A couple of weeks back we started using a new term to sum up awful yard sales. I’m not sure who said it first, but as we were leaving a horrible sale someone casually remarked, “poopy diaper.” This was then repeated about 100 times over the course of the day, eventually getting abbreviated to “P.D.” and then “T.P.D.” (for “total poopy diaper,” naturally). I forgot to write about it when it actually happened … but that’s just as well, since I can now use it to sum up a day that pretty much fell into that category.
On Friday when I first started perusing the sale listings, it didn’t seem like there was much out there. Meghan suggested hitting a different area, but even that didn’t seem promising – there was a sale here, a sale there, nothing that looked all that special. Karl was up for whatever, so we just planned to meet up as usual and figure something out.
Our first stop was in a ritzy neighborhood not too far away. We’ve hit some great sales in this area, but a lot of times they are mostly newer boring items. Unfortunately this one fell into that category. The stuff was not nearly as cool as the house itself.
Karl did purchase a large Casio keyboard with a stand, but otherwise it was a bust.
Next was a sale whose suitcase sign was the best thing about it.
We hit another sale where the sign had been drawn by kids — bad when you can’t actually read it, but this one worked just fine.
Score-wise, it seemed like a whole lot of nothing. We made a quick snack stop, followed by a moving sale that Meghan summed up as “dumptastic.” Then we were off to a rummage sale at the Norse Home senior center. We got there a few minutes early and the sale was already on. On the way there we found this stunning troll, all dressed up for Easter with his bunny ears!
The sale was in a pretty small room (for a whole rummage sale). At first glance it looked pretty bad, but we each pulled out a few good items. I grabbed a few books for a dime each — decent stuff, I was bummed they didn’t have more. Meghan dug into a pile of seemingly crappy clothes and emerged with an astounding homemade vintage dress made from bright stripey fabric. She also found a crazy pair of jean boots (how often do you get to put those words together?) and an awe-inspiring unicorn clock, which is going to be a housewarming gift for a fortunate friend.
We hit a few moving sales that weren’t any big deal. At one of them they were trying to sell some ancient “sushi” made from chocolate and rice krispies.
We saw a sign for an apartment sale and thought we’d check it out. The building had an odd institutional feel to it and a really sketchy guy walked up to the outside door to let us in. I was a little nervous about going up to his apartment, but then he said the sale was in a meeting room in the lobby, with stuff from several people. Cool! Then he said they have the sale every week. Not so cool! Meghan called it when she whispered “this is all the junk people leave behind when they move away.”
Two minutes of looking around was all Meghan and I could take, so we went outside. Karl was still digging through boxes. Finally Meghan sent him a text that just said “KARL” (since that’s what we’d be yelling at him if we were within earshot). This didn’t work, but at least it made us laugh. Then I texted “FLEE.” He emerged a few minutes later (oblivious to the texts) with two leather jackets that he’d snagged for $5 apiece.
At this point we weren’t sure where to go next. We had been sort of fascinated by an ad for a “vintage hoarder sale” that also offered to trade for adult chaps or duster coats. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to go, and it was sort of on the other side of town. Karl pointed out it started at noon so we could get there right when it opened. There was another sale on the way there that had sounded good, so we hit that first.
When we pulled up Meghan recognized the house immediately. We’d been to a sale there a couple years back and I had bought Fashion Plates and a huge tub of mostly bad CDs. This time the sale was split into two parts.
Of course we headed downstairs first. There were a couple of tiny basement rooms jam-packed with stuff.
It felt more like a super-kitschy antique mall stall than your average garage sale.
I loved these “RETRO” letters, but I ended up walking away empty-handed.
After a quick check of the upstairs part (just generic moving sale type items) we made a second baked good stop at a favorite cafe nearby. We had to wait in line for awhile and Karl and Meghan struck up a conversation with the gals in back of us, who had a cute dog. One of them had a bag that said “Iowa is for Gay Lovers” and Meghan informed her that back in Nebraska, Iowa stands for “Idiots Out Wandering Around.” It turns out she has a cool small t-shirt company and that was one of her own designs.
Off we went to the vintage hoarder sale. We got there right before noon and a couple of guys were already waiting around. One of them was clutching an empty box. This might be a practical move but it always seems sort of desperate and squirrelly to me, especially when it’s just at someone’s house and there aren’t many people there. Finally the garage door opened up and we went inside, only to find a pretty ho-hum assortment of stuff. Meghan checked out the clothes and gave it a thumbs down. Karl had the same verdict on the records. I picked up a pair of vintage earrings and a somewhat beat-up Coach purse, but all in all it definitely wasn’t worth crossing town for.
We happened across another sale that was completely boring, except for this.
And then back home, stopping on the way to check out round three of the estate sale from last week. At this point they really seemed ready to be done with it. The stuff in the basement was “fill a box for $5.” Oh, and free food.
Last week I saw scary homemade pickles and such in jars that were at least twenty years old, but this week they were gone. I really hope someone isn’t eating them. Anyway, none of us ended up buying anything this time, although Meghan did spot this plaque — painstakingly handcrafted using dried letter noodles (and dated 1950 on the back).
All in all: P.D. Though maybe not actually T.P.D., since we did each manage to find a few items …