Saturday, September 19, 2009

The RETURN of Stuff I Don't Get

Ahh, there are so many things in life I don't get. The list just keeps getting longer and longer. Why do I have so many questions? Maybe every time I hear an answer, I form a new question in my mind. Who knows?

So, here's the first thing I don't get: garage sales
When I go to a garage sale, why oh WHY do people put all their crap out and then mark NONE of it? Is this really what they consider a good way to make a sale? To force people to ask, "Excuse me, how much is this used foot bath?" or "How much is this bag of seashells?" or "What will you take for this giant box of Christmas lights? And do they even work?"

This might just be a Texas thing. Every other place I've lived, it is the accepted practice that you mark all items with neon stickers or a piece of masking tape with the price written on it in Sharpie Marker. I mean, who really comes to a garage sale because they prefer second-hand stuff over new stuff? Personally, I do it because I want to find a good deal. And how can I do that if NOTHING IS MARKED????

I get that sometimes a garage sale is a last-minute venture, and getting those old t-shirts and Christmas tchotchkes out for sale at the crack of dawn is important. But, while the sale is going on, how hard would it be to walk around and stick some stickers on the things you don't want to just dump in the trash can???

And, while we're on the subject of garage sales (as I am having one with my friend this weekend), why in the world do people always try to get stuff for cheaper than it's marked, no matter HOW CHEAP it's already marked. Got a practically brand-new coffee maker marked for $5? Sure, offer me $3. Because, you know, I enjoy storing all my shit for 6 months, and setting it all out on a table, and giving up an entire Saturday to sit in the questionable weather, and then getting as little money as I can for it. I mean, I've already tried to price things low enough for exactly this reason, to avoid the haggling, but whatever.

Okay, onto the second thing I don't get: TP'ing.
Yes, I understand the concept of TP'ing. That ritual was in practice long before I ever hit puberty. But when I was a kid, TP'ing someone's house was an act of defiance. Usually it involved sneaking out of a friend's house during a sleepover party, stealing toilet paper from a gas station's restroom, and moving quietly in the very dark night to avoid getting caught. This prank was usually pulled on someone who you didn't like, or (more likely) someone rumored to like the same guy YOU liked, even though he'd never given either one of you the time of day.

But, nowadays, it seems that TP'ing is just considered a rite of passage (and on a separate note, do you think it's "rite" (like ritual) or "right" (like justified claim)?), and so many parents want to witness/allow/encourage that rite of passage. I DON'T GET THAT!

I read this question on a mom site that I subscribe to:
I have a 14 year old son who is dying to T.P. (toilet paper) a friends house. He's asked me for permission. As a mom, I'm torn. I was allowed to do this when I was a teenager. He's asking for permission instead of sneaking around or out. Do I let him have some innocent fun and appreciate he asked first or tell him "no" as my husband's point of few is that it's vandalism. Although he feels that way, he really doesn't care either way. Any thoughts would really be appreciated.

I was shocked at some of the responses. Yes, I'd say, it's certainly something I did as a child. But, I also did things like drank beer before the age of 21 and shoplifted a lipstick or two. I was even so bold as to take my parent's car out at the age of 15 (with no learner's permit). But neither did I tell my parents about these acts nor did they approve them. If they HAD known, I am not sure I would have reached adulthood. Just kidding. But anyway, I'd agree with people who say TP'ing is harmless. It's a pain in the butt to clean up, but it is harmless. BUT it's just one small step away from egging someone's house or car (VERY destructive) or putting shaving cream on their windows (can be destructive), or knocking over their mailbox (definitely destructive).

Around here, the kids will TP someone's house, then go back the next day to help clean it up. That REALLY makes me ask the question, What. The. Hell? You have got to be kidding me. Isn't that the whole point of TP'ing? That the person who gets TP'ed has to clean it up, and it's a pain the butt? Why would you purposefully TP someone's house, then CLEAN IT UP YOURSELF??? WHERE'S THE FUN IN THAT?????

Am I just too old to understand?

(If you want to read the original question and all 140 responses, go here.)

