Summer has finally arrived and there is nothing like the heat and humidity of Missouri, perfect to head outside for some swimming, golf and, of course, suffocation. It also means dreaded yard sale season.
That's right, the time to sell your junk to other people who are looking for junk. Of course every summer my wife collects all our unwanted stuff for a yard sale she has at a friend's house.
As part of this process my wife begins weeks ahead by asking me if there is anything I would like to contribute. I pretend to not hear her and go on about my business because the only thing I want to contribute is to not contribute.
Then about a week before the "sale" my wife will be a little more insistent and little more sarcastic while reminding me to gather my junk for the big day. I then pretend that I didn't know anything about it and I ask what is the last possible day I can gather my junk. After all, I work for a newspaper and thrive on deadlines. Then I can throw in a few shirts I never wanted anyway and act like I helped out.
I decided this summer was going to be different. Instead of the usual minimal effort I usually put forth, I was going to really go through all of my possessions and make us some money. How long could it take?
I can only answer that question with another: where do we come up with so much stuff? I always thought of myself as a cheapskate. If an item has a price, it usually cost too much. With that as my theory, how in the world did I end up with a closet full of clothes I can't remember wearing?
Going through my sea of shirts, I came across a polo shirt I remember wearing in college. Unfortunately that was 12 years ago and I haven't worn it since, at least to my knowledge. I was starting to get the idea of how I had collected so much junk, but then I remember how much I liked the shirt and put it back on the hanger. Who knows, maybe I'll wear it tomorrow.
As I was in my closet I noticed some shoes in the corner. I pulled them out and the leather was so worn the black shoes were now gray. I remember not throwing them out because I thought they were so comfortable, I might want to wear them again. Who knows, maybe I'll wear them tomorrow.
After a moment of thought I put them back, right next to the other pair of black shoes that replaced them. They too were so comfortable I couldn't imagine being without them. At least I know I can find comfortable shoes.
Not going the way I wanted I opened up a tub I knew contained some hats. Well, I guess I should say was full of hats, or more accurately crammed full of hats so that many of the bills were bent and most deformed. Some of those hats I wore when I was in high school. Obviously I can't get rid of them although I pulled out a Cardinal hat. Who knows, I may wear it tomorrow.
Next I looked at some DVDs and videos that I have collected over the years. I might as well have been standing in a movie store with the selections that stood in front of me.
-- "Oh, I haven't seen that in forever. I'll watch it tomorrow."
-- "I didn't know I had that movie. I'll have to watch that tomorrow."
-- "Man, that's a good movie. I'll watch that tomorrow."
Of course I don't even have a VCR connected to a television but I might want to watch one of the 100 movies I have collecting dust on my bookshelf tomorrow, so of course they stayed. Maybe I'll hook the VCR up tomorrow.
I was starting to realize that I'm a bit of a pack rat with some serious separation issues. I also realized that I was going to anger my wife if I didn't have anything for her to hock and I certainly wasn't going to make any money that way either.
I gave one last long around the house I finally found something I didn't use and I could do without. A trash can. Now I wonder how much I can get for that? On second thought, maybe I had better keep it. I might use it tomorrow.