Having attended recent yard sales, I’m reminded anew about 3 Yard Sale Questions I Hate to be Asked. I was on on the hot seat again this weekend. Am I the lone stranger when it comes to questions like these?
The 3 Questions I Hate to be Asked
These are in order of not so annoying to the most cringe-worthy, followed by what I’d like to say in return.
So I’m walking up to a yard sale and before I’ve even landed in the goodies, the owner says coolly, “may I help you?” I was somewhat taken aback. I must be in a department store!
Well, you’re having a yard sale, aren’t you? I came to look at your offerings, lady, is what I want to say.
And a variation of that…”Are you looking for anything in particular?” Now I know I’ve just been transported to a department store. Then her kid comes up and says exactly the same thing.
To my mind, it’s like being hounded by the sales lady as soon as you walk in a store. In those cases I just want to leave ASAP.
Yes I’m looking for a box of sterling silver flatware that you don’t realize is sterling, lady.
But I don’t say that.
NOW the hot seat is getting a little warmer. I really hate these next 2 questions because lying makes me squirm. I try not to if I can possibly avoid it.
I’m standing at the yard sale checkout holding yarn, and the person says,
Oh do you knit?
Um, I knit…yes.
If you count 2 dishcloths, and 3 scarves I made 4 years ago.
If you count the knitting tote gathering 4 years of dust on the floor.
But I wouldn’t be able to tell you how to knit and purl now if my life depended on it.
Thank goodness she didn’t ask me when I knitted.
Here’s the next one equally as bad. I’m standing there holding sewing trims.
Oh, do you sew?
Yes I sew.
I can turn on the sewing machine.
But as for threading it… I still have to read the directions.
I’ve made a few things…like this Square Dance outfit a few years ago.
It’s cute right? Someone from France emailed me today to tell me how adorable it is.
But it was the outfit from you know where.
You see, I checked out when Mama tried her level best to teach an uninterested 12-year-old how to sew.
She made me take 2 “How to Sew” classes at Singer, but I’d rather have been pulling weeds than learning to sew.
So I couldn’t remember how when I decided to make this outfit.
I found the pattern in a thrift store, but it wasn’t my size. Can you picture me modifying a pattern to fit when I hadn’t even sewed before? It was a joke.
I lost count of the number of times I ripped it out.
Making the ruffled trim was a nightmare. The directions called for it to be twice the length of the skirt, or something like that. So I mathematically calculated what double would be. Let’s just say it didn’t turn out quite right.
I laid the trim out, and it extended from the room I was working in, down the hall to the third bedroom and in a circle within the room. I thought it was a bit long, but told myself it would work out. It didn’t.
Yes I sew.
And as for the last, most dreaded, cringe-worthy question, I’m standing there holding a pair of egg cups, and the lady glibly asked,
I hate this question, but the answer rolled off my tongue so smoothly, I was proud of myself.
I have an egg cup collection.
And I do.
I haven’t added to it in over 20 years.
At one time, I imagined myself a gracious hostess serving meals on pretty tablecloths with cloth napkins, and boiled eggs in cute mismatched egg cups, but that went out the window very quickly.
Because now I’m a professional picker, and you can’t even see the tablecloth, or the table for that matter.
I can’t tell her the real truth.
I’m going to sell it lady! I’m going to put it in my Etsy shop.
People are often emotional about their stuff. They don’t like to think of you selling off Great Aunt Jane’s china. They want to imagine you cherishing it like they do.
There’s no good answer, but if you’re about to give a yard sale, give your customer a break, and please don’t ask!
Do you have these too?
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