Wasn’t Saturday beautiful? The girls spent practically the entire day outside while W and I puttered–he had to finish his picnic table for the auction, and I washed windows and filed and did other boring tasks. There were some neighbor children around, but by far the most exciting attraction outdoors was the oh-so-close-to-us yard sale.
While J was still at dance class in the morning, M begged to visit, and I let her walk over by herself. She came home soon with a fabulous parasol that she’d bought with loose change.
She’d also purchased a small token item for J, which was very thoughtful of her. Still, the parasol was approximately one billion times more exciting, so I handed M a couple of quarters and sent her back to grab something else for J before all the “good stuff” was gone.
Umm, yeah, this was a mistake. I did not need to send her back. I didn’t realize that the yard sale would drag on for hours, singing its siren song to my children for the entire day. Of course when J got home, she wanted to browse. I mean, I knew that would happen. And she had her own ideas about what was valuable.
Between bouts of freeze tag and sidewalk chalking, whenever there was a lull, the yard sale beckoned them again. Friends from school and other neighbors were spotted there, people with interesting-looking dogs would loiter. . . it was like our own very small carnival.
Eventually, I told them that they could walk over to browse, but, “No more buying anything!” It was only after a couple more trips that I realized that my neighbor was giving the crap away. “You are?” I called from my front yard, “Wow.” I’m none too pleased. “You’re wel–COME!” my neighbor sang, with that exact same facial expression you see on a mommy as she hands the baby who smells like poopy diaper to its daddy.
Sometimes, when things are free, you realize that items that you’d never even known about before are actually essential to your continued happiness and well-being. Can I predict now that we will never actually use this appliance? I mean, if I had to estimate the number of actual crayons already in my home today, I’d have to say 150. I so needed a messy, crafty burn hazard.
Clearly, I was not sufficiently attentive. I was busy enjoying the fact that the girls were peacefully occupied in the great outdoors so that I could get some things done around the house. As the evening ended, I began to realize the magnitude of the accumulation. I wish that I could say that these photographs included everything that they got. Alas, no. These are merely the highlights. Oh, which reminds me, should I be concerned that perhaps someone offered my children drugs to induce them to choose this item?
The girls themselves seemed a bit baffled by their previous ardor for items that, upon reflection, were junk. J proposed that we hold our own yard sale the next day. We even started a little pile.
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So, evening came, and it was the parents’ turn for acquisitiveness run amok as we went to our Nursery School Silent Auction. Now, because I’m cheap, I tend not to win too terribly much at the auction. I do many, many opening bids to “get the ball rolling”, so to speak. It’s all for charity, after all. In fact, if it looks like a couple of people want something pretty bad, I’ll outbid them just for sport, so that the nursery school and Double H Ranch get more. Then, pretty soon, everyone outbids me.
On Saturday night, we’d been at the auction for a while when I decided to take an after-dinner stroll and check out which items were neglected. One was a little photo scanner. No one had even placed an opening bid. So I did. When someone actually raised on me, I realized that I was not just motivated by altruism. I wanted that thing! And I got it! For less than half price! So now I can show you adorable pictures of me as a toddler—ta da!
Will there be some sort of crazy nostalgia-photo storm on my personal Facebook account later? Oh, yes–I believe that there will be! So, that turned out to be my favorite auction acquisition.
But it wasn’t all a complete success. Another neglected item was tickets to The Egg. It was a Saturday night performance of something that I’d never heard of–Jalala. Well, I thought. A Saturday night at The Egg can’t suck, right? And it sounded vaguely exotic, like perhaps there would be drums or something. So I went for it. Ummm, I was completely wrong. Not exotic: it’s three broads crooning Johnny Mercer. Many people might enjoy this. I would not. We would not. As my dad says, concerning taste there can be no argument. W suggested Mary, but I happen to know that she refuses to go to The Egg on principle because she was so appalled by the construction of the Empire State Plaza in the 1970s. I only hope that I can remain so steadfast in my principles whenever they finally manage to put stores on the old Ingersoll land.
So, would anyone like to have these tickets? Or, to be more accurate, a voucher that you would take to the box office to redeem for two tickets? If so, please comment before 10 pm on Tuesday, and I’ll choose someone randomly and contact you via email.