When I lived in the New York area, we called them tag sales. In Florida, everybody used the term “garage sales.” But here in Santa Barbara? The merchandise may be sitting outside a garage and it will definitely have tags on it, but – make no mistake – it’s being offered at an estate sale. Even if nobody died and there’s no estate being liquidated. Even if the house is modest and “estate” would be exaggerating. Even if the stuff being sold includes an old Frisbee. It’s an “estate sale” because that’s how you get people to come – people who would otherwise be spending a sunny weekend afternoon playing golf or tennis.
Why am I bringing this up? A friend was having an estate sale yesterday and I went. And let me tell you I enjoyed myself immensely. I don’t know what it is about sifting through other people’s belongings, but I could have stayed there for hours. She had clothes, shoes, dishes, antique furnishings, luggage, you name it – all the more enticing because this particular friend has beautiful taste.
Poor Michael. He came along with me because I’d told him our friend was selling camera equipment and an Apple computer monitor, which was true. But he was ready to leave after two minutes and ended up having to watch me hold up a china platter and a copper pot and a wicker basket and say about each, “What do you think? Should we get this?” In every case, he nodded and said, “Can we go now?”
We couldn’t go. I was on a mission to look at anything and everything for fear of missing some gem. When I spotted a fabulous looking sweater/coat hanging on a rack, I practically attacked it.
“What do you think?” I asked Michael as I modeled it. “Should I get this?”
“Yeah. It’s nice.”
“I’m serious. You don’t think it’s too big on me?”
“You sure? It’s kind of long.”
“What about the buttons? I could change them.”
Okay, I need to mention that he wasn’t even looking at me or the garment or its buttons. He was studying his watch – avidly.
I bought the sweater/coat and a couple of other items and went home. The best part? The bargains. I’d forgotten how much I love a bargain.