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A Sinner’s Tale


I was already so late for the potluck that my contribution had required a stop at the grocery store for a deli-made salad (that looked better than anything I would have made) and a disposable pot-luck container to cover my tracks, so I felt more than a little guilty about even being tempted to stop.  But ye without sin can cast the first salad tong.

In my defense, there was a six foot banner hanging from the extended arm of the utility truck’s cherry picker advertising the sale, so there was no way I would be able to pass it twice without stopping. I restrained myself on the way out, but as the banner came into view on the way home, I decided it was a sign (a pretty good one too – there was no way you could miss it).  What happened next is a blur. I pulled over to park at the end of a line of cars.

The garage sale was a garage sale in name only.  In reality it was a three-barns-full-of-pretty-cool-stuff-I-aboslutely-didn’t-need-sale. My palms began to sweat as I walked up the driveway lined with furniture in reasonably good condition.

Now, our house needs more furniture like it needs a pet-door for our house-mouse population, but that didn’t keep my bargain antennae from quivering as I noticed a breakfast table and chairs for an outrageously good price (cherry or something like that, 4 chairs and pedestal table for $150 – not bad, right).   Obviously we have a perfectly good breakfast table, but I knew a reasonably-priced something-we-might-need-if-our-concrete-house was about to pop up on my radar.

And there it was – a sinful red velveteen loveseat for my studio (Virginia never mentioned how calling that room of your own a studio could cause you to go mad with power).  It had kind of a bohemian look that would completely clash with the rest of the room, and I loved it.  I began trying to figure out how to get it on top of my car without collapsing the ceiling and then I remembered help would be needed at the end and how happy the Big Guy was the last time I rolled down the driveway with a two-ton ten-dollar tag sale find that only needed a little TLC (stripping, sanding and staining) strapped to the top of my newly-dented minivan.  The couch would be as big a hit as a new puppy.

Then I remembered what I really needed was an easel – something that was clearly absent from this garage sale to end all garage sales.  And, oh yeah, I was late. Getting my heart palpitations under control, I stuffed my hands in my pockets and sauntered to the car feeling slightly less out-of-control, my rooftop clear and my conscience only slightly dented.