If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

09 May 2005

A Sunny Saturday of Sales and Stories

Oh, thank goodness it’s over! I couldn’t wash my hands or soak my feet long enough after the yardsaleorama yesterday.

First and foremost, gargantuan heartfelt thankyous go out to Pollyanna Buckeye, Sartorial Sockman, Baby Makes Three & Boris, and the The Diva di Giardina for being there: For fending off the masses, for bargaining with the freaks, for merchandising my random crap, for helping suck down copious amounts of bloody marys and mimosas, and especially for giving the leftover stuff away at the end with abandon (when I would have become too attached!).

Special nods also to New Ageist (who was dear enough to ask for ‘something that I wanted him to have’ – so he could look at it and remember me: what a nice guy. I’m sad that timing has been so off that we are only just now getting to know each other as I’m leaving.) Sensitive Rebel and Chemistry Lad also swung by, and have each adopted some of my very favorite things: my ceramic Italian ‘vino, acqua, and olio’ jugs – Italian jugs from the Italian Housesitter - and the Apothecaire sign, which makes me really happy.

Since I’m laundry listing the ‘above and beyond’ crowd, it can’t go without mention that something like this really DOES teach you who your friends really are. Those who called and offered help, those who came by for moral support, those who checked in that day – thank you for knowing how hard it would be to do alone. (Since I’m on the topic, just a quick rant thrown in ... what’s up with ND/BT who was off all day and apparently ‘drove by’ but never stopped to say hello, even for five minutes?!?! Ohhhh, I’m sooooo over it. Thank goodness I’m moving, that avoids the messy ‘um, this relationship isn’t working because you’re totally insensitive’ conversation. DONE!)

So as for the sale itself, other than the SERIOUS number of folks who came by while they were waiting for the next bus to Crazytown, it was a gorgeous day full of wonderful stories:

The Lesbian Baker: Mid-morning a VERY masculine woman and her dog came by and sort of wandered through, chatting us all up, hemming and hawing over things for a while. She probably stood there for about a half hour (we were all kinda wondering if she was just lonely?), debating over Grandma’s KitchenAid mixer ($40) and the microwave ($15). After I assured her that indeed the motor was more than strong enough to make bread, and Pollyanna Buckeye did her best salesgirl job showing off the attachments, she took it and walked it over to her house (a block away.) Two hours later, she came back with mexican sweetbread (her mother’s recipe) for everyone working the sale. I *love* it when life surprises you! It was a total ‘neighborhood’ experience, and Gram would be thrilled to know that someone is actually using KitchenAid (since it’s been in my house for 2 years now and I haven’t touched it!)

WannaBeBride: this tiny little woman who ran from a car to come try on the wedding dress (which fit her perfectly) and then proceeded to run into the neighbors’ house to look at herself in the full length mirror, proclaiming “I love it! But I don’t even have a boyfriend! Are you supposed to have so many boobs on your wedding day?!” When we suggested it would be a great Halloween costume if nothing else, she said – “but it’s not slutty enough” (oh, my. Perhaps this is the ‘no boyfriend’ issue?!? But she looked great in the dress -- her friends took pictures of her. I’m sure it was a story for everyone.)

The Drag Queen and the Midwestern Girl: preciously ridiculous was the image of my neighbor (who had earlier adopted my Marilyn Monroe wig) trying on my floor length red sequin dress (which I was trying to hook over his very broad back) … with Pollyanna Buckeye making tailoring suggestions for the perfect fit and offering a “skirt that would fit just ‘perfectly’!” as she tossed it on over the dress. In her words: ”retelling *this* story at the family dinner table would stop conversation in its tracks!” Aaaah, the Midwesterners in the big city… expanding their worlds one life at a time!

Doctors & Shakespeare: one of the early visitors was a woman and her boyfriend with somewhat Spanish accents. She kept telling him that ‘if he really wanted it, she would buy it for him’ (referring to a hardcover ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’ (1934, I think!) for $2 – not a significantly pricey purchase and probably a GREAT deal.) She ended up taking it (and only that, but a bit forlornly inquiring as she turned over her two bills:
“But why are you selling Shakespeare?”
“I just can’t take it all with me.”
“We will take very good care of it.”

Many hours later, they returned with two other women to look at clothes & shoes – since we were basically closed up by then, those had been packed up and returned to the living room for donation. Diva di Giardina took them inside and they explained they were young doctors from Paraguay who were here in DC for an exam series (residency?), their parents were paying for their trip, but they were very poor – and they were being invited to all sorts of events for doctors, but didn’t have the right things to wear. DdG insisted that they take whatever they wanted, and they tore through the bags with glee, having a wonderful time. She asked many times if they could give us money for the items, DdG insisting we were happy that they would be used, they were slated for donation anyway.

Five minutes later, she ran back over and asked whose things they were, and she took a white scarf tied in knots out of her backpack. As she unknotted it, revealing a red scarf, she explained that she also makes jewelry and she has been working on perfecting a silver filigree technique; unfurling the scarf to reveal a series of earrings pinned to the scarf. She asked me to select a pair in appreciation for the gift of the clothes. I couldn’t accept, she insisted … I could see she would be insulted with my answer; I asked her to select a pair that she would like me to have. She presented me the most beautiful silver hoops, just the size I normally wear, with beautiful filigree drops. I put them in immediately and felt like a princess. On a day where all of the ‘stuff’ representing the accumulated 30something years of a life was just gone – some to sale, some to giveaways, some inevitably to theft – the one thing I got emotional about was not a loss, but rather a simple gift from a truly genuine woman: a stranger who couldn’t let a kindness go unpaid. Each time I wear them, I will be reminded of the value of ‘paying it forward’ to the world.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

...I laughed til I cried! Could actually see you interacting with these wonderfully unique people & having such fun with it.

Keep on keepin' on, K - this is such the fantastic journey you're on! Hugs and such, gg

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story, brought me to tears.

1:19 AM  

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