Scrounging is part of my DNA. Growing up, the most fun activity my sisters and I did with our dad was going to the dump, the day before the scheduled burn, to tromp through the trash, and look for treasures. We each tried to uncover the best find.
To steal Barbara Mandrel’s lyrics, I was thrifting when thrifting wasn’t cool. When I lived in the country, farm sales fed my scavenger instinct. Today, I enjoy garage sales and going to Goodwill on 50% off Saturday. We winter in an Arizona fifty-five and older retirement community, and estate sales (companies hired by the family to price and sell every item in the home after a loved one moves to long-tern care or dies) are on my favorite weekend entertainment list.
The first one I attended felt invasive and a little creepy. I felt sorry for the deceased person having their good, bad, and ugly on display for total strangers. I also wondered if the person had living relatives who took what they wanted before the public sale. It saddened me to see personal property and pictures sell. Those thoughts, although they still surface, have morphed into a new normal.
When I’m stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I bargain shop. Some (most) contents of my closet and home are the result of my weekend hobby.
I learn a lot about a person as I wander through a house and rummage through their belongings. One woman had two bedrooms full of square-dance clothes. I’ve seen every imaginable collection: beautiful souvenirs from around the world, exquisite china, and what I love most, colorful, transparent glass.
This last Friday, I was walking through a gorgeous home, and hanging from lights above the bathroom sinks and in the master closet were dozens of silky, lacy, skimpy, and sexy lingerie. There was even a pink fuzzy poodle jumpsuit, complete with a poodle head hood.
I haven’t had so much free fun in a long time. Men avoided the room as women, who were total strangers, laughed together, and said things like, “I think she had a lot of fun.”
“I know she had more fun than I do.”
“Oh, my #$%^&.”
“I’ll bet she had a happy husband.”
“Maybe she ran a brothel.”
“Did you see THIS?”
“Look at these little red bows.”
“She must have been a fun friend.”
We all finally dispersed, but I sneaked back the next day to see what was left. A woman walked in and said, “Oh, you’re back too.” (We laughed)
She continued, “ I got home and wish I would have bought the one, you know the one, (we laughed) for my next family white-elephant gift exchange.”
We paid for our goodies and left the house laughing.
I wish all of you could have been there. It was a comedy hour with no charge. I hope the deceased woman was looking down from above, enjoying the spontaneous female party. She was proud of her body, and whatever she did while buying, wearing, or just looking at all those colorful garments, I’m guessing she enjoyed life.
How do YOU enjoy life?