How Not to Do a Garage Sale

Can anybody tell me when I turned into one of those parents who might make an unexpected right turn into a neighborhood (nicer than mine) to see if I can find some untouched children’s books for fifty cents a piece? Or maybe a three-foot tall wooden “Little Critter” wall hanging – delightful in the kids’ toy room…

Of this I’m sure: Today was destined to be a garage sale day. I got four children dressed, pottied, shoed and seatbelted and east we went, in search of the good garage sales until, eureka! A beautiful little subdivision we’d never encountered had that fantastic orange on black sign welcoming shoppers: GARAGE SALE.

“OK, guys, here we go,” I say. The few things I SHOULD have added:

1. Don’t touch anything.
2. Don’t pick anything up.
3. If you want something but you touch it or pick it up, the answer will be an automatic “no.”

However, off we skipped toward the sale to see what we might like. Did I see the shiny, pretty snowglobe? No, I didn’t. Not until, that is, one of our beloved had already picked it up, verbalized her appreciation for it, let it slip from her hands & crash to the floor.

Have you ever had a moment in time when you were frozen? I knew everyone around us was scrambling around, attempting to rectify the situation and make it OK. A bystanding family was checking to make sure no one was injured. The garage owner had a couple of friends helping out, and the mess was cleaned in a jiffy. One of the children required a Band-aid, but all in all everything was back to normal in just a few minutes.

Garage sale experience on a scale of one to ten? Negative three. I called “time for seatbelts” as soon as was appropriate & offered to pay for the damage. They graciously declined, so I purchased a few of the iwako hedgehog erasers they had on display, still in the wrappers, for the little ones.

I couldn’t help but wonder, though: will they remember this incident every time they use these?

So, the wrong way to do a garage sale: Go with a bunch of kids. Be sure that one of the kids is so young that he needs to be carried, thus leaving you with no free hands. Assume the children you are with are following quietly and closely, right behind you.


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