Monday, May 2, 2011

How Catwoman Provided An Awkward Moment At My Otherwise Stellar Garage Sale.

It was our neighborhood's Garage Sale Weekend, and because Aaron and I had acquired an impressive (or sad?) collection of stuff, we gave it a go. Our first garage sale! New activities are fun!

We borrowed tables from parents and friends and set them up on the driveway; we blew up tiny balloons (because all of the regular-sized balloons seemed to be on strike) and tied them to the low branches of our 60+ foot maple tree in the front yard. We chased after tote bags and fake plants as the ridiculous wind gusts of Friday gave flight to our lightest items. We then crammed those tables into the garage and were once again thankful we bought a house with two stalls.

Most folks who visit garage sales are what you'd consider "normal" people. They're looking for a deal; maybe some cheap baby clothes or an ice cream maker. But then, there are Those Other People.

Those Other People give off the aura that they know a lot about garage sales - probably because they can be found perusing them most summer weekends. They might be wearing a fanny pack. They might be standing in your driveway at 8:29, waiting for you to open your garage door at the advertised time of 8:30. They might make an appearance at your sale four times in one day. And they definitely will spot the young newlyweds who have never done this before, and aren't really sure what the protocols are.

My first clue about one woman in particular was her eyeliner application. It was... well...  crazy.

This comparison doesn't really do it justice,
but the Yelling Face is about right.
At some point, someone must have insinuated that blue liquid eyeliner on a 60-year-old woman is a good idea. She took this a step further by using it not right next to the eyes - because that's boring! - but by drawing cartoonish outlines a good inch or two from where any sane person wears eye makeup.

This, but more feline.

She shall henceforth be known as Catwoman.

Anyway - Catwoman had brought along a... granddaughter? A young girl, anyway. We chatted; they seemed nice. They were interested in the microwave we had; they'd come back for it - if we could just hold it for them?

Well, sure, okay - for an hour.

In 20 minutes, Catwoman and Kitty-in-training were back, and with a third companion. Yes, the microwave looked like what this companion wanted! Fabulous!  We agreed on a price, and then the lady pulled out a checkbook.

....a checkbook?

Maybe this is me being new at garage sale-ing, but writing a check at a garage sale doesn't seem... normal. I mean, I don't know who this person is - and if their check doesn't clear, then what? Then I'm out, that's what! This is a cash-only operation, people!

Catwoman reacted with shock, then angry sass when I informed her that her check would not be accepted. "What do you mean, you don't take checks? Everyone at garage sales takes checks! How can you not take a check? You've got to be kidding me! You won't take a check?" And on, and on.

If the eyeliner wasn't a sufficient enough clue, the relentless attempts at wearing me down/bullying me were all the confirmation I needed: Catwoman be crazy.

After she realized that she wasn't winning this attempt at debate, she left - only to come back later in the day with a fourth companion (with money!). She made sure to say within earshot of me, "Well, I'm still upset...", had her companion pay for her stuff, and the group was gone.

In short - the wind, the long hours, and the manual labor were all worth being able to have this story to share.

And my world view of blue eyeliner is forever altered.


  1. And this, my fellow D-friend, is why I skip the garage sale and go directly down the donation path!! But in my younger days I did them at times. Yes, they always generate a few good stories. The best ones were with friends and involved at least one bottle of wine.

  2. Maybe I'm being cynical, but I'm thinking she was upset at not getting a free microwave with her rubber cheque. Who in their right mind would accept cheques at a garage sale. People who are way too trusting, that's about it.
    At least it made he garage sale interesting. I bet you didn't wake up that morning thinking you'd have an argument with catwoman that's for sure :-)

  3. Crazy, cheap, rubber bouncing check eyeliner bitch!

  4. Of course you know I'm referring to Cat Woman, right?

  5. I had a econ teacher who did that with the big blue clown makeup around her eyes. Very sweet though, and since she has since moved on, I know it wasn't her.

  6. When I read the title of this post I thought it was going to be about Halle Berry!

  7. We had a garage sale to raise money for our Haiti trip. It was the oddest thing. People would negotiate down on the most ridiculous items. Then I had a table of treat out front - like cupakes for $1. They would drop in a $5 and say "keep the change". The SAME change they just bargained to keep for their purchase!

  8. I. love. this. post! We have had many garage sales, and you have nailed the "garage sale perusing population!" Funny thing...yesterday we found the stash of money we collected from our last garage sale. KA-CHING! And inside, a check for $35 ;( It has been 9 months. I don't think it would be fair to cash it...but in all honestly, I remember that check lady to be a pain in the bahookie! Maybe I'll give it a whirl after all...

  9. Victoria - you just gave me the giggles! That is Ke$ha. Notice the lack of magical earrings!

  10. You could have taken her check and made her sign a Promise Book in case it bounced. Heh.. :)


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