With temperatures in the nineties, accompanied by a heat advisory warning by the National Weather Service, I spent the last few days as any practical and precautious person would: doubled-over and wheezing while producing gallons of sweat within my unairconditioned garage.
Oh sure, there are some folks who probably sought a safe and comfortable refuge from the hazardous heat. They retreated to their home's central air or cooled off in a neighborhood swimming pool. Pfft. I decided nothing could delight me more than spending Every Freaking Day of my one-week summer vacation inside my attached two-car sauna.
Nobody knows how to have a better time than I do. So, for the hottest week of the summer, I scheduled a garage sale. And because I enjoy a seriously good challenge, I did nothing to prepare for it until just days before the event.
For those of you who have held a garage sale, you know that if there's anything even more fun-filled than actually hosting the sale, it's the cleaning, organizing and tagging that comes first. For the average person, this results in a somewhat tiring project. For people like me, who have not touched most of their household belongings for nearly twenty years, it is as wearisome as the Republican Party's search for a decent 2012 presidential candidate.
Some people scrap-book; others play tennis. I like to consider "collecting loads of shit" a bit of a hobby.
Astute readers might recall my kitchen cupboard purging escapade of this past February. Although I had high hopes for offers from TV game show producers, I've been forced, sadly, to move on with my life.
Specifically, I moved on to cleaning my basement. And I'm fairly certain that this time, the producers of Hoarders will not let me down.
I have never understood the adage "Less Is More." Is having $50 to your name truly better than having a million? Is a third-grade education more beneficial than a college degree? Hell no. So why own three kitchen spatulas when you can own twelve? Why pay for food and veterinary bills for one pet when you can have the satisfaction of paying for six? Why drink two margaritas when you can drink... (Wait, is there actually some limit?)
My recent basement purging was not unlike my kitchen cabinet cleansing--except instead of discovering twenty-three beer koozies, I discovered an endless bounty of toy action figures. At best guess, approximately 503 of them lay dropped and discarded across the basement floor.
Among these was every Happy Meal toy made between 1990 and 2000. I'd like to believe this is a sign of a loving and doting mother. In reality, it's the sign of a woman who apparently didn't prepare a homecooked meal for ten years.
I'm told that some of these items are collectibles, garnering big bucks on eBay. I'd like to believe choosing not to do so is the sign of a busy professional person with no spare time. In reality, it's a sign I'm lazy.
On the rare occasion that I've cleaned out closets, cabinets and toy bins, I simply hauled everything off to the Goodwill. This time, I decided I could use the money. (Still paying off bills from my Month of Financial Hell.)
Today was my garage sale premiere. I made a total of $63. At this rate, I should make about $150 over the course of the three-day event. Not a paltry sum. Until you consider the countless hours I spent sorting, washing, organizing and pricing. Given the time invested, I figure I'll net roughly 25 cents an hour.
This garage sale gig is way less lucrative than selling my body on the streets. A middle-age, overweight, unenthusiastic body at that.
I'm thinking of looking for an evening job instead, fit in somewhere between the day job and my extracurricular writing. Maybe McDonald's? After all, Mickey D positions are plentiful and the hours are flexible. In a fully airconditioned environment.
If I'm lucky they also offer an employee discount on Happy Meals. Because by Sunday, after I've finished sweating and wheezing, I expect to develop an ache for some cheap plastic action figures. Damn, those tiny toys are cute. I hear they do well on eBay.
And I'll bet not a single customer will ask, "Are you willing to take a quarter for this cheeseburger?"
Are you a hoarder or a purger? What are you willing to do, legally or illegally, to make a few extra bucks? Any big interest in a twenty-year-old food processor or some plastic Pocahontas toys?
Note to my fellow (and far more talented) bloggers: Between my recent writers workshop and the garage sale hell that followed, I am way behind in my blog reading. I promise to stop by your way this week...)