Yard-sale-ing season is upon us, friends. Yes indeedy, it is.
Whether you call it a yard sale, a tag sale or garage sale, every weekend around these parts you can be sure to see cars lined up irresponsibly on the side of some road, parked in front of—or very near—a house with a sale, sticking out into the street just far enough so that it makes it impossible for two cars to pass one another in the opposite direction. Essentially, the street becomes a one-lane road. Now imagine adding horse and buggies to the mix—a common sight at these sales—and you can see how events might get a lot more interesting. And by interesting, of course, I mean they become a HUGE pain in the arse.
This past Saturday I had an appointment to get my hair cut at 9:00 in the morning. Looking back, this was probably not the best time to schedule something like this. At least not when the commute to my parents’ house—our trusty babysitters—is thirty minutes long, as was the drive from my parents’ place to the salon. Something to consider for next time. Perhaps noon would be better. Or simply a day when the hubs is not working.
Also, I will make sure to coordinate with the fine folks who determine the date of my parents’ annual development yard sale, ahead of time, and make sure to NOT schedule anything having to do with the neighborhood at that time.
Lastly, knowing I am prone to frequent bouts of road rage, I should always, always make it a point to be early for everything, thus eliminating the likelihood that I will scream obscenities out the window and blow my horn at the decent folks who are just looking to add trinkety-treasures on the cheap, to the already colossal collections in their homes. No judgment.
So, this past Saturday. I actually set my alarm for the first time since the baby was born and I was working full-time. Knowing it takes us almost an hour to pack up and go any place, I didn’t want to risk being late for my appointment. We made it out the door leaving us an hour—just enough time for me to make it on time if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
The first half of the drive went OK, minus the fact the baby screamed his little guts out the whole time (always stressful for me—I can’t tune that stuff out). However, once we got on the main road to my parents’ house, the real craziness began.
I got stuck behind several drivers who thought it was perfectly reasonable to drive 15 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, all the while putting on the brakes to casually and carefully peruse the lawn and driveway contents of many of the houses displaying their wares, paying no mind to the line of cars stacking up behind them.
I tried to be patient, but it just wasn’t happening. I was going to be late, and these guys, unintentionally, were being complete assholes. So, I let out a string of curse words and laid on the horn. This had the desired effect as the cars pulled over to the side of the road to figure their shit out. I felt a little guilty, but I like to think the cars behind me were grateful for my effort.
Of course, my oldest girl asked what all the commotion was about. I told her that we were following some bad drivers. I tell her all the time about the bad drivers on the road. She asks me from time to time, when I haven’t commented on the state of the world’s bad drivers, whether the cars are being naughty or driving safely. Lord help us, she’s going to be just as neurotic as I am.
When we finally made it to the entrance of my parents’ development—only then did the baby decide to quiet down—we had to wait, off to the side of the road, for a horse and buggy, three Amish girls on scooter-bikes with trailers full of flowers and other random shite, a pickup truck, an SUV, and several hot dog-eating families (yes, at 8:30 a.m.) to pass us by, before we were permitted access to drive through the tiniest margin of road. These people take their sale-ing seriously.
I made it to my parents’ place, dropped the kids off in the driveway, and then drove like a complete reckless asshole myself out of the neighborhood, narrowly missing wagon-toting, stroller-pushing, and all kinds of box-holding folks.
I made it to the appointment with a minute to spare. Once there, I got to decompress a little and enjoy some adult conversation (always welcome these days), and a hot cup of coffee. Not to mention a shorter, new ‘do.
On the ride back, I came across only two idiots. On a back road, a lovely looking middle-aged couple had decided to stop at a yard sale. Instead of pulling into the driveway, or onto the property, they pulled to the side of the road, opposite the house, more than halfway into the driving lane. Also, they were at the bottom of a hill. Since the road was 40 MPH, I came upon the hill approximately 5 MPH faster than that. Then, upon seeing the car in my lane, I had to put on the brakes.
I couldn’t pass by, because their car was in my way, of course, but also because there were cars coming from the opposite direction. As I was sitting there seething, waiting for my moment to make my move, I saw the lovely couple, getting ready to cross the street, back to their car. They looked a little foolish, a little ass-holish, perhaps, as they realized the inconvenience their shitty choice had made for all of the other cars on the road.
Also, it looked as though it was going to be a long time before they made it back to their car, since by that point, there were cars moving rather speedily, trying to yield and pass in both directions, in the one-lane road they had created.
I quickly sped past and found myself secretly wishing they’d be stuck there on the side of the road with their purchases in hand, for a good twenty minutes or so before they were able to make it back to their car. Serve them right.
As I write this days later I am fully aware of all the anger and feelings of contempt I had this past Saturday morning. It’s all a bit ridiculous, I know. I should be a better person. A more patient, less cranky person.
But, I’m not. Turns out yard sales bring out the worst in me. Buyers and sellers, beware.