in the spirit of fully embracing this new suburban life that i'm leading i hosted a yard sale (garage sale, stoop sale, rummage sale, moving sale - whatever you'd like to call it) a few weekends ago, a necessary event given the amount of tired old crap that missy and i didn't want anymore that i dragged back here with me from my apartment. and adding that to the tired old crap my parents already had, plus the tired old crap i'd been depositing here the past six years while i acquired shiny new crap in queens...and, well, you get the picture. that's a lot of junk. it was actually a whole room full of junk, as my mother starting stashing it all in our spare bedroom and within weeks the room was packed to the gills.
so we put a notice in the local paper*, made some bright yellow "YARD SALE ----->" signs, and set up shop one sunny september saturday morning. business was brisk, and as with any situation where you'd interact with a volume of customers, our yard was home to quite a cast of characters that day, from the annoying to the surprising (a fossil of an old woman, who hobbled into the yard on the arm of an elderly friend. we almost collapsed in giggles as she passed by the table of knickknacks, making a beeline for the tool section. she left with a bag containing a giant wrench, a screwdriver, and a wood sander. i really wanted to follow her home to see what on earth she did with them).
but the most entertaining moment of the day came from a pair of young neighbors across the street. about 2/3 through our sale we noticed the little boys hanging a sign on a pole right beneath our yard sale sign.
as i crossed the street to inspect it, we realized it was a sign for their yard sale - and looking over to their lawn, we noticed them dragging toys and clothes out of the house and laying them all over the lawn. it was cutely hilarious. but our rivalry was short-lived, as about 15 minutes later they came over to our yard, complaining that they weren't getting any business. a quick lesson in yard sale 101 ensued.
in the end, after crushing our elementary-school competition and selling off more than half of all the stuff we had out, it turned out to be a rather successful day. if only there was a market for yard sale consultants, i'd totally be in business.
*while initially discussing plans for the sale, i suggested to my parents that we should have snacks for shoppers. i even offered to bake my famous brownies. ever the cynics - "snacks?? who has snacks?!" they scoffed - they quickly shot down the idea. lo and behold, when i checked out my ad in the paper - one of the loveliest ads that weekend, i might add - a neighboring ad boasted, in bold, imposing newsprint, FREE COOKIES!
i guarantee the 'free cookies' yard sale had record crowds.