I’ve got a serious case of the Yard Sale Blues.
For months Orlando and I have been sorting through the piles in our house, looking for whatnot’s that we don’t really use, don’t really need, don’t really want to move. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I can be a sentimental sort of person. But the truth is that I pale in comparison to my husband in this. Part of this, I’m sure, is because he has the superior memory. He can remember who gave us that dish as a wedding gift. He can remember the trip where we found that seashell or bought that knick knack. He can remember which baby wore which outfit in which picture. I’ve always been a bit different. I can get weepy over specific memories, but it’s generalizations that do me in. I’m not attached to that baby shoe, but remembering our lives with all those babies can choke me up. I don’t need an object to get to that thought–maybe just a boy crawling into my lap who is so big and tall I have to work to get him to fit. So generally speaking , I would say my brand of sentimentality isn’t usually connected to stuff. Or so I thought.
Our front room is now nothing more than a huge pile to be “yard saled” on Saturday. We have so much stuff in there, it’s going to be more of a front yard sale, porch sale, patio sale, side porch sale, and backyard sale combined. It’s such a mountain and has eaten so much space, I can’t wait to get it all out of here. But when faced with the task of deciding whether or not to “yard sale” a said item, I’ve found myself balking over things that, frankly, I’m surprised I actually care about. Me? Sentimental over mere objects? You can’t be serious.
Well, I’ll admit it’s not the valuable items I’m having trouble with. You can take all the crystal and gadgets and televisions I have. I’ve been pretty cutthroat with those things. I’ve been looking at some of these decorations around my house for over 15 years. Time for something new, I say. But I really don’t want to get rid of my dented canner, even though I know my mother-in-law has a few. It’s the only thing I’ve owned that has ever given me any inclination to be domestic. I feel like Martha Stewart when I have that canner out. And I really don’t want to part with my stuffed frog because it was the first baby gift anyone ever gave me. I don’t want to forget how exciting that was for me. I won’t sell the laser photo that Mike Steinbacher from the Lewisburg Pizza Hut gave me for Christmas in 1984 because if I do, I might forget the boy entirely and I resist erasing people from my memory. But today was the worst of all. I had go through the VHS movies and practically found myself having an identity crisis. Some people are what they eat. Some are what they read. In my family, you are what you watch.
Now I understand that these movies are on VHS and it’s a dying medium. I know this, but still it’s not likely I will ever spend the cash to upgrade these movies and my VCR still works. (So does our 8-track. Seriously.) Even so, this collection is something I’ve worked on since video was invented and I have ALL my favorite movies. Richard Dreyfuss in the Goodbye Girl. I saw that one at the Ormond Mall when I was freshman in high school. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly in Rear Window. Have you ever seen a more perfect woman? I SO wanted to be her when I grew up. How about A League of Their Own? A movie dedicated to women baseball geeks like me. Twister. Not a great film but about tornados and you all know how much I like the weather. And I bet you don’t have a copy of a very young John Travolta in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. I do! And how could I part with my tape of Jaws? I might actually go swimming in the ocean without thinking about Great Whites if I don’t watch it every year. That could be downright dangerous.
So for the first time ever, I reneged on lightening the load. I did put a whole bunch of movies into the yard sale pile, but they weren’t movies I cared about at all. And I kept far more than I purged. I decided that parting with my movie collection was just not worth the heartache and anxiety it was causing me. Take the baskets and the candles and the lanterns and the mirrors and the bookcases. Sell the dolls and the dried flowers. Get what you can for the antique bird cages. But by golly, leave me my movies. I may never have time to watch them, but I need to know they’re there. Just in case.
Crazy, I know. But suffice it to say that there are some things that are far too sacred to be subjected to the indignity of a yard sale.