Editor's Notebook: At a garage sale, it is much more fun to be the buyer
By Debra Utterback
Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 8:36 p.m.
There was a time when I went gaga over garage sales.
I loved the thrill of hunting through someone else's treasures and trinkets.
When the children were young, we snatched up many of the popular, plastic must-have toys, ranging from toddler sliding boards to pretend shopping carts, at yard sales.
The toys were used and abused, and we contributed our own signature dents and crayon scribbles before passing the toys onto yet another family.
Other “prize” finds over the years have included: a vintage Pitt vs. Penn State football button; a wobbly personal trampoline; a leather chair that I could barely squish into the car and a hockey stick that resulted in a quizzical look from son before he informed me that it was a left-handed stick (and he is right-handed).
I was more careful from then on when I started looking for golf clubs.
Today, I realize I need to be on the other side of the garage sale business.
It's time to part with toys sitting in the attic, a saxophone no longer played and a land-locked canoe.
I have, however, made some quasi-successful attempts at hosting garage sales over the years.
Some of my yard sale memories include pushing a couch three blocks down the street when I teamed up with a neighbor for a sale.
I remember having to practically give the couch away to the only couple that expressed an interest so I wouldn't have to push it back up the street.
Service with a smile, I told myself.
I remember someone ruthlessly ruminating over whether to buy a 25-cent candle.
Picking it up and putting it down. Fingering and refingering it.
“Buy the thing!” I shouted at her inside by head, hopefully reaching her telepathically. She didn't buy it.
With a little bit of experience under my yard sale belt, I now have developed rules.
No early birds. No, 8 a.m. doesn't mean show up at 6 p.m. the night before.
Yes, stay in the roped-off area. No, you can't go in the house and look around.
No, the furniture on the porch is not for sale. No, the car is not for sale.
No, I can't change a $100 bill. No, I won't take a dollar for something marked $10.
No, No, No!
I think it's more fun to be the garage sale goer.
Debra Utterback is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1403 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Moon couple discover new togetherness through ballroom dancing
- Leetsdale Garden Club gets grant for trees
- Doggy-treat recipe helps to make students ‘self-sufficient’
- No hiding holiday spirit: Western Pa. homeowners light up the holidays
- Wintry weather didn’t stop Sewickley Light Up Night