Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Moving (Part 2 of X): Bargain Hunting Freaks

So we had this garage sale last Saturday. And I remembered why I don't like even going to garage sales. I guess it must be because I'm not of a disposition as most of those showing up: picking over people's possessions, which they're selling for whatever reason that's entirely their own business, and trying to get them for nothing.

OK, so I admit, I have been to garage sales, but it really isn't my scene. I don't think I've ever looked in a newspaper for whatever sales are 'on' and then try to go there for the specific purpose of seeing what I can get, preferably for next to nothing. In fact the only thing of any value I ever got at a garage sale, was in Atlanta Georgia, where I think my wife and I came quite late in the process; and I saw this watercolor painting, which not only was just $2—or maybe $5; it's been a while—but it instantly touched me; and I was telling myself "Why is this guy selling this for this kind of money? Doesn't he know what it's worth?" And, yes, it may indeed not be 'worth' anything much in monetary terms, but I really like it. The picture below doesn't do it justice, of course, but maybe you get a faint idea of why I was attracted to it. It's been with us ever since. I took it out of its crummy frame to scan it and then used Photoshop's 'Photomerge' to join the bits together. Works like a dream!

[Aside: Click on the image to see a larger version and scroll down to the bottom, where the signature is. Anybody have any suggestions what the actual name of the artist appears to be?]

Did I say anything to that guy who thought he should let it go for $2 or whatever? No. It was his choice to not appreciate what he had there, and I told myself that this total 'steal' went somewhere it was appreciated. And I was surprised that it was still there and someone else had not grabbed it well before we came along. Maybe nobody saw the value. Maybe the garage sale crowd was looking for something else. Not treasure but 'stuff' to be got cheap. But not everything is—in fact very little is—measurable in terms of monetary value. But at this garage sale at our place I saw far too many people who did think only that, and who came there to get something for nothing or next-to-nothing. Yeah, I know, what else is new? But that doesn't change the fact that I find it a sad reflection of futile materialism.

There were notable exceptions. Some really nice people showed up, too, who were respectful of the fact that this wasn't a shop, but a private place, and who stopped to chat about things other than whatever it is they wanted to scrounge. Some of them even gave me good advice on how to dispose of stuff that might be left over. To them I owe, because they were gems in a torrent of quarry rocks. And then there were a couple of buddies from work, who helped to carry stuff and kept an eye out while I wasn't able to look. To you, too, thanks. I'll make it up to you.

In other news: our house is now on the market and you'll find pics here. They'll be up for as long as the house is on the market; after that the link will not point at the right page anymore, I guess. Want a really lovely place In Dunedin, New Zealand? Here's your chance!

And that's all for today, because I've got far too much to do to be blogging.


nanarama said...

At a quick skim of the blog, I freaked out for a moment and thought you'd sold that painting! Oh the moment of panic!

Till said...

How could you?