The Garage Sale Theory

We interrupt this interminably long season of rain and hail to bring you an update you on the state of affairs in the Sixties Triplex.

Ready? Take a breath, Internet. This is huge.

The garage is organized.

Isn’t that thrilling?!! I mean, doesn’t that just make you want to end sentences with an obnoxious amount of punctuation? Just picture it: Rubbermaid bins stacked neatly, one on top of the other… each with a little label in my symmetrical, all caps handwriting. Oh, the joy! The pure, unadulterated bliss at seeing my Halloween costume boxes stacked near the Christmas decoration boxes (not ON the Christmas decoration boxes, silly! THAT would NOT be organized! THAT would be sheer craziness! THAT would be blatant disregard for the universal rules of organizing that clearly state that decorations for holidays occurring in DIFFERENT months SHALL NOT TOUCH EACH OTHER!)

You’ve been so patient, waiting all this time to find out how we managed to fulfill our self-imposed mandate to get rid of half of everything we own. You deserve to share in my little heaven on earth.

But you’re probably still wondering: How did you get rid of all those VHS tapes? What did you finally do with Alfredo the Concrete Parrot? Why did you move with all that crap in the first place, you idiots?

Well, the answer is that, the Garage Sale Theory proved itself again. People came in droves this summer and they ignored the awesome vintage melamine dipping bowls on the wooden lazy-susan thingee and they went right for the USED VHS tapes. They did NOT buy the couch in excellent shape but they ogled the mirror framed in a beat up, smiling, wooden half-moon face. They walked right past the chic cowboy boots, and instead picked up the torn bits of fabric and the ripped Mexican paper flags. And they gave me their hard earned money for what I was about ten seconds away from hauling away to the Goodwill. They did NOT give me money for stuff that I thought would be actually useful. Because, my friends, the Garage Sale Theory was proving itself over and over. The theory works a little like Murphy’s Law. It basically states that if there is an opportunity for people to give you money for the junkiest, ugliest things you own, AND the nicest, in-best-shape stuff you own, the general public will always buy your junk. And your gently used, newly re-stuffed couch with the neutral color scheme PERFECT FOR ANY HOME will languish in your garage unused for the next four months.

We only had about four small boxes of junk unsold at the end of the sale. And we didn’t have to haul one iota of it to the local thrift store. In this city, when you put something out on the sidewalk with a “free” sign on it, people come streaming out of their houses like termites out of burning log and they descend on your junk with a certain predatory glee. Within hours, nearly everything was gone. CLH and I shared many high-fives that night. HALF of our stuff was GONE.

Several weeks after the sale, we invited our good friend Gingi over and she helped us get even more stuff out of the garage. We hadn’t unpacked our framed pictures yet because, well, we couldn’t GET to them with all the crap down there. After we’d cleared out the stuff for the garage sale, we were able to unearth them, plus a few other goodies which we then decorated the house with. We couldn’t part with Alfredo the Concrete Parrot, so he is now sitting atop our mantle along with a few other choice pieces of art and debris.

I think I might have cried tears of relief when Gingi was done. The place FINALLY looked like it was inhabited by ADULTS who knew a thing or two about design. The potted plants that we had just lined up front of the fireplace like a platoon of soldiers was tastefully dispersed around the house. My antique globe was finally taken out of the box of foam peanuts. The pictures of our relatives were finally hung on the walls. My favorite typewriter was put out on display in the living room. Huzzah!

And weeks after that? THE COUCH WAS SOLD. I had to restrain myself from kissing the lady full on the mouth when she said she would take it.

So now, the garage is only half full. HALF! We got rid of HALF of everything! Sometimes, when I go downstairs to check on the laundry, I just open the door to the garage and stand there for a few minutes and marvel at the beauty.