Notes From Saturday’s Shopping

Almost every Saturday we go to a number of different shopping venues in one or two trips. Garage and estate sales as well as thrift shops and grocery/produce markets are our favorite vices. When we get more diligent at blogging and taking pictures, there will be better reports on individual visits, but here are just a few memories from our travels on 9/10/11.

The Rolling Meadows High School Music Boosters had a Community Garage Sale in the high school parking lot. They have this once a year every September and we usually visit. I assume part or all of the proceeds go to the RMHS music program. There were more tables and merchandise than previous events and generally prices were good with some great bargains to be found. I purchased a few old Transformer toys for my daughter’s husband who collects them and a Marvel Comics graphic novel originally priced at $19.95 for just 50 cents. As I said, the prices were reasonable, however there was one woman who had a two tables of things that were priced out of this world.

We first noticed a small aluminum bowl. You see these everywhere. It’s one of the most common items to be found at garage/estate/rummage sales. They usually sell for a buck or less. This one was pretty beat up and it was priced at $9.00. What??? I immediately moved on to the next table down the line, but couldn’t shake off thinking about that woman. I was tempted to go back and politely ask her how she determined her prices. I wasn’t that bold this time and didn’t, but I went back to look at what other things she had to sell later on our way out. Children’s books, well used for $6 to $10 that everyone else was selling for 25 or 50 cents were the most outrageous example. The worst, however, were facepainting books with little swatches of colored grease paint on the bottom. Used – almost empty. She wanted $10 for them. The previous owner might have been a little Incredible Hulk for Halloween as the green was totally gone. We talked of going back later in the day to see if she had sold anything. Too bad we didn’t.

We also went to an estate sale in Arlington Heights. Generally I like estate sales, although you have to make the decision to go early before the sale starts to get in line and fight off the aggressive dealers and pickers or go later when it’s picked over. We went later this time. I seldom buy things at these unless I find a Club aluminum pot to add to my collection (more on this later) or some nice kitchen or gardening gadget. Betsy looks more for jewelry and collectibles.

On the one hand, I love estate sales because it’s often a time capsule of the people who lived there. The majority of these sales are held because someone’s parent(s) have passed away. I like to piece together in my mind their history and lives. Almost every corner of the house is a little showcase of who once lived there, often for decades. Old books and magazines, family pictures, hobbies and crafts. Even the medical supplies for someone in the last stages of their life.

On the other hand, I detest most of the other people looking for bargains. The dealers are the worst. They are often aggressive and rude and sometimes practically snatch things from your hands that they want. One other type of person are the dimwits who are totally oblivious that other people exist. Twice I had to dodge a really big woman chattering incessantly on a cellphone barreling through the halls. There was also the obligatory tall redneck who couldn’t see anyone under 6 feet tall and a woman with such an enormous ass shelf you could put self-standing picture frames on it. If you were standing in the wrong spot when she swiveled around you might end up visiting the emergency room.

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