Sunday, February 28, 2010

Estate Sale SNAFU

hey y'all,

not feeling up to a full-blown day of junkin' with my buds, i ventured out saturday morning, solo. mainly i wanted to hit an estate sale in town and then if my foot was behaving, maybe a yard sale or two.

as it happens, it was a gorgeous day, weather-wise for sales. drivin' along ... to an estate sale on a sunny saturday morning ... with a full cup of ice and a loaded tube of blistex. life is good.

then i got lost. in. my. home. town. arghhh. i thought i knew where i was going, but apparently, they moved some streets around without my knowledge or approval (note to self: send disgruntled email to city planner's office with a cc to entire city council and mayor).

thank God for my iphone GPS. i pulled over and typed in the address of estate sale. sure enough, i was in the general vicinity but had to do a little backtracking. no problem. here i go. just follow the blue flashing dot (me and my camry) to the house with the red push-pin sticking in the roof.

technology is amazing, no?

having recovered from my short-lived mis-directional debacle, i arrived (at destination!) with my good humor still intact. the sale was busy so i had to park a couple of houses down. no bother! i took it as a good sign (signs are extremely important to those of us who suffer from {or enjoy} our OCD-ish-ness. example: if i make it up to the front porch before a white truck passes by, then it'll be a good sale ... OR my childhood fave ... if i jump up and down three times and say praise the Lord, i will have a good piano lesson ... never mind that i didn't practice a lick all week).

a quick check in the mirror for facial imperfections (you girls know what i'm talkin' about ... smudged mascara, stray eyelashes), a last minute swipe of my lips with blistex, folding money stuffed into my jeans pocket and i'm finally ready to hit the sale.

the girl, she is excited!!

no sooner than i had stepped through the threshold of the front door, i hear a woman's booming voice: "hey!!! aren't you **** *******'s ex-wife?!"

how lovely. and such a proper way to greet customers at your estate sale. invoking my ex's name and referring to me as his ex-wife does not ... i repeat ... does NOT endear me to people.

trust me on this. having lived in this town for all of my 48 years, i expect to see folks i know (or sort of know) everywhere i go. it's just the way it is. and having been married to the ex for 20-something years and having procreated three children from said marriage, i know it's difficult for some people to separate us in their little ol' minds. i suppose i should be thankful she called me the "ex-wife".

but my point here is this: i'm not somebody's ex-wife. i'm ME. terry lee. never mind that i'm also married to. someone. else!!! if people want to call me ****'s ex-wife in the privacy of their own homes (but really, don't they have anything better to discuss than ME?!), fine. but honest-to-God, i wish they'd stop addressing me as such, to my face.

sheesh. how rude.

my reply to this woman? "guilty as charged."

unfortunately, my response was not off-putting enough, as she proceeded to ask me about the ex's family ... is so and so still married to so and so?! blah blah blah.

i suppose you might think i'm overreacting. and if it only happened a time or two, i would agree. but this happens quite often and believe me, it's enough to make me want to pull up stakes (we live in a circus tent) and skip town.

all of this was upsetting, sure, but as a veteran junker and estate sale connoisseur, i was not going to let this lady deter me from finding a waiting treasure/bargain.

when i finally shed myself of this woman, i could see there were some nifty pieces in this house. was truly hoping for the sewing machine that was advertised, but no, some early bird got that worm. instead, i found a box full of sewing patterns for $1. they're old and i love 'em. will repurpose them (in crafts, etc) since i have neither a sewing machine nor sewing skills.

a fairly large mirror for $3, which i'll paint or decoupage

also found a pink contortionist lamp. i don't know what it's actually called, but it bends and turns all sorts of ways. sadly, the base is missing which is probably why it was only $1 ... and still there. prudently, i plugged her in and sure enough, she worked!

love that it's pink ... hope i can figure out a way to stabilize it.

while in one of the bedrooms, playing with the lamp, the other sales lady came back to check on me. presumably to make sure i wasn't stuffing items down my pants or in my jacket.

however, she opened up with, "i wanted that lamp. i'm an artist ... i paint ... and it would be great in my studio."

"oh really? you're an artist! how wonderful. i wish i could do that."

"you could take lessons, you know! they have classes at the senior citizens' center for people 55 and older."

