Sunday, July 21, 2013

Garage Sale Anxieties: A List

1. Going through all the baby clothes, obvs. Everything that can be said about that, has.

2. Baby Chucks Not Fitting On Their Feet Anymore, general time passing/ I am aging-related, anxiety.


3. Insanely cluttered child room-cleaning anxiety/ stuffed animal mountain-related anxiety. See also: How Did We Ever Acquire So Much Stuff? anxiety.


4. Shame/guilt-related anxiety related to: How Much Stuff We Own/ Let Our Kids Have anxiety. (See: Are we good people? anxiety.)


6. Sideways, surprise anxiety (!) spurred by well-intentioned act of giving your home address over the phone to sweet, slightly dim ladies who answer your Craigslist ad about bike you will be selling tomorrow. Because, well, they want to come see it tonight. And, well, you don't know the first thing about Craigslist but you were trying to be proactive, and you are not thinking properly because your head has been in baby clothing tubs for three days and your brain has been also steeped in estrogen. And when husband points out to you that giving strangers your home address without specific established meeting parameters was a bad, bad idea, the kind of idea that makes people get robbed by the ones doing the calling and pretending to be sweet ladies, a generalized evening-long anxiety sets in because clearly you were the one who was kind of dim about this. Then,


8. A kind of being alone in the driveway (late at night), pricing toys, while husband is at Home Depot buying duct tape and you are sure robbers are going to show up with guns and demand a) bike, b) electronics, c) all your tubs of memories, anxiety.

9. Having to wake up before 5:00 AM and fearing the alarm clock will not be enough to get you up and strangers will be banging on your door, anxiety.

10. Harried frenzy (not technically anxiety, though close enough to warrant a mention here): DISPLAY ALL THE THINGS! BEFORE 7:00 AM!

11. Anxiety related to being alone (again) in the driveway before 7:00 AM because husband has left to go hang up signs for garage sale and you are not sure you can drag everything out alone or shoo away the early onlookers. You do not successfully shoo away the early onlookers who show up and try to intimidate you into selling things inside your garage that are not for sale, which confirms for you that you were right to be anxious about this. (But you do not have panic attack #3 about it, so: win.)

12. A kind of unease about the fact that any number of family members WILL show up to your sale today and see things they bought for you and/or your kids for sale on your driveway. Guilt/shame/anxiety/fear related to this. But inability to change any of the factors, so.

13. A worry (lighter than anxiety, but still!) that maybe you made your kids give up too much for the sale, you were too mean about it. A feeling you can only describe as I should keep everything that everyone has ever given to me, ever. Even though you know this means you would soon not be able to walk in your house.

14. A lifetime of math anxiety in your head when you try to make change for the first customer. See: your complete and total inability to add things quickly, deal with numbers without wanting to just quit. See: every bit of fear/worry related to your synesthesia, the whole color/number thing, and giving the correct change. Doubt your intelligence every time you hand someone cash all day.

15. Panic attack #3: A lady brings up some baby clothes to buy, including a reallyimportantandspecial thing you somehow managed to miss when you sorted the tubs of stuff. You try really hard not to cry. You pick it up and it smells like your infant child. You're pretty sure you ovulate right there in the driveway. But you let the outfit go. Even though maybe you feel a phantom milk let-down.

16. ANGRY ANXIETY when the tricky garage sale people come. The ones who try to pile shit up and get you to take $20 for $50 worth of clothes. Nope, you say. Nope, nope. No. You walk away.

17. Shaky anxiety when the even bolder tricksters descend in groups and try to come at you from all around and work negotiations from three sides and three piles and work your non-math brain against you. Nope, you say, you cannot have all those clothes for $20. All I am asking is 50 cents apiece and you can't even get clothes for that at the thrift store. And you believe this in your heart because you were just at the thrift store and they certainly did not have this kind of adorable, well preserved clothing there, the kind that still smells like your infants' heads and feels like love. Not for fifty cents, not for less than the price of a soda. No, you're shaking but those ladies scowling at you can go to hell and they can get off your lawn because you are not selling your memories for nothing. You are not giving them away unless you feel like it is to someone who needs it, not to someone who is trying to beat you at a game.

18. Tired anxiety. Will-this-sale-ever-end anxiety. I-am-so-hot-I-can't-keep-doing-this anxiety.

19. Brief: anxiety related to the fact that you think someone might sneak in the house and steal the piles of twenties your husband has left neatly stacked out in the open. Decide this is the kind of thing he's always telling you to stop worrying about. Stop worrying about it. Feel proud of yourself.

20. Panic attack #4: When it's all done and put away. For no reason at all. Over money (which you suddenly have more of, thanks to the garage sale). But what you have not had a lot of over the last four days is sleep, sanity, or rest. Fight with your husband, cry. Do your whole panic thing.

Decide you need to go to bed. Decide it needs to be a while before you have any more garage sales.

Legs & Ice Chest, Elk Grove Driveway (Accidental Cell Phone Photo 17)


  1. When I had a garage sale, I sold some things that I got for my wedding and was so afraid family members would come and see them..

  2. #16...I was there for that one! Haha...did you guys make out well with that? I know my kids are loving their finds, especially the shoes!