As most of the world knows by now, I hate going to a dentist. However, I recently decided I’d rather undergo three root canals in one day than hold another rummage sale.

I like attending rummage sales. Years ago, when I was much younger and still had a multitude of brain cells, I actually held a few sales. (I prefer the term “rummage,” because I never wanted to sell my garage or our yard.)

Last month, after many years of sale abstinence, I decided to once again try to sell my abundant supply of rummage. I put an ad in the newspaper, which started out like this: “I-hate-rummage-sales-woman is holding a huge rummage sale.”

Due to many circumstances, including waiting for decent weather, my hubby and I ended up holding our sale much later in the year than planned. That’s why our ad ended with the words, “In case of snow, bring your own shovel.” (Some of our “customers’ mentioned my creative ad and how much they enjoyed it.)

As our sale progressed, it didn’t take long for me to remember why I dislike (a.k.a. hate) putting on rummage sales. For instance, people bargaining for “bigger” bargains drives me crazy.

I priced my slightly used, KitchenAid steel roasting pan, with rack, at $15. (It’s usually sells for $39.99, plus tax.) A man offered me $3. (Groan.) I politely declined the money and later donated the pan to a Salvation Army resale store.

What I hate even worse is when someone picks up an item priced at 50 cents and offers a nickel.

My brother, who recently moved to Oklahoma, gave us a few boxes full of his leftover, estate sale “treasures” to try to sell at our sale. One item was a large, oilcloth tablecloth with white snowflakes printed on a red background. I considered buying it myself, but I decided to wait and see if someone else wanted to purchase it.

Later that day, a woman walked up to me carrying that tablecloth.

“How much is this?” she asked, with a slight frown on her face.

I forgot to price that item, so I paused for a few seconds before saying, “How about $3?”

The woman frowned and snapped, “I can buy this new in a store for less than that.”

I was taken aback for a moment, then smiled and said, “How about $2?”

The woman’s frown expanded, and she retorted, “I can still buy it in a store for less than that.”

  • Thoughts of violence entered my mind. I should have said, “Then why don’t you go to a #$@&%store and buy the &%$#@ tablecloth there!”

I took a deep breath and calmly said, “I think I’ll keep it for myself.”

That night, I told my husband if I even mentioned the possibility of holding another rummage sale, he better —. Thoughts of violence again came to mind.

Leanne Lippincott-Wuerthele, a native of Milton, who has lived in Minnesota and Iowa, has been writing Sunny Side Up for about 40 years. A graduate of Milton Union High School and Milton College, she has written four books. She has two children, three stepchildren, and a blended family that includes 11 grandkids.

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