As a funny side note, I have to tell you about an experience I had earlier this week. As my kids were standing down at the corner, waiting for the bus to come, another kid (I'll call him Bobby 'cuz you all know how much I love King Of The Hill) asks me, "Have you ever been ding-dong-ditched?" To which I respond, "Oh yeah, that happens all the time. It's kind of annoying because sometimes the baby is sleeping and it wakes her up." So Bobby says, "Yeah, one time my sister ding-dong-ditched you. She said that you came out of your front door with a flashlight and said, 'I know where you are!'" I just had to laugh... I couldn't remember doing that but it didn't surprise me that I had.

I guess I'm officially the meany old lady on the block. Wear the badge with pride, I say.


StaceyC4 said...

Glad to know that I'm not the only one who does NOT enjoy setting up crap before the sun comes up in hopes of making less than $20!

jori-o said...

Regarding the whiole TPing thing--

Around here, while it's a pain to clean up and all, it's done as kind of a compliment. Like, if people LIKE you they TP you, and then yes, come by to help clean it up the next day. I guess kind of like how you tease the ones you love?? Anyhow, it's never been considered malicious. Mean is scattering rice all over the lawn before the sprinklers come on (or so I've heard). =)

Jennifer said...

I think now it is seen as more of a practical joke to pull on a friend than a prank on someone you don't like, which would explain helping with the clean up. I'm sure all of the parents would freak and put a quick end to the fun if everyone didn't pitch in to help out.

Foursons said...

You just helped me to walk down memory lane. :)

But, I do price my stuff at garage sales and I hate when people haggle. For that reason, I price it high to begin with. Some people are so cheap!

Jen said...

garage sales scare me. I won't touch one with a ten foot poll.

Vicki said...

I purposely told my mom to price her stuff higher than she wanted it for this very reason. Every single person negotiated. I felt like I was at a used car dealership

Anna See said...

You go, Texan Mama!

I got annoyed at my last garage sale with the haggling.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

When I was a kid, TP'ing was a harmless prank that we usually pulled on people we liked, that we also knew would take it the right way.

The fact that your boy asked permission says alot about him . . . and about you. Good job.

Wendy said...

Ding-dong-ditched? I'm so glad there's a way to say that that is acceptable. I didn't know of one until just now.

If I was that kid's mom I would have let him. He's going to do it anyway, and better that you know.

Two the absolute best, most awesome kids I know got into this sort of hijinks ALL the time. The daughter got brought home by the police once for it, and her parents were all serious to the cop but they thought it was hilarious. Their kids are amazing, Christian people raising awesome kids of their own. Their parents are true role models.

It's just tp-ing. Not drugs. I don't think tp-ing is a gateway to heroin. Or even real vandalism. I went with some kids to do this once & we got blamed for some egging that went on that night - and I was SO mad. I never would have egged anything. Whipped cream under door handles? YEAH. Rice krispies all over the porch? Woo-hoo! Eggs or any other type of vandalism? NO WAY.

Wendy said...

I meant to add...

I think we do our kids a real disservice when we spend too much time freaking out about this type of thing.

My parents did, and the only thing it did was make me more rebellious and angry with them.

Michelle said...

I have had garage sales both ways but not marking everything saves hours upon hours of time. Usually people offer you a lower price anyways, especially where I used to live.

TPing, I never did it as a kid. If my kid asked permission and then cleaned it up I would probably let them do it. I seems stupid but lots of fun things are stupid like silly string and water balloon fights.

MommaDJane said...

Okay first I must admit I am that horrible garage sale lady! I had a garage sale, first time in years last month and didn't price anything. Yes I said it, oops. I just threw the crap out there and to be honest I didn't know what to price it nor did I care. I wanted it to clear out and was willing to accept just about anything for it too. I'm so wrong, I know!

Karly said...

I never try to haggle at garage sales. I'm too embarrassed to talk someone down when it's already priced so cheap! And if there's no price tags? I leave.

Ha. I say all that like I'm some big garage sale person, when in fact, I've been to a total of ONE garage sale this summer and that was only because it was directly across the street from my house.

I'm too lazy for garage sales. Stuff is easier to find in the store. And it's shiny there.