Saturday, June 5, 2010

Is it a Deal, or not?

My brother-in-law called to tell me that today was their neighborhood's yearly (huge) garage sale. He knew that I have been looking for a new kitchen table and I decided to drive by just in case I saw The Perfect Table for sale.

I drove over and left my three younger kids with him while he sat outside his garage selling his things and watching his own four small children. My sister-in-law offered to come with me and show me the best streets to look for sales.

Initially, I felt solid and relaxed, but quickly things unraveled. Actually, it was terrible. Really. There were so many good deals. This was a huge, family (and nice) neighborhood and there were multiple garage sales down every street. I soon felt somewhat frenzied and not at all like myself.

I completely lost sight of my goal.
Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer & Stroll® Trike
I bought so many things that I would have been perfectly happy with-out. My car was crammed with cool toys, fancy dinner plates (like the link below, but in a cool orange color), a trike with a handle to push for my 2-year old, an art easel, etc. etc. etc. - I had to leave the larger pieces of furniture in my in-laws' garage.

Creative Converting 9" Square Paper Dinner Plates, Fresh Lime Color, 18-Count Packages (Pack of 5)
So, I am now feeling, not only totally embarrassed by my apparently uncontrollable behavior, but completely irresponsible, yet also somewhat innocent, as I truly don't know what came over me.

I could not say no to the deals, even the not-so-good ones. At one point I started racking my brain trying to think of who I knew that could use the things that I had absolutely no use for, but that were a great deal. Even after I finally relieved my brother-in-law from kid duty and was driving home, having way overspent, I felt like I could not physically exit the neighborhood without stopping a few more times. Every street I went down had more (wonderful and luring) garage sales.

I have many friends who love to go to garage sales on Saturdays, and actually do save a lot of money. (This is desirable for me, as a wife of a medical resident and mother of four. Really desirable.) I, however, now know that that will never be the case with me. I will always overspend. I will not save. I will only be able to stop buying the low-priced, used items (particularly those that I don't even need) after I have overindulged, and, it is too late.

When I arrived back at my mother-in-law's and told her about it, she said, "Isn't there a saying like, 'If you didn't need it in the first place, then it wasn't a deal'?"

I laughed. Yep.

Then, later, I told my mom about it. She said, "Oh, that sounds like so much fun!" And it hit me: my mom loves a good deal. Finding deals is a huge stress release for her, so she searches for (and finds) them often. And so, I have decided that this is genetic. Totally genetic. And, therefore, I am innocent. This is my case; hopefully it will lighten the sentence my husband gives me when he discovers not only how much I spent today, but more particularly, what I spent it on.


cheri said...

i also love a good bargain, but i take so much time looking for a BETTER bargain that i end up not buying anything.

Jen said...

Oh I can SO relate! Rummage sales are HUGE here in Milwaukee. I somehow ended up with a backpack carrier last week despite having just bought one at REI the week before simply because it was a good deal. I have now banished myself from anymore rummage sales. I think your mother-in-law is onto something. However, your mom's response was classic- I think it is genetic so we are innocent :)

Barb's blessings said...

We must be related. Maybe you can sell some of it on Craig's list. it's not so dangerous as a good garage sale because they come to you and you usually just buy one thing at a time. I scored a motorized wheelchair for Kent for nothing last year on Craig's list.

Thanks for making me laugh and for being so brutally honest with yourself.

Love ya,


Britt-Marie said...

I am the exact same. I am drawn to the clearance shelf/rack at the store and can't help myself. Seriously, if I can't use it I try to think of someone who could. :P And I know I get it from my mom, to some extent, too.