Monday, May 29, 2006

The Adventures of Memorial Day Weekend; Or, How to Lose Money at Your Yard Sale in Just Two Days...

So we just finished the Second Bi-annual Multi-Family Hughes Yard Sale...

And while Richard and I lost money (I know, reader, you're thinking, What the hell? How do you lose money having a yard sale???), please note that my parents, my older brother and family, and my one younger sister made out quite well....

It all started some time last week...

Sylvia: Hey, you're still having that yard sale, right?
Me: Um, yeah, I think so... why?
Sylvia: Are you putting an ad in the paper?
Me: I wasn't planning to... we didn't last time and made out pretty well...
Sylvia: Oh, okay, well, I'll still be there...
So now the idea is in my mind. Apparently, from her past experiences, an ad in the paper increased her sales... So I go online, place an ad in the paper to run for Friday through Sun... Then they call me to confirm the ad and arrange payment... $65 FREAKIN' DOLLARS FOR A THREE DAY, 15 WORD AD?!?!?!?!?! WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?! So I manage to trim 15 words to 12 and cut out Friday and Sunday, so it will only run Saturday and I STILL have to pay $35 for the fuckin' ad... but I figure, it might be worth it.

Thursday, May 25:
After working 2 hours of overtime from hell-week at work (because everyone in New York must have all their precious manuscripts back before the holiday), my parent's stop by with most of their things to sell at the yard sale. They fill my entire dining room table, under my dining room table, and in front of the fish tanks... about 20 boxes, bags, and packages. It takes about an hour to unload their pickup, I then proceed to eat dinner and go to bed.

Friday, May 26:
After I get home from work, Sylvia arrives, her Blazer packed to the rim with boxes, bags, and packages... she decides after seeing all the boxes already in my dining room to not unload her Blazer until Saturday morning. Tom then arrives with the first of four carloads of things he plans on selling at our yard sale. Between trips 1 and 2, he leaves the boys at my house so he can fit more in the car (and hence, my living/dining room) with more items. As my living space gradually disappears under a mountain of cardboard, I lament the fact that I have yet to get anything I am selling at the yard sale out of the attic... about 20 boxes. Rich says he will help me get all that stuff down early Saturday morning while everyone else drags their stuff outside. In the meantime, Sylvia watches the boys while Rich and I set up two picnic tables, a banquet table, our kitchen table, our patio table, and two old closet doors to span between tables in the front yard. Rich then travels the tri-township area putting up our neon-green signs... We get to bed around 11.

Saturday, May 27:
6 a.m. comes way too early... Sylvia starts rolling her things out of the car. Tom and Ann arrive with two more carloads and two kids hyped up on sugar from a stop at the doughnut shop. Rich goes down to the corner gas station and notices two of our four signs have disappeared... not on the ground, not fallen to the way side... fucking GONE!!!! He runs to Walmart, spending $12 on more neon-green posterboard, hastily writes out new signs (lacking my artistic flare), and puts them up in places where the others used to be located. I drag our things down from the attic. Henry and Devon argue over toys. Tom gets pissy with Ann (and she gets pissy back) about how much they are selling things for (the sun was getting to all of us... plus, all we had to eat all day were doughnuts and coffee cake fresh from Mom's oven, and then a few hot dogs)... But it all turns out to be a great day, although Sylvia is bummed she only made, like, $8 bucks. We decide to do it again tomorrow in the hopes of catching the church/family crowds... I must be a glutton for punishment. It reached 87 degrees (of course, the first day it ever gets over 75 is the day we're stuck out in the sun selling junk to people who think our junk is too expensive...)

Sunday, May 28:
Another scorcher. 90 degrees. We received (as a gift from Mom and Dad) a patio umbrella for our patio table, so we all scrunch under the umbrella, soaking up any available shade trying to avoid a sunburn on top of our sunburn... Mom, Sylvia and Ann decide to go yard sale-ing, leaving Rich and I to hold down the fort (and sell their stuff) while they apparently go buy more junk to resupply our yard sale... I'm serious (sort of). By the time they come back, we have sold tons of their stuff, but Rich and I watch our pile of junk sustain itself through a second day... Sylvia is still bummed she isn't making more, and decides she'll do a chore for Rich and I to earn some extra money. So she says

Sylvia: I'll clean your pool for $25.
Me: Have you seen our pool? It hasn't been cleaned in two years! But sure, for $25, you can clean it.
Sylvia: Seriously? You'll let me clean your pool?
Me: Have you seen the pool? I'm getting the better deal here!
Sylvia: It's that nasty?
Me: Hey, you can go look at it, but don't say I didn't warn you...
Sylvia wanders down to the pool, and returns with a look of disgust mixed with horror.
Sylvia: $75. To clean it out.
Me: I dunno, you said $25 originally...
Sylvia: Yeah, but that's just gross!
Me: Hey, talk to Rich. It's his job to clean it out, and if he wants to pay you to do it, that's up to him...
Sylvia: Fine. $50. I'll do it for fifty.
Me: Talk to Rich. His chore. I'll still let you do it for $25 though.
Mom: Oh, that's not nice. Your pool is gross!

