I was with some big city folk last week, who were here in Milwaukee for TheMoth On The Road, a national live story telling series based out of NYC. As we sat passing the time before the show, conversation turned to asking what my plans would be for the coming weekend.
I let them know, "same as any other person's in Wisconsin."
City Mice: "So, what will you do then?"
Country Mouse: *repeating question back, in true Wisconsin style* "Me? What will I do this weekend? I'll be doing what everyone else in Wisconsin will be doing on a late May weekend: restocking the fridge with cheddar and having my rummage sale."
City Mice: "Is that like a yard sale?"
Is it like a yard sale -- how do I even be-GIN to answer that. It is so much more than like a yard sale, garage sale, tag sale, odd-n-ends sale, estate sale, flea market, swap meet.
A rummage sale is, in its most beautiful form: sociological entertainment. Call your bestie, pour the coffee, pull up two lawn chairs, and have at it with the people-watching and whispering as you identify the rummage sale types.
City Mice: "So, do you make any money?"
Country Mouse: "Do I make any money? I just shove it in an envelope. With three kids, I just want to clear my house out and once it's out of the house it's not going back in -- what I don't sell, I pack up and drive to a Goodwill donation center. No, the money is just a fringe benefit. I do it for the people that come."
How does someone explain that it's the past time of sitting in your driveway and being an expert in the art of rummageology that you look forward to.
To sit and identify the Early Bird, the Cut Throat, the Price Tag Switcher, the Hoarder, the Snubber, the Yard Sale Addict, the Cheap Mom, the Yapper, the ReSeller, the Swap Meet of His Own Coming Up, the Professional, the Casual, the Haggler, the Negotiator, the Distracter, the Nosy Neighbor, the Lean Out The Car Window Scoper, the Scout, the Nothing Smaller Than a Hundred, the Appraiser, the Trained Eye, the Five Finger Discounter, the Antiques Roadshow Hopeful; that's where the fun is.
It's all of that. And at the end of the day, being able to take everyone out for pizza with the dollars you've made after your closets have been filtered down, to talk about the woman in the black wool coat and even blacker head scarf on a 90 degree day who went crazy over your gallon size plastic bag full of baby socks, $5 for the whole bunch: priceless.
And that's how we do it, in Wisconsin. Pass the cheddar and don't look now but I think I see a Yapper coming.
|"Yah, hey...I said 25 cents EACH not 25 cents ALL...cripes."|
**To learn more about the amazing interesting live story telling of The Moth, click here.