I hate yard sales. I don’t hate going to them I hate having them. Every time I have ever attempted to have a yard sale it has been a complete failure. I would go into it with high hopes. I’d count the money in my head long before the first quarter was made. Unfortunately I never made much more than a quarter. Albeit most of the stuff I was hoping to free myself from was clutter, to someone else I knew it could be a find. There was one time I stayed up the whole night organizing my rummage into neat little piles. I had fancy shoes, sporty shoes, hanging about shoes and even cute little comfy never before worn slippers. They were not cheap shoes. Most were bought on a whim to go with one outfit. I really took my time on deciding their prices. I knew if I was going to make a profit the shoes were my best chance. In my mind my prices were reasonable, maybe even a steal. I didn’t mark any of them for more than five bucks even though I paid much more myself. After hours of tagging my shoes, clothes and anything extra I found lying around the house I went to bed with a smile. I was proud of myself for taking the time to make everything presentable. I jumped out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm. The enthusiasm quickly faded when I looked out the window and saw it pouring out. I tried to remain optimistic. Instead of a yard sale I would have a porch sale. After all, my porch was big enough to fit everything I was selling. The second sign of doom was when my three year old nephew ran up onto the porch. He was frantically searching for something kid friendly. He bumped into my Hagar sculptures and broke the head off. It was the most expensive item I had out. I think a person would be a fool to spend fifteen dollars for a piece with a glued on head. The sun came out and I was beginning to get hopeful. Cars were starting to line up and down the street. This was going to be it. I smiled as the people entered through my gate. I politely waved as they exited empty handed. A few women gathered around the shoes but I knew immediately their small frames were more like a size six than my gigantic size nines. One woman seemed to be interested she tried on a few pair and walked around in a circle testing them out. She held up the box and asked, “How much for these.” They were a pair I purchased but never wore. “Five dollars,” I answered. When I saw the look of disgust sweep across her face I felt it necessary to explain they were never worn and still in the original box. I sold those shoes for… a quarter. Today my parents decided they were going to have their yearly yard sale. I had no plans on being a part of it and went over for a visit. It was chaos, visually and mentally. Between my brother and sisters we have seven children. All seven children were at the yard sale. They were shopping amongst the other patrons. That alone puts added stress to the day, try explaining to seven year olds and younger that the things lying across Noni and Nono’s yard are for others to buy not for them. Between hollers of “What will you take for this,” and shouts of “Mom I really want to buy this,” a sane person can easily lose their mind. Moods changed, bickering began and before I knew it there was a family feud. I was at the edge of insanity and then the most hysterical thing happened. A woman called out to my father and asked “How much for these shoes.” He yelled back “Five dollars,” explaining they had a steel toe. “There’s no steel toe”, she replied. He looked puzzled but continued to tell her he spent forty dollars on them and wanted at least five. She set the shoes down and went across to the other side of the yard. “Mar, I didn’t want to sell those shoes,” he whispered. Someone put his new shoes out amongst the sale items. “Do you want me to go get them?” I asked. “Wait until she leaves so it doesn’t look weird,” he replied. In the mean time I got distracted by my two-year old telling me she had to go potty. When I came back outside onto the porch I saw the lady paying my sister for the shoes my father didn’t want to sell. I looked over at him and watched as he watched her walk away with his brand new, pricey New Balance sneakers. He sold the shoes he didn’t want to sell for five dollars and at my yard sale I sold the shoes I had marked for five dollars for a quarter. Life has a funny way of putting a comical moment in at the right time to make the scene a bit lighter. Out of twenty pairs of nice looking shoes out on the lawn the only ones that sold were his.     

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