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.
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.
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.