Thursday, June 20, 2024 Jun 20, 2024
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Friday Fun With Jim Williamson

Jim talks garage sales, memories, and getting busted by the long arm of Code Compliance.
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I am recovering from the flu, so I’m not going to dilly dally. I’m turning things over to my friend Jim Williamson right this very minute. I hope the yellowish-green pollen that seems to cover everything from my car to even objects in the house has not thrown your allergies into overdrive. (Note to self: maybe keep all the doors closed during beautiful spring days.) On the plus side, yellow is supposed to be in this year.

During the Easter weekend—a moment also noted for its overuse of yellow—Max decided it would be a good time for a garage sale. I never think it’s a good time for a garage sale. And yes, we did have an estate sale just two years ago when we got engaged and decided to live together. I think Max might be questioning that decision on a daily basis. It was also two years ago that Max said he wouldn’t change anything in the house. Since then, almost everything has changed in one way or another; therefore, we needed to have a garage sale because it was starting to look like we lived on a set for Extreme Hoarders.

For two straight days, I organized, cleaned, and priced the entire contents of the garage. It was dusty and dirty. We had enough stuff out there for a first apartment, down to the placemats and napkins. We also had a much-debated set of stainless-steel cookware. (Remember when that was all the rage? I think I purchased it with my first paycheck.) The debate wasn’t about keeping it. We just couldn’t agree as to whether we should give it to my friend or sell it. Max said it was a draw, and the cookware should definitely stay in the sale. I said I felt like we should send it to my friend. So back and forth we went until the day before the sale. As I looked at it on the table marked for pennies on the dollar, I decided to send it to my friend. Max said, “Whatever. I just don’t want to see it in the garage again.”

So I took off the stickers, put it in a box, and placed it in the trunk of my car so I could send it off. I also decided to text my friend and let him know the good news. But guess what? He didn’t want it.

So after all that, I retrieved it, repriced it, and replaced it on the table for the sale, which was early Saturday morning. That morning, I was my usual morning self—a combination of Miley Cyrus after a late night binge and my father. Max put out signs and left me alone with the garage sale and the cookware. When the first car pulled up, a woman looked around and wanted to make a deal on some furniture, but since she was the first, I wasn’t ready to deal. The next car arrived, and a woman emerged who liked lots of stuff. She grabbed all of the Champagne and most of the martini glasses, a lamp, a vase, and then the much-debated cookware. I was calculating her total in my head—not all that complicated—and then I noticed I had put a 10-cent sticker on a pan that should have been $10. I explained my mistake. She was disappointed but took the other stuff. On her way out, she saw a bench and decided she wanted that as well. She said she would return later with her husband and a truck.

When Max returned, he was on the phone. I barked at him to get in position. Then another car arrived, but it wasn’t just any car. It was Code Compliance. I thought the officer might be on break and perhaps wanted to shop. He didn’t. He wanted our “certificate.” Apparently, you need one to have a garage sale? I never knew this fact ever. So Max talked to the officer, and then came back and told me, “We’ve got to shut it down.”

So one hour into the garage sale, the police shut us down, down. (Hat tip, Kesha.) I contained my rage as best I could. I just went silent and started moving all that stuff back into the freaking garage. The neighbors came over asked why we were closing so early. We explained, and they howled with laughter. I had to eventually laugh, too, but only after a visit to Brain Dead for an early beer brunch.

But all was not lost. As I was moving the last of the stuff back into the garage, which filled it back up completely, the lady who purchased the bench showed up with an empty truck and a husband. I said, “Let’s make a deal on some furniture. I don’t want to move it one more time and you have an empty truck. How much cash do you have?” So that cleaned out one side of the garage. The other side of the garage was still full of tables and tables of goods.

When I arose on Sunday, I went into the garage and looked at all the things still priced for sale, including the cookware. I realized I was only hanging on to that set because it represented the last vestige of my old independent, single life—a time when I boarded a plane and took a job in a city I had never visited and never looked back. It was something I had never done before alone. I had placed all those old hopes and dreams onto some stainless-freaking-steel cookware. Yesterday, when I arrived home to see the garage empty including the cookware, I was slightly overwhelmed. I had forgotten that the charity we selected was picking up everything. My stainless-steel past was gone.

I actually had to just sit in the car for a few minutes to process everything. But I was also more than slightly relived. It was time for that past to go. I had more than realized all those dreams and then some. It’s time to embrace whatever the future holds, which apparently includes a well-organized and rather empty garage. So from the world’s shortest garage sale, I also get a life lesson on moving on and letting go.

And speaking of letting go, it’s time I let go of the keyboard and get ready for my weekend. I leave you with something beautiful that caught my eye this morning. From the creative genius that is Sacha Walckhoff, creative director for Christian Lacroix and my former man-crush, I bring you this awesome collection of glasses and vases called Reverso for Verreum. Designed for use up, down, or however you choose, these lovely creations in glass-and-silver coating are both fun and surprising. I love the mix of colors, and I love anything that is multifunctional. But wait a minute! This just gave me an idea. I could have reused that cookware as decorative pots for plants or maybe really loud wind chimes.

No definitely not a good idea as I don’t live in a trailer park. Not yet anyway. Happy Friday.

 

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