Every three or four years, I throw caution and common sense to the wind and decide to have a garage sale. Even though after EVERY SINGLE ONE I make everyone I know promise to never, ever let me do it again because garage sale people are THE WORST.

True story: I once had a sale with my friend Barb. She had to leave early so I sold the remainder of her stuff for her. One of her items was a GIANT STUFFED BIRD WEARING GLASSES AND A SWEATER that supposedly played various nursery rhymes when you pressed its buttons. (We had young-ish kids at the time.)

“Does it work?” a little old lady asked me. “I have no idea,” I told her. “It’s a dollar though. Maybe take a risk?” My husband happened to be standing there and because he’s the nice one between us, offered to go get some batteries for her to test it out. After inserting somewhere around 19 D batteries into the giant bird’s asshole, we all watched in joy while Mother Goose herself sprung to life. I bit my tongue as the old broad shuffled away with $47 worth of batteries for a buck, because at least it would be one less motherfucking thing to pack up when the misery joy was all over.

BUT THAT IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY. Fast forward to six o’clock that evening. The driveway was all cleared out and I was very busy counting the seventeen dollars I had made when there was a knock on my front door door. NOBODY EVER KNOCKS ON MY DOOR, BTW. I opened it and there was the little old lady, holding Mother Goose out to me.

“It stopped working,” she said.

“Oh,” I replied. “I’m so sorry.”

“I’d like my dollar back,” she said.

And because silly me had forgotten to stamp FINAL SALE on her invisible receipt, I gave it to her. It wasn’t until she was long gone that I realized that SOB had kept my goddamned batteries.

So anyway. Apparently I’d forgotten all about that a while back when some friends told me they were having a giant multi-family parking lot sale. “It’ll be a good excuse to purge,” I said. Just kidding. What I said was “OMG I HOPE THEY HAVE GREAT SHIT I CAN TAKE HOME.” Because that’s what you do when you have a multi-family sale.

One of my scores that day was my friend’s drawstring linen pants. She’d already done the annoying breaking-in and they were butter soft and cozy. They also were a shade too big and dragged on the ground, but they were FREE! (Well, they might have cost me a ring dish and some potholders, but you know what I mean.) “I’ll just wear them around the house!” I said (please note this is wildly different than “I’ll just sleep in them!”). And I did. Until one day they came out of the wash without the drawstring.


I looked for that thing everywhere, but it was gone. Weeks went by. I missed my pants. And then I had an epiphany. I took some old deer leather necklace cording and made a nice drawstring. See how nice it looked?

Wanna trade crap?

They were not the same. They didn’t sit at the right place, and the cord sort of pinched my mom-pooch and I do not wear them. I *sort of* want to save them for a garage sale–circle of life and all–but then I wouldn’t have been able to share the epic Mother Goose story, so let’s call this taking-one-for-the-team.