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Yard Sale

The Traditional Pre-Yard Sale Party

We had a yard sale last Saturday, which, like most things, was just a big excuse to have a party. The Bother-in-Law, Gary, and his family came to “help” run the yard sale and 2 bottles of vodka, a case of beer, 15 donuts, and enough Pizza Hut takeout food that they dropped a crate from a passing airplane to deliver it, and it was over.

Gary, Heather and the two nieces showed up at 9pm on Friday night as a surprise. I went from falling asleep in my cozy bed to sitting around the fire pit drinking until midnight.

You can see what a typical evening with Mike & Gary looks like here. WARNING: The circular move Mike (on the left, obviously, because he’s the one drinking wine out of a Riedel at a fire pit party) does at the end is devastatingly sexy, so try and resist as best you can. He’s all mine ladies. Unless you want to make an offer. Let’s talk.

Naturally after this, we were all fresh as daisies come 5am Saturday morning.  I had an OJ & vodka in my hand by 6:30am to remove the ice pick piercing my brain.

Mike: “The neighbors are going to know there’s booze in that.”

Me: **DEATH STARE**

Mike goes and gets himself one.

yard sale

Yard Sale Lies

It was handy having Gary at the yard sale because he’s a natural salesman. He held up a collectible plate my mother had given to me to sell and told me: “This is by Evaahn Shujay (totally made up name). He was a master glass blower (it was a ceramic plate so this makes no sense) in fact, interesting story, there is no such thing as a ‘Master’ glassblower, except for Evaahn Jayshu (totally different name) who so impressed the Queen of England in 1920 (it was a King of England in 1920) that he was given the title.”

But the way Gary said this to me, I:

  • believed him
  • wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to collecting Evaahn Shujay-Jayshu plates

Gary sold a giant plastic clam shell I’d found in the attic. It had once served as a container for Caesar salad or noodle salad. Clearly, that was what it was made to do.

“What is it?” asked a lady holding it up and turning it around the way yard sale people do.

I stared at this woman, my head feeling like someone had removed my brain and replaced it with a used bath towel, thinking, “It’s a hat, lady.” Only with a lot more words that start with “F.”

But before I could screw a yard sale smile to my face and answer politely, Gary King of Yard Sale attacked.

“That is a beautiful decorative piece, isn’t it? We used to keep shells in it. Shells we picked up in Florida. We put them in there and it was really beautiful. We used to get compliments on it all the time. It was our centerpiece, and we hated to get rid of it, but the time had come to mix it up so…”

yard sale

And the yard sale woman, who a moment before couldn’t identify what this object was, bought it.

Never mind that the idea of filling this ugly plastic shell with sea shells was idiotic. And that it had never been Gary’s at all, let alone his centerpiece. The idea that there is a woman out there who thinks that I am Gary’s wife and I decorated my home with giant plastic clams full of shells still keeps me up at night.

But it was a productive yard sale:

  • We sold a bunch of junk and overstock inventory from our online stores (links & promo codes at the bottom of the page!)
  • We made enough money to buy everyone take out
  • My younger niece setup a Kool Aid stand and made 50 cents selling $4 worth of Crystal Light
  • We received confirmation from one neighbor that another neighbor is selling drugs out of their home or at the very least are in the witness protection program or possibly spies
  • And best of all Gary was there to help Mike haul a huge hutch out and then back in to the house when we didn’t sell it

I took Sunday to recover from the yard sale and fix all the settings on the iPhones and computers. The nieces think it is hilarious to change our wallpapers and screen savers into selfies. I knew I was in trouble when I passed my bedroom and found one taking pictures of herself in a mirror holding a fireman umbrella made for a 2 year-old.

yard sale

They sabotaged my to do list. Now I have to do Gangnam Style by Tuesday.

 


Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries.
Amy Vansant

33 Responses

  1. Abby

    Aren’t yard sales amazing in the people you see and junk they will buy? I did a post on this a couple years ago, as my crazy Uncle who lives at flea markets was selling can beer out of a cooler at mine and gave me no cut of the profits. Ass.

    Anyway, if you do Gangnam Style, we need video.

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    • Amy Vansant

      I told Camden to spike the kool-aid but she’d lost interest in the whole things about a minute into it.

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  2. beduwen

    My DH does that same stupid circle dance. Do they really think it looks sexy? I mean, it causes kids to run screaming from the room.
    I hate yard sales – I’d have gotten drunk the night before, too.

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  3. Dave

    I will pray for Mike. Everyone should pray for Mike.
    Dud you see that big ass, whiteboard to-do list? Damn

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  4. Charlotte

    your nieces are brilliant. I’m going to add “buy charlotte a car/house/and all the insurance that accompanies those things (for real, like mom’s)” to my aunt’s to-do list.

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  5. cj

    Our townhouse association won’t let us have a yard sale, so we just sit out here and drink. I wish people would get on board and pay us for that.