(surely she's not thinking what i think she's thinking ...)

"ha ha. well, i'm not quite 55," i say, jokingly.

"oh, i bet they'd let you in," she replies. with. a straight. face.

and that was when i decided it was time to get me and my 48 year old arse out of estate sale hell. my emotional trauma meter (ETM) was maxed out. sigh.

one more quick item of interest. matt and i hit a friday estate sale. came away with only one item, but it's a beaut. in fact, my favorite find of the weekend. a personal hand-made collage that was made by the owner of the house (now deceased). i fell in love with it as soon as i laid eyes on it.

it's larger than it appears in this pic. to think of all the hours, thought and love put into this piece ... it's a shame someone in the family didn't want it. sold to me for a mere $2.

i spoke to the adult son, who was running the sale, to get a back story on it. his father and stepmother lived in the san francisco area in the early 70s. she made this collage of bits and pieces, memorabilia from their days in california. it's on canvas and you can spend hours looking at it and still won't see everything.

hand written receipt dated 1971, among other memorabilia

chopsticks still in wrapper, from local restaurant in china town

i like to think she (the collage-maker) realized the juxtaposition here ... "anti-marriage revolution" article under the engagement ring advert.

"your size a problem? it needn't be! just discover the elegant elephant!" what the what?!?!

having been on holiday in san francisco with hubby a few years ago (and loving these types of collages) it had special meaning to me. it wasn't until the next day that i noticed an old postcard from a holiday inn in SF on the collage. i couldn't believe it!! the same hotel (on van ness blvd.) that we stayed in!!

the hotel pictured here is where hubby and i stayed in SF. love the connection!

love and hugs to y'all!
terry lee

tooooo sweet vintage cigarette case with girl and cat on one side ...

... and boy with dog on the other.

gorgeous crocheted pieces, pink and yellow. nice and springy! the lil mirror is very heavy with lovely ornate frame which i'll paint, of course.


Library Lady said...

Another great posting! I loved the over 55 comment. Reminds me of the time I got a senior citizen's discount without even knowing it. When I paid the bill, I saw the cashier had taken off 10%. WTF?!? I just let that one ride...

I'd be interested to know who the old ding-bat was who mentioned the x. Anyone I know?

And HITH can you keep up with all of x's siblings and their numerous marriage faux pas?
Each one has been married at least three times and has so many mealy-mouthed brats that they make The Old Woman in the Shoe look barren. Heh, heh.

Your finds are great. I do believe the collage is THE BEST find of the weekend.

The artist woman...thought she was going to ask you to give up your lamp. Perhaps you should have parried with, "Yep. It'll look great in MY studio, too," flashing her a little Terry Lee smile that would singe her flesh.


You know "The One" I mean, Terry!

Love you, Little Sis!
Big Sis

Dana said...

HI Terry Lee, as always I enjoyed reading your blog. I love the pink lamp-surely you will find a way to make it functional. The cigarette case is awesome-I've never seen one like that. The collage must be so fun to look at. I will be on the lookout for a sewing machine for you. My ETM is off the charts that's why I've been MIA. NEED. A. TERRYLEE. JUNKING. TRIP. A.S.A.P.! Hugs to ya girlie!

Jamie said...

Great finds! on the rude people. Isn't that the kicker of everyone knowing everyone? I go through that back home...maybe that explains why I live so far away! LOL

UK Vintage said...

This post is just really great to read and nice to know that many really do love vintage things / style.

vintagesue said...

hey....aren't you the ex-junker of the ex-wife's husband's cousin's god-father's paternal son's second cousin's yard sale loving brother's husband? right. i thought you were. where do you live now? are you retired? do you stay at the senior center apartments where they sell art made from macaroni and old clothespins? hmmmmm. you look familiar.
lord terry lee, you poor thing. good thing is, i know you as terry lee.....just plain terry lee. that is who you are to me!!!! and a very funny, young looking, talented and awesome estate sale customer and friend!!!
love the big collage. what a find. you need to watch american pickers and go junking with those guys!!! they would adore you.
take care

libbyquilter said...

you are too funny~!!~ and i think that you should write a script for a movie based on your wild and funny junking adventures (obviously a comedy~!). lol


p.s. amazing collage and obviously a fate thing~!~