I have an idea.
Let's go to someone's house and rifle through their cast-off belongings. You know, the things they're trying to get rid of and out of their own house. Oh, and let's pay them for these items that they don't even want anymore.
WHO'S WITH ME?
It sounds kind of crazy, right? Maybe even a little bit gross.
But you know what? I don't care. Because I love garage sales.
Garages sales, yard sales, tag sales, whatever you call them in your neck of the woods. I love them.
It's gotten to the point where someone can't even compliment my children's clothing without my feeling the compulsive urge to tell them exactly where I got it and how much I paid for it. Sometimes I even include the brand name if I feel like I got a really good deal and am feeling extra- annoying that day.
"Adelaide has on a cute jacket today."
"Thanks! I got it at a garage sale FOR A DOLLAR. It's a Gap jacket, and it was $1. Did I mention I only paid a dollar for it?"
For someone who can't remember half of what I need to get done today, let alone this week, I have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of how much I paid for garage sale finds. I can go through each of our children's wardrobes and my kitchen cabinets and tell you exactly how much each item cost, and usually where I found it. White milk glass cakestand, $2, from that nice old lady down the street who was downsizing. Pink Children's Place cardigan, $2, upscale neighborhood in Ankeny. Vintage beaded handbag (Christmas present for Adelaide in a couple weeks), $2.50, older couple escaping the Iowa winters and moving to Florida.
As fun as it would be for me to continue this list, I'll spare you.
It's gotten to the point where I have trouble shopping for new products. "Three dollars? Three dollars! They expect me to pay three dollars for a t-shirt! And it's not even a nice brand! Gosh, Wal-Mart has gotten expensive!"
It's one of my complaints about winter. To you un-initiated, winter is garage sale off-season. Sure, you might be able to find one here or there, but they're often in people's homes, and I'm way too paranoid for that business.
But I have found a solution. Something to get me through the paucity of garage sales that make up the winters here in the North.
It's a swap shop, and it's on Facebook.
I'm not a real big FB person. There's way too much personal information and way too few filters, to my mind. One big positive it now has in it's favor, however, are the swap shop pages. My area has one, and it allows people to post photos and descriptions of things they want to sell. I peruse our local shop several times a week, and have thus far netted six name-brand sweaters for $15 for Atticus, and a free 7' artificial Christmas tree in a nice Rubbermaid storage bin (and when I went to pick it up from the sweet older couple who had posted it, they threw in a Christmas wreath with door hanger, and two sleeves of ornaments-for free!).
Again, I could go on and on, but I won't.
True, it's not the same as a good garage or estate sale, but it's enough to get me through. I liken it to a nicotine patch for people who are trying to quit smoking for winter, but plan on starting back up in the spring. Or something.
And hey, it's only five short months until the Huxley City-Wide Garage Sale- which is like Christmas for people like me!