Rich agrees. Is ecstatic, actually. He apparently missed the $25 price tag from earlier as he was making lunch for everyone.


So how does one lose money at a yard sale? You pay too much for an ad, you replace stolen signs the day of the sale, and then you pay your sister (who did a freakin' awesome job, by the way) $50 to clean out your pool, home to Henry and Devon's new best friend the bull frog, and get sun burnt in the process and having to spend money on aloe.
On top of all that, you then spend money for a new pool filter for your newly cleaned pool so that this time it stays that way.
Luckily, conversations (for the most part) steered clear of Jesus, church, God, and the like, but I also missed George Stephanopoulus, but them's the breaks. If you like, Labor Day weekend we'll be hosting the Third Bi-annual Multi-Family Hughes Yard Sale... but this time, without the ad, the pool cleaning fees, and no neon-green signs, either...

Lesson's learned. But that explains the recent lack of fresh blogs... Hopefully, this week I'll hear all about silly religious things I can tell you all about, but until then, Happy Memorial Day!

7 comments:

Bill said...

Well from the economist stand point did you gain anything?

1. What is a clean pool worth
2. How much do you value swimming
3. Did anyone make money
4. Did you ask the family to chip in for the add or are you just another self sacrificing schmoe like me.

Enjoy the pool

DaBich said...

I'd be willing to be he ate the entire cost for the ad lol

Devon...that's the name I was going to give the little boy I didn't have. (Had two girls). Love it.

So, did you get to relax at all on Monday???

Jason Hughes said...

Yes... Sigh. I paid for the ad by my lonesome and refused money from otherfamily members to cover the cost of said ad... You people know me too well already!

The pool was worth it for Rich. I am not a water person, despite being a Capricorn, and would rather send the day hiking or camping, not soaking wet... but that's just me :D

So I suppose the $50 was worth it...

And yes, Monday was all about me staring at the TV screen, realizing I'm not missing anything on daytime TV so it really doesn't hurt to go to work, and wishing I had the energy to actually do something after spending two days trying to sell junk to people from New York on vacation in the Pocono's....

Monday was great!

Ergo Sum said...

What a fun thing to do - have garage sales! I love garage sales.. love going to them, rummaging through old stuff... learning how people live and with what stuff....

I'm sure you had a nice memorial day holiday. Enjoy your amazing country! It's a great place to live. :)

Ann said...

Jay, I love you. But...
DevIIIIIIIIIn. It's a pet peeve of mine. My name was misspelled my whole life. How does one misspell Ann Grey? Most frequently, as Anne Gray. 21 years of that. So I looked forward to getting married and a name change. Yah! Only one name to be misspelled for the rest of my life-- Ann. Nope, wrong again. Apparently, no one on this planet can spell Hughes, either.
I guess I passed my can't-spell-a-name-with-one-or-two-syllables curse to my darling younger son. Once he gets this potty thing down, I'll start explaining the "your name will be Devon Huges for the rest of your life, get used to it" speech.
Really, I'm just getting silly now. But for the record, it's an "i". Love you!

Jason Hughes said...

I am a bad uncle, aren't i? :D

I solemnly swear, from this day forward, if I do not spell Devin with an "i," I will deposit $1 into my spare change jar...

:D

Jason Hughes said...

Yes... Sigh. I paid for the ad by my lonesome and refused money from otherfamily members to cover the cost of said ad... You people know me too well already!

The pool was worth it for Rich. I am not a water person, despite being a Capricorn, and would rather send the day hiking or camping, not soaking wet... but that's just me :D

So I suppose the $50 was worth it...

And yes, Monday was all about me staring at the TV screen, realizing I'm not missing anything on daytime TV so it really doesn't hurt to go to work, and wishing I had the energy to actually do something after spending two days trying to sell junk to people from New York on vacation in the Pocono's....

Monday was great!