Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yard Sales = The New Catholicism

One of my early-morning tweets inspired today's blog offering:

"Neighbours' having a yard sale. Am awed by the prompt arrival of cheerful strangers, seeking treasures.
It's like church or something."

Hmmm... I mused, sipping coffee and watching follks flocking together across the road. It really kind of IS like going to church...

 Planning (The Night Before)

Church: Plan outfit, find prayer missal, find tithing envelope/collect change for offering, put in purse, find proper footware, place by door.

Yard Sale: Plan outfit according to weather, find GPS/map/Kijiji listings, find hip purse filled with coins and bills in multiple denominations, find suitable footware, place by door.


Church: Approach with hushed reverence. Scan pews before choosing and quietly move down the aisle. Unless you're that lady who totters in on heels and reeks of "White Linen" perfume. If you're her, then march purposely toward the altar, trailing scent.

Yard Sale: Approach with "don't-be-so-eager", almost reverence. Scan tables before choosing a starting point, moving down the makeshift "aisles" of clothing racks and knick-knacks. Unless you're that lady who totters over on mule sandals and reeks of "Poison" perfume. If you're her, march purposely to the furthest table, leaving your husband to trail behind.


Church: Fervent and heartfelt, we are usually on our knees when bargaining with God, both literally and figuratively. Our "wheeling and dealing" might go something like this:


Yard Sale: Fervent and heartfelt, the goal is NOT to end up on your knees, but the bring the seller as close to his as possible, while still smiling cheerfully. It might go like this:

"How much for that lamp?"
"Ten bucks."
"I'll give you two."
"Three and two bits, plus toss in that shoe rack. And those bowling shoes from 1983."
"Amen, friend!"

 Castoffs and Left-Behinds

By 10 a.m. it's mostly all over: a few stragglers may dot the aisles, smiling gamely, hoping to be among "The Chosen," but most folks have sailed off into the rest of their day.

Church: She's the overlooked woman who lingers after Mass, long after the rest of the congregation has filtered out. She might be a widow, single or married - she is definitely lonely and looking to belong to something bigger than the life she's presently living. There may be an air of desperation about her that urges others to back away smiling nervously, guiltily.

Yard Sale: They're the looked-over pieces that sit in boxes, long after the early-morning hoarders have filtered past. They might be what's left of a dining room set, a stand-up vacuum cleaner or a box of knick-knacks - they are all longing to belong to a bigger, better household.

The air of desperation that lingers in the air around them causes late-comers to back away, smiling nervously, feeling guilty.

Ah, guilt. The cornerstone of any religion worth its salt.


Got anything to add? Toss your ideas onto the pile!


  1. LOVE it !! One of your best pieces!

  2. I cannot believe that only got one comment on this! This is awesome! Submit to Lady Bloggers or something! What a hoot.

    Okay, I'm Jewish - but this still carries over I'm sure. AFTER SERVICES: there is always that old lady who hangs about, the "lingerer" who puts the extra Sweet-N-Lo (and a few extra cookies) in her purse. She means no harm, but still you wonder if you should say something, I mean, she is taking a lot of those pink packets!

    AFTER THE GARAGE SALE: There is always the person who comes around asking if you have anything for free. Really? I thought I was trying to sell it; that's why it was called a sale... but you smile and give him a bunch of stuff because you feel a little sorry for him. And yet you wonder what is he going to do with all those plastic lids and broken Happy Meal toys.

    So much fun to read. ;-)

  3. Thanks for the love, ladies! I tell myself that folks are so busy laughing, they can't see to type....

    LOVE the li'-old-lady image - I used to wait tables and we had a similar customer. He'd pilfer sugar packs and tiny packages of jam and peanut butter, while the staff pretended not to notice.

  4. Def one of your best pieces! you are funny chickie!

  5. OMG. I've got this nervous titter waiting to escape my mouth...funny? Yes. OH so funny. But...the guilt. The guilt keeps me from laughing. :D :D :D

  6. Let it out, Supermom...let it alllll out!!! Ha!

    Do not let the guilt rule you - it's a slippery slope after that...