Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nick and Phyllis

One of the only good parts about the summertime is garage sales. While the thrift store is alive and well all the days of the year, the garage sale is a seasonal animal that begins to rear its head in the end of spring and beds down in the early fall.

Because I now have a cube job that affords me the "opportunity" to be out of work when everyone else in the "free" world is, I find that my Saturday mornings, for the most part, are available for the treasure hunting. This was the first Saturday this year that I got up early enough to bother. I was out the door by 800am!

What I've found is that most people like to think that they have good stuff to sell, when in all actuality they have crap that I don't want. This list includes the following:

1. Baby items (if you have a bunch of baby clothes, you should have to put that on the signs that you hang up or the ads that you place).
2. Various broken or outdated pieces of exercise equipment.
3. Broken or warped Ikea furniture (as Gina pointed out, why would I buy this when I can spend ten more dollars and get a brand new one that doesn't have a coffee ring on it?).
4. A CD Tower of ANY kind.
5. Ceramic ducks or geese with country blue bows.
6. Particle board microwave carts.

Anyway, I found an Estate Sale in the newspaper, collected Gina and found my way to streets of Brentwood. When we finally got to the house, we opened the door and found a sale that was organized by one of those professional companies that sells items for families that don't want to deal with the items that have been collected by their loved ones over the years. Immediately, a smell of Anise pizzelles filled my nose. You know, the kind that your grandmother used to make at Christmastime that smelled divine and tasted horrifying (unless you like Anise, of course). I could tell, by so many of the items, that this was a lifetime of items and memories. Specifically, there were two plates, that were clearly handmade, that showed the names Nick and Phyllis. While part of me was madly in love with all of the vintage and retro items that this household contained, part of me was so upset by the notion that I was in this woman's house and rifling through the items that she cared for throughout her life. It seemed as though the door was thrust open and everything was left as it was when they were alive, but instead of "a place for everything and everything it its place," it seemed as though time had stood still and price tags were affixed. Devastating.

In the half an hour that we spent in that house, I really grew to love Phyllis and I really grew to hate her relatives for letting her home by ransacked by strangers. Where was her family? Why was I buying her coffee mug that said, "The Democratic Women's Club Christmas 1975?" I found some great plastic Christmas tschotskes, and I'm leaving them up forever...because then I've got the opportunity to think of Phyllis. Someone should. I also purchased a vintage chopper that is reminiscent of the slap chopper of today, but actually works and self-contains, so that you don't have to try to find a chopping board and the whole nine yards just to slap a few walnuts. Thanks Phyllis, because I'm happy to share your memory in this kitchen item, as well as the memory of my gram's own walnut chopping.

The whole thing was horrible and wonderful and...why can't I even go to an estate sale without having an emotional experience?

After we left Phyllis and Nick, we visited a giant thrift store that is notorious for having shady patrons, no dressing rooms and crappy parking. We did, however, manage to happen upon a great half-off sale. I actually found some wonderful Miss Marple-esque dress shoes that will go swimmingly with the shirt that I purchased last week. For only three dollars, these are quite a steal! With the right skirt and cardigan, I'll have quite a wonderful outfit that reaches well outside my comfort zone. I might even be mistaken for a woman.

With a shine and a new set of laces, they'll be as if they were new!

There is this part of me, even several hours later, that is dying to go back and buy more of the memories that are Nick and Phyllis, but I won't. Some things are better left as they are.Best Blogger Tips

1 comment:

  1. I'm still reeling from the experience of Nick and Phyllis' estate sale. My favorite moment was: you and I were both on the verge of tears, but we became angry (at the other patrons), and then we laughed at ourselves. Cukoo!