My group of friends and I have been on a mission to de-clutter for months now and we’re finally holding a yard sale. We drag boxes of stuff to the lawn, arrange the merchandise like a shop, and sit happily chatting in the sun for hours. We bargain with early birds, give away free trinkets to every kid that came by (at last, a home for my Hello Kitty barrettes I’ve had since I was ten), and meet some of the neighbors. A good day of simplifying and community building.
People buy a lot–good stuff like chairs and clothes, and strange things like a bag of rocks and a single earring. And everyone wants my turquoise table that I got at a yard sale myself for three bucks.
Then, my nemesis arrives: a packratty middle-aged woman driving a yellow Corvette (ew) on a mission to jam her car full of more crap. I run into her on my yard sale jaunts, so I know she wants everything cheap. Like free. She’s my stiffest competition on the road, but today, she’s in my front yard. She gathers a bunch of my stuff: note cards, jewelry and such, but when I tell her my silvery earrings are a dollar, she declares that too much. She’ll take them for 50 cents, she says. We go back and forth and she grabs more stuff, adds and re-adds her pile and does this obsequious thing of “Would you…could you…take $5 for everything?” This is her shtick; she wears you down; and because I don’t want to carry one little thing back in the house, I cave. She knows I would.
On the flip side, a charming Moroccan guy sails in, buys up all my roommate’s winter coats for a fair price, and tells us they’ll go to people who live in the mountains when he goes to Morocco on the hiking tours he leads. We feel good about that sale and even better when he invites us to his import shop in Cambridge for Moroccan tea. Tea is fine, but I really hope it’s a euphemism for something…