There were massive garage sales in the city a few weeks ago and I had a realization:
I am not a garage sale person.
I really like people. I really like cheap prices. I like nice things, but I don’t like Stuff. I would define Stuff as way too many things all at once, if that makes sense?
If I walk into a store looking for things and there’s too much Stuff I start to panic. It makes me uneasy. I’m not a complicated guy and I find that I get irritated if I have to look at too much Stuff. It seems like I just have to ask myself “What is the purpose of all of that Stuff, really?”
As soon as I say the word “really” I know I’ve decided that I don’t like it anymore. I asked myself if I “really liked mushrooms?” when I was young and went a decade before trying them again. It turns out they were actually pretty good!
I’m not saying it makes sense, it just makes sense to me.
I used to love going to garage sales until one day I had a weird thought: “Hey! Why would I want what someone else is throwing out, REALLY? Am I just saving them a trip to the dump? I don’t want to be USED by garage sale people”. It goes on, but you get the idea…
I did say it only made sense to me so you’re not allowed to get angry if you happen to like garage sales. I also felt it was quite clever of me to not allow you to get angry while I tell you what I really think…
In defence of garage sales, my wife loves them because she loves Stuff. That’s great because if she didn’t love Stuff we wouldn’t have anything to fight about (cough cough:).
My daughters face a monumental task every week before we have people over because the basement looks like a toy store that’s been turned upside down, shaken AND stirred.
Mom: “How is the room such a mess???”
Kids: (Blank stares)
My hand is always in the air. I know why! There’s too much Stuff!
It seems to me when I was a child I had a Tonka truck and a pile of sand. My mom informs me that I had more than that but I only remember the truck and the sand. The Kope home in the presence of my dad was a very simple place to live in. Here’s what it looked like:
Emotional drama? Pass.
Talking about feelings? Pass.
Comfortable home? Yes.
In high school I left an item on the floor in the living room that was no longer there by two o’clock in the afternoon.
Dad: “You weren’t using it so I threw it out”
Me: “Crud” (I had fair warning)
It sounds a little odd, but keep in mind that we never had to compete for dad’s attention with Stuff, like ever, whether it was his things or our things. Mostly because we either used it or gave it away to someone who could.
So back to our story…
We also joined the garage sale that was going on in the city and sold a ridiculous amount of Stuff. We don’t know where it all came from but now that it’s gone we feel pretty good. My girls had a lemonade stand and made a killing which was divided up with minimal fighting (“But I did all the work!” “No you didn’t! I made all the lemonade!” etc etc) and the thrift store now has whatever was left and should be good for a year or so. We met a lot of fun people and had a great day.
I would have to say that the funniest thing that happened was that our neighbour girl asked Neela if she wanted a free teddy bear from their garage sale (or possibly Neela just straight up asked for it for “free”. Last child…). Neela said yes and brought it into our house and I heard about it a couple of hours later.
Me: “How big is the bear?”
Neela: “Pretty big!!!”
Me: “Why? I thought we talked about bringing Stuff into the house?”
Neela: (Blank stare)
I walked into her room and stifled a scream as something from a horror movie was lounging against the window. How on earth did those two girls even get that monstrosity up the stairs in the first place? It was fully as tall as I was and looked like it was resting after having devoured Neela’s Hivvy, who is (what I thought was) a giant blue stuffed hippo. Neela, Neela. What am I supposed to do? I can’t have a heart attack every time I walk past your bedroom. This doesn’t even qualify as Stuff. This is not a thing, it’s…..
Amidst tears I took it back over to the neighbours for an awkward “Hey, would you mind taking back your daughter’s gift?”. Their response? “Haha! We were just joking! We couldn’t believe she took it! Of course you can bring it back:)”
They put it in their yard on a chair with a “FREE” sign, and it was gone in ten seconds.
My neighbour said “They weren’t halfway down the block before they regretted that one:)”