August 14, 2006


Have you heard about the phenomenon they talk about in birthing circles? The one called labor amnesia?

The way the story goes is this: Labor is hard and long and painful, but once it's over and you see your beautiful baby it all goes away.

I think there's a little truth to the story. I didn't forget my pain right away. I surely did love that new little baby and was filled with amazement when I saw each one the first time, but I was also shuddering from the sheer exertion, weak from the pain. It took weeks (months) for me to forget my labors, but though my mother would faint and my husband would laugh outloud, if you asked me today I'd say Oh, it wasn't that bad. I could do it again. Hear that? Fainting and laughing going on as we speak.

In any case, this post is not about birthing or babies or labor. Well, it is about labor a little.

My mother and I are suffering from garage sale amnesia.

Three summers ago we cleaned every cupboard, every closet, every nook, every dusty cranny in our respective homes. We hauled boxes and set up tables and sorted and cleaned and ironed and improvised and had us a whopping garage sale. We creatively priced things by table: $1 table, a 50 cent table, etc. We put everything out neatly in my backyard and waited for customers to come and line our pockets with their quarters and dimes. We had customers, but they weren't parting with their money, weren't relieving us of our goods. Late in the first afternoon, we shifted all of our signs down. The dollar table became 75 cents, the 50 cent table 25 cents, and the 25 cent table? FREE. Even then, with our drastically reduced prices, our treasures remained. We couldn't even give our stuff away. (Which is what we eventually ended up doing -- one gigantic truckload to the charity secondhand store and we were done.) What did we earn for our weeks of work, our three days in the hot sun? Me, $80. Her, slightly more.

NEVER AGAIN! we proclaimed. NO MORE GARAGE SALES! But the sneaky garage sale amnesia set in, the same phenomenon that lets second and third and fourth babies be born. First, we joked about it. The the joking got more serious, and suddenly today we found ourselves in her garage surrounded by all of our stuff. I made the tough decision to part with my baby goods, she's got beautiful clothes that she can no longer wear because she's so darn thin and good looking now.

I'm beginning to wonder what we got ourselves into, she said today. I agreed.

Garage sale amnesia. It'll get you everytime.


Blogger Margaret said...

I'm with you. I hate the garage sales. I have all that stuff down in my basement priced and ready to sell, yet I haven't done it yet.

(After today's waterlogged basement situation it's all a bit damp now.)

August 14, 2006 10:34 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...


I did that last year.

And I am considering doing it again next year.

What am I thinking.

August 15, 2006 8:10 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I can think of a few more types of amnesia. How about forgetting that last year you said, "We're not going to overspend on the kids for Christmas next year."
To Love, Honor and Dismay

August 15, 2006 12:43 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

i gave up on garage sales, but i certainly have consignment shop amnesia. hanging, tagging, considering prices, carting it to be approved or humiliatingly discarded as workthless by consignment shop personnel... only to be rewarded with 19$ (when the projected worthof those 20 pieces of clothing was something more like 200$)

no hot sun though, gotta give you that.

August 16, 2006 4:30 AM  

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