicious cookies, and besides, who can say no to a cute little girl advertising her own homemade wares with a colorful sign covered in words like "Tasty!" "Yum!" and "Top-notch!"

And the low point of the yard sale? As one woman shopped and shopped and shopped, it became apparent we weren't dealing with an ordinary bargain hunter but with a genuine hoarding situation, and I could not get her to leave. 

After hours of trying to politely get her to move along, she did  but then she got more money from the bank and came back. She built up a giant pile of merchandise and tried to bargain with me for it, which I would've gladly parted with had it not felt too icky to enable her mental illness any longer. At this point, I just wanted to limit the amount of stuff she brought home and get her out of there.

I asked how much money she had and sat with her to count out that number of items (I first asked her to count by herself but she was cheating) and then told her she had to go home. I walked her to her car and was literally having to say "No" as she tried to stop and look at more stuff on her way up the driveway. It was really sad.


Phillip was getting ready for church the next day and asked, "Do you know why I wear a suit? To trick people into thinking I'm legitimate."

"To be honest, I think that's why most people wear suits," I said. Not just to church, but in pretty much any situation where a suit is worn.

"Yep," he nodded, looking in the mirror to tie his tie. "That's what a suit is: an illusion of competence."


My teenager is a cashier at the grocery store, and has told me before that she hates it when people make a big deal out of how amazing essential workers are. It makes her feel guilty because it's not like she's forgoing her paycheck out of a pure desire to serve her fellow man in times of crisis.

So when I was driving her to work and a commercial came on the radio thanking essential workers for their sacrifices over the last year, I jabbed her in the ribs and said, "Do you hear that? You're a hero."

"I know," she said with mock solemnity in her voice. "I just do what's right."

She's like Captain America over here.


Early one morning, my 7-year-old barged into the bedroom and woke me up. Apparently he'd been reading a book he got at the library called Timelines of Everything, because he announced "There was a president named" and started laughing too hard to talk.

I rubbed my eyes and wondered what was going on as he tried again: "There was a president named" again, doubled over in hysterical laughter.

With great difficulty, he finally got it out: "There was a president named" uncontrollable giggling "Herbert Hoover!"

I have no idea why that was funny, but I'm awake now.


Other than spending an inordinate amount of time and effort getting our junk out of this house (and a blog post about that is coming), we've also been helping our neighbors get ready to move. 

This week we've lent yard work manpower and and had their kids over while they dealt with movers and brought over assorted odds and ends as needed, and they drive away tonight! 

I'm going to miss them. It's been so nice to have someone so close who you can call when you're short an ingredient for baking or want to take a walk around the block: let's hope our next neighbors are good ones, too.

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Cindy Brick said...

Tell your 7-year-old "And Herbert Hoover was an EN-GIN-EER!"

Maybe that will help...the kid's right. It is a funny name. But we've had other unusually-named Presidents. (Trump and Obama come to mind!)

PurpleSlob said...

And he probably doesn't even know yet that Hoover is also British for vaccuum!!
Yeah, yard sales just NOT worth it to me! EVER!! I'll drive 59 car loads 100 miles to donate, rather than have another yard sale, in my LIFE!!
Yay cookie girl!! She's on her way to the top!
So sad about the hoarder. :(
Suits- Phillip's reasoning is sound, I think.