The Nut House has a Sale

I think I’ve broken my record for how many times I can question my sanity in one weekend.

Let’s review the footage, shall we?

Friday: The Mister and my mother in law help me take a folding table and our extra furniture out to the parking lot outside our apartment building at 6:30 a.m. for my very first yard sale. Doubt #1: It’s 6:30 a.m. Doubt #2: I’m sitting outside in the darkness shivering in four layers of clothing hoping somebody will happen to drive through the parking lot and buy some junk. (Did I say junk? I mean highly useful miscellaneous items.)

Our first customers arrived at approximately 6:45 a.m., while we were still setting up the table. Both complained loudly about our “poor choice” of having the sale outside while it was cold. I barely kept myself from gesturing rudely to the tiny apartment buildings behind me and asking where in the world they thought I was going to have it? Doubt #3: I wanted to interact with crazy old yard-sale-type ladies???

I also discovered that it is very demoralizing to be sitting beside a table of … miscellaneous items … and have old ladies, who OBVIOUSLY do not live in a student apartment complex, drive slowly by, peering out the window at your wares while you shiver and silently beg them to purchase something… and then drive on without stopping. It’s like standing up at auction just to hear crickets chirp as the auctioneer begs for a starting bid. Doubts #4, 5, 6, 7 and 8: We (my MIL and I) are going to sit in this parking lot all day long like complete idiots and nobody is going to buy a single thing. I’m going to have to cart all this furniture back to middle Tennessee. Nobody loves me; I am a failure; all is lost.

Our second customers didn’t arrive until 9 a.m. We made three dollars. Doubt #9: We’ve been sitting out here for two hours staring at a pitiful little table of ju- I mean, miscellaneous items, for three dollars. I would have made more than that going to work this morning.

I did have to deal with a couple at one point that seemed intent on trying to buy our entire apartment for about $20. I took them inside to look at our large area rugs (it was too muddy to pull them out from under the furniture and take them outside), and instead of offering a good price on the rugs, they wanted to make offers on everything else in the house. Even when I told them everything else had been sold. Even when they refused to offer more than $20 (total) for anything. And then they insisted that they wanted to buy the Mister’s flat screen television, and I really wanted to ask, “Look lady, if you won’t part with more than $20, what do you think I’m going to ask for that television!?” Doubt #10: Why do I have these people in my house????

But I am glad to say that the traffic did eventually pick up as the sun burned off the fog and it started to warm up, and by the end of the day we had sold all the furniture and a large portion of the smaller items. Doubt #11: What was I thinking?! Of course a yard sale was a good idea! Of course I know how to advertise events! I am awesome!

Saturday: We set up the table around 8 a.m. this time, since we didn’t want a repeat of the previous morning and because we didn’t have much left to begin with. Which, of course, only made for an even more pitiful scene as the MIL, the Mister and I again sat beside the table (this time with an even smaller assortment of miscellaneous items) and waited for customers. Doubt #12: Why are we out here? We look pathetic.

A family did stop at one point, with the parents asking in broken English where was our furniture for sale. When I explained that everything had been sold the day before, they only continued to ask about beds, dressers, couches and bookshelves. I, again, said everything had been sold. They asked if we were having a moving sale, and what kind of moving sale doesn’t have furniture. I, again, explained. This went on for another 10 or so minutes before they finally drove off disgusted. Doubt #13: What kind of clientele am I attracting to this sale? If you wanted to buy furniture that badly, why did you wait until noon on the second day to come by?

We made about $16 dollars in four hours, and most of that came from our last two customers. Doubt #14: Why did I want to have a yard sale? Nobody is going to stop. I wouldn’t stop. This was a stupid idea.

After chasing several items across the parking lot as the wind picked up, the Mister and I surveyed the ghost town around us and decided to pack the table up and call it a day. The Goodwill pile went into the trunk of my car, while the “see if Mom can sell it at home” pile went into the “random stuff to take back to Mom” box. Doubt #15: Is anybody in Murfreesboro going to buy an expensive pair of name-brand cowboy boots? Murfreesboro isn’t really a cowboy boots kind of market.

I sold four pieces of furniture last week to a young woman over the phone, and I had been texting her all weekend begging that she come by to pay a partial amount and claim the items before I sold them to someone else. She didn’t come and didn’t come and didn’t come. Doubt #16: Why did I ever think it was a good idea to sell stuff over the phone? She is not coming for this stuff. What was I thinking?

We did, ironically, have a few people knock on our door hours after we brought the table in, so we might have made a few more dollars if we’d waited in the breeze, but oh well. If they wanted to buy things that badly, they should have been there earlier. (The unknown young lady’s mother did eventually come by late Saturday afternoon to make a claim deposit on her furniture, thank goodness.) Doubt #17: Why do I have so little faith in humanity?

Sunday: The Mister and I had just gotten my MIL on the road and settled in for a much-needed nap, when we both sat straight up in bed, listening intently. The ice cream man was coming! We scrambled out of bed and into the first clothes we could find on the floor. I actually ran out the front door putting my glasses on with one hand and zipping up my pants with the other. We NEVER catch the ice cream man!

We got outside and lost the music, but we knew he hadn’t been loud enough to have passed by our building yet. Finally we heard a jingling Yankee Doodle, loud and clear, from a neighborhood across the road. Hooray! We staked out seats on a light pole directly across from the entrance. There is no other way out of that neighborhood. We knew we’d caught him now!

We waited. And waited. And waited some more. He never came out. So finally we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take a walk across the street to find our prey. About halfway into the neighborhood (which forms a small loop, and we were on the side he would have had to exit), we heard the music again, this time inexplicably coming from the direction of the main road. So of course we took off running like crazy people. But alas, we never found the ice cream man. It was probably the greatest disappointment of the entire weekend. Doubt #18: Why are we running around Martin in an odd assortment of clothing with nothing but our door keys and $20, chasing phantom music like deranged people? It was probably a really loud child’s toy.

Monday (today): I got all the way to the lobby of my office building this morning before I realized my favorite boots were making two different sounds as I walked and one ankle was hurting. ONE HEEL WAS AN INCH SHORTER THAN THE OTHER!!! Doubt #19: That hasn’t always been like that, has it? I am surely more observant than that! Doubt #20: I have completely, totally, undoubtedly, irreversibly lost my mind.

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One thought on “The Nut House has a Sale

  1. Just wait until you have children. The babysitter has arrived and I’m trying to get out the door to go to work. Mitch no-thank-you’s doughnuts, toast, muffins, cereal, pancakes, etc. He wants the doritos his sister took for lunch. I end up leaving the muffins he didn’t want, nutrigrain bar he didn’t want, chocolate milk he demanded I put back in the refrigerator sitting on the table for his breakfast while he is watching “Bob the Builder” he didn’t want and his babysitter is laughing.

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