Wednesday, August 31, 2011

trash to treasure to trash

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That is why garage sales, yard sales, and rummage sales are so popular. When we decide to clear the clutter from our overstuffed homes what better way than to offer that trash,er, treasure for sale to anyone seeking a bargain.

Even though we no longer feel a need for those once indispensable gimcracks and gadgets, someone else just might. That is our hope when we apply a value to those objects and place them on the driveway for passersby to notice and instantly covet. If we guess right about the value of that old can opener or set of jelly glasses we will make a sale and the buyer will leave thinking what a great deal she just got. The fact that that can opener and those jelly glasses will become objects for sale at her own rummage sale next year never enters the equation.

But what happens to those things that for some odd reason nobody seems to want at any price? There is nothing as forlorn as leftovers from a rummage sale. Those pathetic little unwanted bits and pieces of our history suddenly become valueless, destined for the trash bin. A couple hours earlier they were proudly on display with price tags that only hinted at their real value. Now they are deemed detritus headed for the landfill, stripped of any value, odd little curiosities of accumulation.

I had such a rummage sale this past weekend. I made $41.50 selling bits and pieces of junk that I had no more use for. I did my best to con people into thinking that they needed that stuff even though I clearly didn’t. Some of the stuff that I thought people would be fighting over barely rated a cursory glance from the bargain hunters on the prowl. Other things that I included in the mix of doodads and kitsch that I considered space fillers were snapped up like golden nuggets in a prospector’s pan.

What do we do with all those things that nobody wants at any price. Do we try to give the stuff away, donate it to some charitable organization? It seems somehow dishonest to dump those leftovers that no one will buy onto someone else so that the disposal problem becomes theirs. All I know is that I want those once valued treasures now turned to junk out of my life.
It’s nice to free up the space that was once filled with all that unwanted clutter.

Now I will have room for all those treasures that I will find at the rummage sale down the street.

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