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    • Amy Vansant

      We should consider just drinking in the driveway. Because we have online stores and ship from our home, half the neighbors think we’re degenerate drug salesmen anyway.

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  6. caren

    That was priceless. Brings back memories of my mother trying to sell me to a police officer that came by one of our many many garage sales as a child.

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    • Amy Vansant

      Ha! I had a grandfather who tried to give me to the butcher at the food store who them proceeded to try and hang me on a meat hook.

      I just remembered that. That explains a lot actually…

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  7. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd

    The last yard sale I had a van full of people came – they took turns distracting us with questions, bought a couple things, then left and we realized they stole even more stuff. If one of them had done the circle dance they would have been able to get every single item and could have broken into the house.

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  8. Michele Drier

    Dang, I wish you lived in my neighborhood…I wouldn’t have to sit in my driveway and drink alone!

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    • Amy Vansant

      No. No you would not be alone. I wish we had neighbors like that – we’re lucky if our neighbors don’t break a hip walking down the driveway. (though they are all really quite lovely people!)

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  9. Momma Bird

    Your blog is so helpful !
    Yard sales aren’t about stuff I don’t want.
    Or about making money.
    Its about the liquor !!
    I didn’t start drinking soon enough !!
    🙂
    (Also the age old Indian Yard Sale Dance of the Shujay tribe is unknown in my neck of the woods)
    Very educational !!
    Very funny !

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  10. Melissa Marie

    I’ve never had a garage so whenever my friends have a sale, I show up at 7 a.m. so I don’t miss the drive-way drinking. Or I used to. Now I’m old and all my friends are up at 7 changing diapers. I just got sad. I’m going to try to sell stuff off my 5th floor balcony at 7 a.m. this Saturday.

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  11. Tiffany N. York

    That was some badass dancing! Bet you would have never gotten them to do that if they hadn’t been drinking. White boys only dance when they drink, for some reason.

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  12. Gina

    I like the drinking part, but the whole moving stuff outside and dealing with strangers walking all over your lawn as if they own the place, not so much.

    And that husband of yours and his sexy dancing? Giirrrl, you hit the jackpot with that one. He’s a keeper!

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    • Amy Vansant

      He grows on you… like a mold… heh, nah. With dancing moves like that I didn’t stand a chance…

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  13. Tammy R

    CJ: Did you read Amy’s post?
    Me: Not yet, why?
    CJ: It’s funny – even without the video.
    (Six hours later)
    Me: What’s that?
    CJ: Amy’s video
    (Two minutes later)
    Both laptops playing the video and two people critiquing Mike’s dancing. He has quite the hand moves!

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    • Amy Vansant

      It’s sort of mesmerizing, isn’t it? If you knew how shy he was (sober) you’d really be amazed. The only reason I got this on here is that Heather (sister in law) who took the video put it RIGHT on Facebook and he was too buzzed to care. I took that as tacit approval for the blog…

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  14. Lisa Newlin

    Yeah, like you weren’t already going to do Gangnum Style by Tuesday. Okay, *wink* *wink*

    I also want to be best friends with Gary. I feel like we should make this into a game, and we can show him the most random crap, and have him come up with an explanation and back story immediately to see if he can sell it.

    I have full faith in Gary.

    Your nieces are awesome. I have one and she just turned 1 and I can’t wait to get to know her once her personality starts shining through more.

    Totally entertaining post, as usual! :0

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  15. Dana

    Judging from your photos and the Orioles sweatshirts, I think we may live in the same neighborhood. But I am not the neighbor selling drugs (as if I would tell you if I were).

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    • Amy Vansant

      I’m pretty sure it isn’t the exact same neighborhood because everyone here is 70 years old… (with a few exceptions, obviously)

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  16. Melissa S.

    Never have I ever attended and/or hosted a yard sale that was this much fun. First off, nobody ever drinks. Bummer. And second, I’m usually dealing with cheap asses who want something for a $1 less than what it’s marked, which is usually $2.

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  17. Lynn Kellan

    I noticed you haven’t crossed off “clean house” from your to-do list. If it makes you feel any better, that item is never crossed off my list. 🙂

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  18. Daisy

    I have never had a yard sale as an adult but we had one when I was a kid. It was fun, and we made like $400. I keep thinking we need to have a yard sale in a couple of months when we finally drudge some of our junk out.

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  19. Stacey

    This is my version of a yard sale:

    1. Haul a bunch of junk to the curb.
    2. Put out a huge sign that says “FREE!”
    3. Go back in the house.

    Pretty much everything will disappear because ZOMG! FREE!

    Yeah, I’m lazy.

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  20. SarcasticNinja

    I wish we had had Gary King of the Yard Sale at our yard sales when I was growing up. We all had the sales and haggling abilities of an abused puppy. “You want to give us 50 cents for that solid oak bureau? Ok! Ok! Just take it!”

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