I used to have a motto: "Buy them all." If I found something I really liked, or thought would make a great little gift, or was "a real find" I would buy all they had. I shop in places like Tuesday Morning where you really never know what kind of inventory they will have on any given day. It is a last chance depot for overstock, discontinueds, seconds, and out of season goods. And the prices are great. (Great means low.)
I would find something wonderful, like say, napkins embroidered with cherries. And I would buy ALL of them. Not the apples or the lemons...just the cherries. They might have two or three packages of the cherry ones, and if they fell within certain parameters I would buy them all. My parameters were simple enough: the item had to be a bargain, not perishable, it should have utility, and the design must be attractive to me. Under these rules it didn't really matter how many I bought, since I didn't really "need" any, so I'd invoke the motto and "buy them all."
Here's where it got weird. Let's say I found three packages of these cute cherry napkins, hunting to make sure I got them all, then I'd turn the corner and find a bin of them, like a dozen more. I would put the three back and get none, maaaybe one. The hunt, stalking the prey and capturing the ones that had strayed from the herd was the fun part, but to round the bend and find the whole damn herd wrecked it for me.
But really, explaining my "buy them all" motto isn't the point I want to make today. The point I want to make is I have abandoned my motto.
I'm looking for a new motto.
Last weekend my friend Francesca and I had the second of two HUGE yard sales. The first one was July 11 and we called it the 7-11 Yard Sale from Heaven. And it was an awesome bazaar of wonderfully organized, clean, well-maintained refugees from the buy them all motto days. This last--and I do mean LAST--yard sale was 11-7 Yard Sale from Heaven, The Sequel. It consisted of the rest of the stuff, the stuff that never made it to the first sale (too much stuff), and a bunch of stuff I wasn't sure I could live without.
It seems I can. Live without, that is.
I made many families happy. I made friends and neighbors happy. I made myself happy. And today I will make the local thrift store happy.
The taxman may suspect I padded my estimate of donated goods, but he'd be wrong as there is no conceivable way to put a precise value on all I've donated this year other than to say it was a monster crap load!
More important, there is no way to put a value on what I have gained this year. For one thing, we have gained a home gym! In the space that used to house the darlingest little Christmas plates, and the loveliest crystal goblets, and the cleverest kitchen gadgets there is now a nice collection of exercise equipment, weights, jump ropes, yoga mats, exercise videos and a tv to play them on.
Well sure, there is also a refrigerator full of beer and a freezer full of bacon, lasagnas, chicken thighs and butter, but c'mon, man doesn't live by (Oroweat Country White) bread alone!
And yes, that's in there, too, because we can never forget the Commutative Property of Addition and we must apply it here: Binge+Purge = Purge+Binge.
Oh my god, a new motto!