The Boy Who Cried Yard Sale
I am, quite possibly, the furthest thing from Picasso type artist, but I like to try and paint a vivid picture for you.
The day is humid and the air is dense. It is one of those picturesque summer days that belong on postcards that read “Greetings from” (insert city here) and you are traveling by foot in attempt to soak up the optimum amount of rays when all of the sudden something in the distance catches your eye. Curiosity has killed its fair share of cats and kittens and today it gets the best of you as you hastily walk towards the sight to investigate further. Upon arrival to the spot, your brain is unable to process the sheer amazement that your eyes behold. Items like bench presses, VCR’s, Christmas decorations, baby clothes, and Danielle Steel novels span for as far as the eye can see. “Is this Heaven”, you stutter to the graying man next to you? To which he retorts “No, Son, This, here, is a yard sale.”
There are few aspects of our youth that still remain with us today. When I was young yard sales were as much a mainstay as Thanksgiving Dinner and Easter Brunch. As a young boy I accepted few things without question, I understood the sky was blue, the grass was green, and that from the months of May to August each Saturday would be for yard sales. My willingness to accept others used clothes, electronics, and books is as strong today as it has ever been.
Yard Sales do not require so much an “Empire State of Mind, as Jay-Z proclaims, but more a willingness to accept the items that others deemed unimportant or not no longer necessary. I have always harbored resentment for the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” because when I put on my shades and embark on a day trip of sales, I am far closer to a Indiana Jones or Captain Jack Sparrow searching for treasure than “Hank” the friendly neighborhood garbage man sifting through diapers and greasy fast food wrappers.
All things considered, there are a few obvious downsides to yard sales. The first being, some people believe their items to be more valuable than they truly are. It is incredibly frustrating when you finally find that “Now 5” CD that you have been searching for all summer only to find the price is two dollars when everyone clearly knows the going rate for yard sale CD’s is a quarter. The other chief problem I have with the entire garage sale experience is the element of awkwardness that is steeped in looking at items that once meant something to those selling them. I recall a time quite recently when I was glancing around at a man’s tables and he asked me if I had any use for steel-toed boots .I replied that I was not really the labor type (its true ask anyone who knows me) and I continued to look at his items, but with each steep I took he uttered a new and different sales pitch for the boots until finally I had had enough and bid him adieu. However, for every host who issues pressure and a sales pitch is kind family or an elderly woman who only seek camaraderie or to get rid of their sons old baseball cleats.
I would urge readers of this article (staff, students, prospective students) to embrace the madness that is the modern yard sale. As I sit here and type this article I am proud, actually more embarrassed, to admit that almost every article of clothing I am wearing right now is secondhand. I have been plagued an ailment of thriftiness that not all are infected with. Even so, yard sales offer a wholesome-enjoyable time to anyone willing to accept them. For every one “decent” sale there are ten sales that were probably not worth your time, but a few eggs must be broken to construct the proverbial omelet. So the next time you’re at a red light and see a sign at the street corner reading “Yard Sale” that you take the plunge, put on your turn signal and play the odds. It’s not always trash or treasure, but it is always an experience.