I’d like to start today’s post by informing you of the results of my unscientific survey of the books currently most likely to be seen at Seattle yard sales: The Devil In The White City, Running With Scissors, and Good In Bed. I saw each of these books at least five times on Saturday. Probably more. You also still see an alarming number of copies of Wild Animus, but since zillions of copies of that book were distributed for free a few years back as some kind of weirdo marketing campaign, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that they’re still making the rounds.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, on to the recap. Our first stop on Saturday was a sale whose ad was possibly trying a little too hard to be wacky. Some of their stuff was sort of the same. I mean, just because you draw a black star and the word “Devil” on your ramen package does not mean anyone is actually going to pay a dollar for it.
And come on … how “vintage” is this Juicyfruit?
This was a multi-seller sale and there was only person minding the shop, who I don’t think was the person responsible for these items, so I couldn’t tell if they were seriously trying to cash in on this stuff or (more likely) were just having fun and trying to entertain themselves.
We moved on to a few uneventful sales, then stumbled upon this. I’m guessing that when you own a very large spider, you take advantage of every possible opportunity to use it.
This was the first sale I’d ever seen which greeted shoppers with a list of the items on hand. Kind of like a menu, or a table of contents.
I’m not sure if everything in this drawer was meant to be in the sale. I didn’t see those on that list of items!
This is the second week in a row (and the second time ever) that we’ve encountered condoms at a yard sale. I sincerely hope that this isn’t the beginning of a trend.
We headed over to a “crafter’s sale.” This can be good or bad, but something about the listing made it sound promising. It turned out to be a small but very cute sale.
Meghan tried on a pair of Camper shoes that were sort of abstract (as Campers tend to be), but kinda cool. They fit so well that she just kept them on for the rest of the day. (Yes, she did pay the seller first!) She also got a ton of magazines, a nice wicker storage box, a dress, and a book from the ’60s whose title made our jaws drop: Crafts For Retarded. I grabbed a bunch of odds and ends from the free box and purchased a stack of about 30 patches that said “HOOT” on them – $1 for all. I figured I’d use a few here and there, then you know the rest are headed for the yard sale catch and release program.
Next up was a fundraising sale for a local high school cheerleading squad. The team they cheer for? The Ballard Beavers.
We predicted that there would probably be a lot of cheapo size-zero clothes there, and this was pretty much correct. I don’t think either of us bought anything, but the folks running the sale were nice.
We meandered over towards Green Lake to hit a few sales. One was a fundraiser for an organization helping seniors and nothing was priced – you chose your donation/price. Meghan coughed up $10 for a pair of shoes and a pair of jeans, and I put in $5 for two items: a vintage warming tray (that will probably do little more than sit in its box on a shelf at my house, but it has such a great design I couldn’t pass it up) and a ’70s t-shirt with a very amateur-ish wizard drawing on it … captioned “Gandalf.”
After that we saw some signs for a nearby sale. When we pulled up I had sale ja vu, recalling a sale here maybe six or seven years ago. I remembered that it had strange and entertaining stuff, but was slightly overpriced. This time was about the same.
We moved on to a sale where we were greeted by this awful-looking display.
Yeah, there better be more than that! Unfortunately, it was about as bad as what was out front. The first thing we saw was a big pile of … Well, imagine that you took a stack of phone books, mail, and old papers, tied it together, and left it outside in the rain for a couple of years. That didn’t bode well, and sure enough, the other stuff …
And worst of all … what you never want to see at a sale!
The sale redeemed itself slightly when Meghan found and purchased a set of Lawn Darts. Although now I’m a little scared of going to her next barbecue.
Next was something billed as the “feel-good garage sale of the year.” I’m not sure about that, but it was full of weird stuff to dig through. Most of it wasn’t priced, but the sellers made it clear that everything was cheap.
Most of the stuff seemed to be from the ’80s, like this table full of fabric.
They also had boxes of fake food (age not known).
I started digging through a box of purses and kept coming across random debris left inside: gum wrappers, ticket stubs, wadded up tissues … gross, but then I kept thinking maybe there would be some forgotten cash inside one of them! But that wasn’t the case, so I moved on to another part of the sale, where I found this lying in the grass.
Meanwhile, Meghan was stunned by this fascinating sweater with a pattern that looked like fried eggs.
I’m not sure the picture conveys how very cropped and wide it is. She picked it up and put it down about five times, until it was clear she needed to just add it to her pile (which already had a bunch of vintage sheets, towels and other stuff). While she was getting her total, a woman started trying on various scarves she’d picked up and asking me what I thought of them. I’d give her the thumbs up or down, and was surprised to see that she completely followed my opinion in deciding whether to get them or not. It was like she’d somehow decided that I would be her personal style guru. When Meghan finished paying, the woman seemed disappointed that I had to stop advising her and pay for my items (two ’80s scarves and a set of black and white Vera pillowcases).
We started to head back home, figuring we’d stop at a few more sales en route. Meghan was starting to get a little punchy and proceeded to dish out potentially caustic remarks to three sellers in a row. It was all in good fun, but still cracked me up. First, a female seller gave her a friendly pat on her arm while they were talking, and she responded by sternly saying “Don’t touch me.” (I told her she was channeling Karl.) At the next sale sale she just announced she was going to be irritating when we walked in. The seller seemed concerned, but that was the end of it. Then we went to a sale where we could tell as soon as we walked up that it was a bust. The seller started joking with us: “Hey, you girls look like you need some golf clubs!” Meghan’s reply: “You’re about as funny as my dad. He golfs too.”
Yeah … it was time to call it a day.
And that does it — another Saturday, another trunk full o’ crap!