I feel like my personalities change with the seasons.
Like, in the spring, Andy knows it’s time for Self-Reflective Brittany who wants to do things like try out a new religion or host an exchange student. I’m pretty sure Jesus was reborn during this time, so I’m like, let’s start meditating and opening our home to foreign teenagers to show them how awesome America is!
When summer rolls around, Self-Reflective Brittany is replaced with Bitter Cynical Brittany who feels sweaty and bloated all the time, hates her thighs and wishes Ohio would die in a fire. Ohio annoys everything, like my hair and elections, why do we even live here?
Thankfully, just as I am running out of thigh deodorant and four seconds from Miley Cyrus’ing my hair, fall rushes in like a giant Xanax. I feel aired out and slightly less suicidal, and suddenly Jillian Michaels Brittany shows up. Not like, the work-out kind of Jillian Michaels, but like, if Jillian Michaels was just super passionate about eating cold weather food, sweaters and decorating her house like the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine that you roll your eyes paying $10 for. Look at all these amazing ideas on Pinterest, my house is going to look amazing and not at all like three kids live here and everything is sticky!
Oh yeah, and Winter Brittany is kinda a blur, it’s mostly just me, driving around in my car singing Christmas Carols, drinking McDonald’s hot chocolate and eating frosting from the tub. It’s magical.
But for now, we’ll focus on Fall Brittany. Fall Brittany has recently become intrigued with the concept of garage sales. Which sounds like a fairly benign discovery, but for me, it’s a big deal. My anxiety is often triggered by feeling overwhelmed. Add to that my general distaste for having to dig through items lots of people touch, and yeah…. I can barely even shop at Kohls.
I own lots of quirky art, but I’m dying to get some really cool furniture pieces to fill my house, and also fit with my I’m mostly broke budget. But, if you go to the store, all the shelves and tables and credenzas and hutches are made of this weird cheapo wood substitute that lasts exactly three hours in my house until someone scuffs up the fake realistic finish and it’s ruined for life.
IT’S LIKE WE LIVE IN LORAX TIMES. WHERE ARE THE FUCKING TREES, DUDE!?
I mean, there are some crazy gorgeous real wood options at places like Pottery Barn or Anthropology or Crate & Barrel, and I would love to buy them all, just let me dip into this here ice bath for a good old fashioned organ harvesting.
So my options seem to be, 1. Wait for someone old to die and leave me all their furniture, or 2. Find some cool pre-owned pieces at garage sales.
The last few weeks I’ve been trolling around in my truck, listening to NPR and looking for the perfect deal. I feel like what separates me from those weirdos who go to garage sales to sift through people’s personal belongings and haggle over old VHS tapes, is that I do it listening to NPR, wearing hipster glasses, and making that face Edward makes when he’s reading Jacob’s mind when he’s a werewolf and can’t use words. So you, know, like pensive and probably troubled but also really chill and mysterious.
Regardless, I’ve learned a lot of things on my garage sale journey.
1. Clothing garage sales suck. No offense, but it’s super disappointing to GPS my ass out to your BIG MASSIVE MULTI-FAMILY OMG SALE EXTRAVAGANZA only to find it’s tables and tables of clothes. So if you see a silver truck driving by real slow and creepy-like, it’s me, scoping out your sale, making sure I’m not being Rick-Rolled by garment racks of your old prom dresses.
2. People sell gross shit at garage sales. Potty chairs, lingerie, boxers, jock straps, Avon, tooth brushes, half used bottles of lotions and/or massage oils. If you have these things and are wondering if maybe you could sell them to the general public, the answer is VOMIT.
3. Some people have garage sales not in garages. Like, I show up and I’m all, where’s the garage sale, and they’re all, it’s in the house help yourself? That’s a problem. It feels both rapey and like a robbery. I would love for your garage sale to be either in your open, well lit garage, or better yet, in your yard so we can avoid the awkward is this for sale or not dance.
Is this for sale?
No, sorry, it’s not for sale.
But it’s in the garage with all these other things for sale?
Right, I mean, it’s still my garage, so I store things in here, but it’s not for sale.
I’m just saying, it’s rude to tease people with better things in here that aren’t for sale, next to all the crap that is for sale.
4. People try to make eye contact with you while you judge their personal belongings. It feels uncomfortable and it’s how you get bullied into shame-purchasing their grandmother’s wedding night sheets. Honestly, I would prefer no personal contact at all. Like, it’d be awesome if you could just watch me through a series of webcams from your house, and I could pay you through one of those rad Zoltar machines from the movie Big.
5. Related: There is nothing more awkward than buying something legitimately for sale, then having to stand there like an asshole while I watch you pry said item from your screaming kid’s hands, and I walk away with it while your child runs after me scream-crying like Bernice chasing after her daddy in Hope Floats.
But, it wasn’t all used make-up and dirty coffee mugs. Three weeks and $105 later, I’ve been able to find some actual wood pieces I’m really excited to refinish.
Last night after the kids fell asleep, we settled in for a PawnPickersStorageHoardersWars marathon. We had just gotten to my favorite part of Hoarders, when the professional enters the hoard for the first time and is like, the fuck?! And then the homeowner is all, I don’t know what happened, I just bought a few things at a couple garage sales?
You hear that?
Maybe they just got overwhelmed by their Pinterest boards?
We’re one box of free kittens away from being on this show.
Chill out Andy, Fall Brittany thinks you need to embrace her frugal burst of creativity that’s saving you thousands of Non-Pottery Barn dollars and making our house super cute.
Sure, he acts annoyed, but I think he’s secretly psyched about my finds, I mean, look at the way his nostrils flare when he realizes he can’t fit his car in the garage anymore!