Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Am Getting Bitchy in My Old Age!

Every year some family members and I get together and have a garage sale at my old house. The house is now owned by my mother's best friend, Kendra. They have been best friends since they were 5, she is more family to me than most of my blood relatives.

Every year, I have to remind Kendra to use her "soothing words" when a customer get particularly annoying. When she starts in on "This isn't Water Tower Place!!" or "I would rather take scissors and cut it up than to sell it to you for that price" That's when I usually step in to smooth over the situation.

That was until yesterday.
We had our garage sale (it continues today) and Kendra had a doctor's appointment in the late morning. She left her husband, John, and me in charge. That was her first mistake.

First off, John sold a $40 display table that Kendra loved for $3. Even loaded it their car for them. It was a really nice folding patio table with a handle. I remember watching him fold it up and thinking, "That's really nice, I would have bought that for $3!!" Needless to say, he wasn't asked to be "in charge" anymore which is what I think was his plan. I believe he subscribes to the Bill Cosby way of thinking. Screw it up the first time and you will never be asked to do it again.

Then there was what can only be described as the "Champagne Flute Incident". Now, I'm not saying I am proud of what transpired, but it is what it is.

This real piece of work lady came to the sale. She picked up everything and asked what the price was (everything had a price tag on it) then she would tell us how much she would give us for it. Sometimes we said yes, sometimes we said no, but she always just put the item back. She came across a set of 6 champagne flutes that were marked $1 a piece. They were really pretty, clear flute with a purple colored glass stem. She told me she would give me $4 for the set. Fine, it was only a $2 difference. I started to help her take them up to the table and she said. "Wait, let me take them into the light to make sure they are perfect, I don't want any chips!" Fine, I took them into the light for her inspection. When she was satisfied with the quality of the merchandise, I brought them up to the table for her. This is were I just sort of snapped. Here's how the conversation went.

Her: "I want them wrapped individually. I want them wrapped individually, You are going to do that for me, right? You are going to wrap them individually for me, right? You have something to wrap them up separately for me, right?"

At this point, I was still Bill Bixby, but my eyes were turning green.

Me: "Well, maybe for $5 or $6 dollars I would have wrapped them for you, but for $4, I don't know."

She gives a flinty little laugh.

The shirt that I'm wearing starts to rip.

I go and get small brown paper bags, and give her the "You gonna get cut!!!" laugh that I patented a couple of years ago. I start to wrap the glasses.

Her: "Well, I don't want them to get damaged, I am paying $4 for them!"

That's it, I was full blown Lou Ferrigno, all green with no shirt and tattered pants.

Me: "For $4 you can chuck them at passing cars and still get your money's worth!!!! Have a nice day!"

With that, she took her glasses, got into her over sized, overpriced SUV and drove away.
Kendra was so proud.

I don't think I should do garage sales anymore, people annoy me too much! I am this close to becoming the old man who shakes his cane and yells profanities at the passersby.


Poetikat said...

Good on you! I'm pretty sure I'd be Lou Ferrigno in that circumstance as well, only I probably would have taken one of the glasses and smashed it (or two) and then we'd be getting what we wanted for the 4 glasses in the first place.
You and I should leave garage sales to the sweet, patient church ladies, I think.


Rebecca Jo said...

Sometimes, "bitchy" just needs to be the attitude towards some people!!! :)

Tammy said...

Don't you just love working with the public!?

She's lucky she didn't get one splintered over her head.

There was a woman & child in Walmart yesterday...the child kept saying "Mommy....Mommy...Mommy....Mommy..." and the mom would not answer...I was at the point of going over and saying...if you don't answer that kid, I'm gonna scream!!!

sandy said...

ha! Next year, you need to help with our yard sale! People really tend to wear me down! Not pretty at all!

blueviolet said...

The ones with the nicest cars and the nicest clothes are the absolute worst customers!

Funny in my mind said...

I am calling you when i have my next sale. Not kidding either. I turn into Satan when they start in with me. I don't even want to talk about the lady who tried to buy a perfect couch for way less than i had on it. She was such a bitch, I told her I wouldn't sell it for full price to her after all that.

Becky said...

I am still not over the $40 table going for 3 bucks!!

Oh man! He would be in SO much trouble!

Heather said...


I have half a garage full of crap that didn't sell at our last one this spring. I refuse to bring it back into our house, but our local Goodwill is closed for renovation, so I have to wait.


That was pretty tame. I thought you were gonna throw the glasses at HER. She would've deserved it.

Denise said...

We just had a garage sale and I went through the same thing! I wanted to slap quite a few people! The ones that got me is when I had a brand new pair of jeans with the tag of $60 on them and I wanted $5. The lady looked at me like I was a leper, shook her head, said "I can't believe you want that much" and continued shopping. EVERYTHING she held up (which were all priced like yours were) she did that. I was pretty much Lou Ferigno by the time ours was over too!

a corgi said...

see, I have a different take on garage sales then perhaps the average person.......but when I have a garage sale, my intent is to get someone to take away the stuff I'm no longer using so I don't have to haul it to the local Goodwill store myself. So I charge ridiculously low prices (really) but 90% of my stuff usually sells within the first 2 hours of the sale. I may not make a lot of money on the sale, but I get rid of the stuff that I wasn't using anyway.

however, I do say I think I would have had to really contain myself with the lady and her insistence over and over again that you wrap the glasses oh so very carefully and individually


Deanna said...

Oh I am SO with you! At our garage sale I gave one lady some glasses - GAVE them to her! And she asked me to wrap them up!

Bitches unite!

LadyStyx said...

You had every right to get bitchy. The nerve of some people, I swear.

Tori_z said...

I have a lot of patience, but even I would have started tto get a bit snippy after that.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

When I have a garage sale, I have to do it with the "I want to get rid of it, not get rich!" but it never works! I think, after today, that I will never have another garage sale. I will put everything in my living room...block off the rest of the house..and call it an Estate sale! I'm near death is that cheating? Just askin'...

I the way...I would have chucked HER at passing cars by that time, OR told her where to shove those pretty glasses and hope there was a chip on at least one. A BIG chip!
GREAT STORY and well told!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Some people deserve an extra helping of "bitchy" sometimes. :)

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

That's great!!!!

I must be bitchy a lot!!! :)

Anonymous said...

What the hell did she think you were... A Nordstroms store??? Sheesh.

Snappy Di
Formerly knows as The Blue Ridge Gal

Intense Guy said...

How long does it take you to revert back to ... well your normal sweet lovable self after you "Hulk" out?

...and in this case, I don't blame you for doing so. Ugh, dealing with the public stinks.

Lauren From Texas said...

i know exactly what you mean. thanks for stopping by - love your blog!

glenna said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Glad to have found you through SITS.
Nice post. I loved it!:-)

Lacey said...

I do the "old man fist shake" at people on the highway all day long... it's my signature "move!"

I think you handled the garage sale incident quite well, I would have tracked down the dude who got the table so cheap, then used the glasses to slice his tires before stealing the merchandise back! HAHA! ;-)