So the garage sale happened. It was both successful and unsuccessful. Let’s start with the positive: my eldest made twelve bucks on her lemonade stand and generously shared $1 each with each of her twin sisters, promptly blowing the rest on a new skirt and shoes for her doll (with no money left over for shipping. I asked who was paying that and she said you, walking away laughing).
The negatives were: it wasn’t that fun OR that funny. I was hoping at a minimum for fodder for this blog but I’m coming up dry. I can tell you what people don’t want to buy:
1. Any sort of bookcases. ANY SORT.
2. TV’s, especially if they are 10+ years old, fat (i.e. not flat screened), and are missing a remote control. And a power button.
3. Baby stuff even if its shiny and clean and barely used. Evidently they prefer to buy their own new stuff for their baby.
4. My Little Ponies and Rapunzel castles and to that I say: Bravo, people. The Disney franchise may go down, after all. At least the if the re-sale market is any indication.
5. Cookbooks, especially those featuring Regis and Kathy Lee from 1984.
So here’s what my garage looks like. The bad news is that this is POST garage sale.
So anyway, that’s that. In other updates, I’ve been asked to explain why I’m in a fight with my neighbors. I caused no offense. However, my kid did.
There’s a few little girls on our street and the eldest doesn’t play super-well with them, because she can’t ride a bike well (partly) and because as near as I can tell one of the kids does nothing but run around from place to place never actually playing anything but often confusing my children, all three of the big ones, for the others and randomly shouting out their names. Long story short we’ve said it’s better that they all maybe don’t play together because inevitably fights ensue. So one day that run-around-kid was away and my girls decided to strike while the iron was hot and play with the other, new kids on the block (none of whom are Wahlbergs, ha ha!). All was well until Run Around Sue (not her real name, btw) came home. Within four minutes mine came running home. Why? Because the eldest said “We can’t play with you,” to Run Around Sue and the mom of the new kids on the block–the mom who’s thick as thieves with Run Around Sue’s mom, but not so much with me, came out and said “This is my house, my rules, and you can leave here and NEVER COME BACK.”.
So we’re in a fight.
I mean, I understand it wasn’t nice of my kid to say “We can’t play with you” BUT she had a reason: she knows she doesn’t play well with that kid, she was having a nice time with the new kids on the block (I was going to make another NKOTB reference but my mom’s getting these blogs now and I don’t know if she’d get it. Also, it’s probably making ME look like a giant dork).
It’s not a yelling fight but it’s an ignore the madness fight. Because three of my neighbors have all become besties and it’s weird for a number of reasons–won’t go into them, but they’re constantly gathering in the street and gossiping away and the kids call each other “Aunt this” and “Aunt that” (I mean Aunt the real names but I’m protecting their privacy AND hoping they don’t read this blog–what are the chances?) And all I can think of when I see them in the street, yenta-ing it up, is that I DON’T WANT TO BE A PART OF THAT SOUP.
My good friend has a wonderful, beautiful mama from Cuba who has all these expressions some of which may sound better in Spanish but that one is PERFECT in English. And I think it all the time, ever since I heard it. For there’s so much soup I don’t want to be a part of.
For instance. I applaud, APPLAUD, the ladies of the PTO. Thank God they’re there, and supporting the teachers, and doing so much to help my kids. I don’t want to be a part of that soup though. I’m happy to donate goods or even some dough when needed but I don’t want to be there, listening and gossiping and bickering. How do I know that goes on? When I’m not part of the soup? Well, because 90% of my mama friends that are a part of that soup call me after each and every PTO meeting to vent and moan and complain.
When I first came to town, I was part of the mom club soup. At least I tried. I was like an ingredient that wasn’t quite right. My kid was too small and couldn’t talk to anyone. Everyone had their playdates going, and I was working (from home but still working) and I could never do them. The soup was fine, and good, but I just wasn’t part of the soup. And that separateness made me feel very bad at the time (though there were people that went out of their way to always try to say hello and I got the opportunity to thank one of those people the other day for the difference she made when I was all on my own!)
It was really hard to be the different element of the soup (working from home, but working nonetheless) and I never ever was able to only talk about my kids–not that these moms did, all the time, but I felt like that was almost, in some cases, the initial “break in” and I never got past that. I think I’ve blogged about the book club that no one read the book? I wrote about it in my someday-to-be-published book, so in my head it’s out there.
The interesting thing is that I’ve reconnected with a lot of those girls, over the years–and especially recently, when my twins are doing the heavy lifting of finding me new friends to like, the moms of some of their good buds (the eldest, as previously mentioned, just goes ahead and alienates everyone. JUST KIDDING. She’s an awesome kid. Just a little bossy to the neighbors). We’ve had different conversations and different interactions–far better than back in the day, in the basement of the Best Western at the holiday party with only apple juice to drink. It’s not just that we’re swilling Cab now as we talk–it’s that conversations about kids aren’t ONLY about kids and it’s not the ONLY thing to talk about.
It’s hard to find the right group but I think the key is ever-changing groups. And not so many rules. That may be why my sorority days weren’t all they could be–there were so many I liked but I was never that good at the whole group. (The failure there could also have been that I needed to lose 20 pounds in college, perpetually, due to drinking beer and eating cheese sticks, perpetually–so I was constantly not able to find a date for a formal etc etc.)
Anyway. After the garage sale my eldest played with the neighbors (Run Around Sue had hit the bricks, again) and all was fine. I even got to offer a lesson in “being the bigger person” (fairly smug and superior, I’ll admit) as we talked about letting bygones be and how I calmly let the kids play here and even gave the NKOTB (I couldn’t help myself) munchkins and didn’t once bellow that they should LEAVE AND NEVER COME BACK. The kids could in turn offer me a lesson in not holding a grudge since they played away without harm or foul but I choose not to partake in that lesson.
Instead, I merrily shove bookshelves down the driveway, hoping that the price of “free” makes them more enticing. So far, no takers. But if you want a copy of Cooking with Regis and Kathy Lee, send me a note. Shipping’s on me.