Some call it a rummage sale, garage sale, yard sale or tag sale but let’s just call it what it really is. It’s the "I’m cleaning out my basement and I’m going to sell you all the junk that I don’t want anymore" sale.
A few weeks ago a friend told me that she was going to have a rummage sale, so without hesitation I told her to count me in. This was the perfect reason to begin the basement clean up. That clean up that I’ve been meaning to get to but yet seems to be put off and off and off . . .
Last week I spent my nights digging out the treasures that I was finally willing to part with. There were the picture frames received as gifts from people that apparently didn’t know that my taste in décor is not country. There were the remaining unbroken glasses that my husband and I received as a gift when we were married over seventeen years ago. Also, there were clothes and plenty of them. Clothes now four sizes too small for my daughter. Old clothes of mine, now four sizes too big; too big to keep even for a “fat day”.
This past Saturday a five family rummage sale was held in Bayside. The new, I know that I’ll wear it one-day shirt with the tags still on it was sold along with old cassette tapes and the buy one get one free food choppers and mops bought at the Wisconisn State Fair. Those State Fair items that we all buy, use once, and then toss into the basement. The driveway was lined with rows and rows of treasures that were taken out of five basements. Five basements with newly cleared shelves.
I don’t begrudge anyone from shopping at a rummage sale. Some do it for the thrill of the hunt, others shop for a son or daughter going to college, and some shop rummage sales for economic reasons. Whatever the reason for going to a rummage sale, there is a group of many rummagers who have one trait in common. It’s been years since I had a rummage sale and I forgot about this one trait of many rummage sale shoppers. They don’t realize that it is called a rummage sale.
Yes, I understand that I am ridding myself and my house of unwanted items but I am selling them to you. If I wanted to give the stuff away, I would give it to a worthy charity and take a tax write-off.
Yes, I quickly remembered that part of the rummage sale process is bargaining. People, you are going to a rummage sale, not to a market in Mexico.
No, you cannot pick flowers out of the garden to put in the vase that you just bought for fifty cents. No, I will not take half off the coffee mug that is marked twenty-five cents. What?? That would make it twelve and one-half cents. Hmmm . . . let me guess, I’ll need to round that down for you. No, we don’t have a return policy if your husband doesn’t like the skirt you just bought. People, this is a rummage sale, not the mall!
If you are not going to spend a few cents for a cup of lemonade from the lemonade stand that my daughter and her friends set up at the end of the driveway, don’t ask me if I have a bottle of water because you are hot and thirsty. But since this is a sale and you like to haggle, let’s make a deal. I’ll give you a bottle of water, wait, I’ll even toss in the cooler and whatever else is in it, and the twelve and one-half cents coffee mug in exchange for the blue Mini Cooper convertible that you just got out of. Deal?
I know that I might sound agitated and seem like I have a problem with people that haggle for a bargain but I don’t. I am proud of the five-dollar big blue glass pitcher that I schlepped back from a market in Tijuana. My issue is with those who get carried away with the haggling process. If you want one dollar off the suitcase that was shot put onto the conveyor belt by many baggage handlers throughout the years, just ask nicely and you will get that dollar off the marked price.
If you are at a rummage sale and see a fellow rummager being unreasonable, stop and tell him or her to be realistic and remember that this is a sale. Tell him or her that this behavior casts a negative image on all rummagers. If you are a bargain hunter, great. If you are asking for a freebie, remember it’s a sale, even if it’s a sale of my old junk.
After the rummage sale on Saturday, I went to Bayshore Town Center to spend some of my rummage sale earnings. I wanted a new set of wine glasses for an upcoming party that I am having. My husband asked what I am going to do with the set of mismatched wine glasses that we currently have. Well, they are off to sit on a newly cleared shelf in the basement. They will stay there until it’s time for another "clean out the basement" sale.