The Rapturous Garage Sale (as promised)

I’m behind on my blog. And my book. And reading for pleasure. And my diet. And my attempt to learn authentic Peruvian cooking while doing the hula (not that they go together). At least I’m caught up with teaching. So far.  

I’d like to tell you about the Dream Planner Kealoha and I met while looking for a place to have our wedding, but I’ll start with the garage sale. I'll save The Dream Planner for another day.


The best thing about the garage sale was watching Kelaoha get ready for it. Two nights before, I could hear him giggling to himself. I went down into the basement to see him cracking himself up over the ad he was writing. He was right; it was pretty damn funny. In fact, like four people came to the garage sale and shook his hand. One guy wrote for the Business Journal Of Grand Rapids and he said: “I just had to come to your sale because I wanted you to know I appreciate your work.” It was hysterical.


Then Kealoha giggled over his sign making skills. It involved massive magic markers, gaff tape and obscure references to movies.


The morning of the sale came and Kealoha wasn’t giggling anymore. Neither was I. We were focused. We were determined. And man, what a lot of work. We were setting things up by 8AM and immediately a woman stopped by. “We’re not quite ready yet,” I said. “We were planning on opening in an hour.” She said, “Oh, I won’t bother you. I just want to look.” Then she proceeded to ask a ton of questions and “How much is this?” and “Do you have kids’ clothes?” I was irritated and said, “In an hour when we’re ready you can come back and check it out.” Kealoha was more diplomatic. He talked to her. Gave her prices. Sold $2 worth of stuff.


I was immediately reminded on why I wasn’t good at retail. I just don’t like people, especially when they interrupt my routine.


There were lots of characters at the garage sale (not just us). Many of them were lonely types, looking to have lengthy conversations about how they have belts at home just like the ones for sale, or how an old lampshade remind them of an aunt who committed suicide back in 83. You know, weird stuff.


It was busy. Chaotic. Around 11 we celebrated that the Rapture had happened and we could benefit by collecting more stuff from the people who’d been taken. A few minutes later a van pulled up. I’m not kidding here. Out crawled a family of six or seven. The daddy figure had a long beard, and his oldest teenage son was wearing a shirt that said PRAYER IS COOL. They were depressed. Moping even. Kealoha and I felt bad. Maybe they’d planned on being raptured, and here they were, having to troll garage sales to replace the stuff they’d given away. They didn’t buy anything. I hoped they might like some stuff from the Elvis table.


Later a friend of ours who is an atheist showed up. He came with his very cool family of women. We chatted and the girls played. He was wearing a t-shirt that said “Have You Hugged An Atheist Today?” The writer in me really wished that the prayer guy and the atheist guy had met in the aisle of our garage sale, surrounded by the ephemera of Kealoha’s and my life: the old toys, the tiki mugs, the weird hula pictures. There would’ve been a showdown of staring, I’m sure of it.


Sadly, it was not to be.


It started to rain around three and I was grateful. I was exhausted. The kids were pooped. Kealoha was a walking zombie. We closed up shop, loaded our cars and dropped things off at the Goodwill.


All in all we made a couple of hundred dollars. It gave us a week of groceries and a Wii system, so that’s pretty cool.


I’m not sure if it was worth it, exactly, but I’d do it again just to hear Kealoha giggling over writing an ad. I’m trying to think of more things he can advertise to see if he can work his magic again. One of my books, maybe. Hmmm…