March 10, 2011


The new question that I'm greeted with from friends and family as of late is now an uninterested, almost obligatory,  "So, how's it goin'?" followed by an uncomfortable pause which I've taken as code for, "How's the packin' comin' along, Slowpoke?"  And to tell you the truth, it's the last thing I want to think about these days.   The very last thing.

Adios garage.  It was fun while you lasted.
 In a word, Notsogood.  That's three, I know.  We'll just call it poetic license because at this point I don't even care.  The bottom line is this: packing blows.

Ten years worth of living hoarding is not so easily compartmentalized into boxes carefully marked as Kitchen/Bathroom/Master/and Kids' rooms.  What was I thinking when I bought and then kept those overpriced ceramic fondue plates that I've never, ever used?  Thank you for that Crate and Barrel.  Thank you for convincing me that I need dividers on my plate to keep things from intermingling and screwing up my palate for life.  I'll take that as a form of culinary segregation, albeit subtle.  And why do I still have a George Foreman grill?  What's wrong with our gas grill?  It works just as well, in fact better in my opinion, and lives quietly out on the deck where I don't have to worry about storing its extra large self in my extra small cupboard.  Ahh yes, the hand crank lemon press.  Was that really necessary?  The only thing it's ever squeezed has been a finger or two and come to think of it I have yet to taste a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.  Quite honestly, the things I'm finding are absolutely, positively ridiculous.  So I did what any other person would do, I made a new box and marked it appropriately (or not), CRAP.

To clarify, the CRAP box was not born out of total exasperation.  There was, at least at one point in time, a plan for all of its contents: a spring garage sale.  What could be better?  But flashbacks to last year's fledgling attempt brought back bitter, bitter memories.  Basically, it amounted to me sweating my ass off in a broken lawn chair amidst the dust bowl that had become my front yard while carloads of Mexicans tiptoed up and down my driveway whispering nasty asides in Spanish about the overpriced shit I was so certain no one else could live without.  And as if that wasn't enough, not a one gave pause to the lone Gringa who sat drinking in their every word by the glassful all the while choking on her pride. 

You don't want my ten dollar Mr. Coffee coffeemaker?  Nevermind that hairline crack inching its way down the side of the carafe, just stick your mug right under the drip.  That's brand name shit, amigo.  ¿Comprende?

What?  Five bucks is too steep for a snow shovel?  You have got to be kidding!  Five bucks is a gift in this economy.  Besides, come December you'll be back, promise.

Hindsight is always 20/20 though, isn't it?  Maybe most of it was a little overpriced.  Okay fine, all of it.  Can I help it that I had to tag everything in five dollar increments because I suck at math?  Still, they could've at least made me an offer.

With a house full of shit and no hopes of a garage sale in my future I did the next best thing and so far it's not working out half bad.

That baby jogger that Juana rolled her eyeballs at?  Cha-ching.  Sold. 
The 2-cup plastic Espresso maker?  Cha-ching cha-ching.  Sold again.
The poker set?  Do you even have to ask?  Why sold, of course.

I'm seriously considering putting a picture of the house up on Craigslist too.  It sure would save me the hassle of having to keep it clean enough for a realtor to be able to show it.  And maybe I could sell it "furnished."  Now that would be fucking brilliant!  Think of the hours upon hours that I'd save having to pack up all this shit myself.  Mind blowing.  Simply mind blowing.

The shovel though?  That, I've decided to keep.  It's unlikely I'll need it in Córdoba which, let's face it, is basically the same as living on the surface of the sun.  It will be my very own reminder of home; a souvenir of winters past.  A reminder of the garage sale that never was and never will be again.  An homage to all those Saturday morning thrift seekers who waded knee-deep through my bullshit and somehow managed to keep on walking. 

Because in the end it comes down to The Principle.
Yeah, it's all about The Principle...

Isn't it?


  1. WOAH! Somehow I missed that you are moving to Cordoba! Not so sure how. Our street in Canada used to have a street wide yard sale every year...I never priced anything over 2 bucks, and the rule was that NOTHING came back in but the kids. Goodwill run at the end of the day.....worked a charm, and if you sell enough sh*t, most of it at 25 cents, it adds up to a decent pizza dinner at the end of the night, oh....and I had an extension cord handy for anything electric....then again, just a crap box and a goodwill run or 5.


    When's the move date????

  2. Still working on that Oreneta. Plan is to be there in time for Charlie to start school in the fall. Or as soon as the house sells :-)

    I have learned that any patience that I once had, which was next to nil, is not easily spared on managing a garage sale.


  3. Ah, you've gotta go the ebay route with some of that stuff. I sell anything not nailed down in my house on ebay. I made $400 last month on my kids old clothes and most of them had stains on them. Can you believe? People buy that stuff know it has stains on it!!! It becomes an addiction...

  4. Oh, I LIKE that idea Stacey! I'm all over it!! Mind if I email you with any questions?

  5. Is Craigslist big in your area? So, you really are on your way over here? Fantastic! Not sure what kind of digs you have arranged in Cordoba, but I live in a house with zero closets. Zilch. No basement, no garage, not even a pantry. Definately keeps the fondue plates at bay.

  6. When we were moving, I swear Craigslist was like I am regretting get rid of as much as I did and leaving as much as I did in storage. I don't know why I packed to move to Russia like I was going to girl scout camp.

  7. Ditch as much as you can! We've made the move (England to Spain) and brought everything with us - my (Spanish) husband is hoarder-extraordinaire and I am still cursing him, as we expectantly open another box... and find it full of broken bits, wires for god knows what, tatty cushion covers ...and then I curse myself for not ditching it before we left. GOOD LUCK! We are in Jaen and love it.

  8. I go with ditch what you can, live by the 'if you haven't used it in 6 months will you really use it again' rule

    Thanks for the heads up btw, I'll give it a try next week and if it works for us English I will let you know :)

  9. Here in Spain the segundo mano market is crap. People try to sell their junk for 90% of what they paid for it. Not in the US. I had a garage sale in the states before we moved back here and as far as I was concerned, whatever sold meant one thing less to have to drop off at the Good Will.

    But some of those bastards were cheap. A woman came by and wanted to know how much I wanted for the giant bulletin board that I paid 90 bucks for because Luisito HAD TO HAVE IT and then he NEVER GOT AROUND TO EVEN HANGING IT UP. I told her 20 bucks and she said she'd give me 4. FOUR BUCKS. I said no way. At the end of the day, when I was packing up the Good Will truck, she stopped by once again and asked me if I wanted her 4 bucks now. I was pretty close to telling her no and dropping the thing off at a dump, but she got her bulletin board and I had one less thing to have to lug around town.