Monday, October 1, 2007

The day I got the American Girl dolls....

One day, during the summer, I believe, I went to an estate sale.

My idea of a perfect sale is one held at the home of some little pack rat lady who had children during the 50s, 60s or 70s. I always hope that the little pack rat lady taught her kids to take good care of their obscure toys and perhaps store them in their original packaging. If that mother collected, but never used, funky fabric, table cloths, and other linens I am happy.

Just walking into a junky old house, and smelling the dusty, slightly moldy smell and seeing pile up on pile of accumulated decades of merchandise makes me tingle all over.

So the moment I walked into this particular sale, I was sure I would hate it. I could tell the lady of the house was only about 5 years older than I was. It was a divorce/moving sale. I wandered around looking at the overpriced souvenirs from Mexico, the surly teenager selling her clothes in her room for one dollar less than she paid at Abercrombie and Fitch. But then I walked upstairs. There were the sisters' toys spread around the room in piles. And lo and behold there were four American Girl dolls lying on the floor.

The lady of the house was not conducting the sale, her best friend was. Unfortunately for the homeowner, her best friend had never bought an American Girl doll. I asked friend how much she wanted for the dolls. She said, "name a price". So I said ten bucks, thinking it was per doll. She said yes, that I could have THEM for ten bucks. So I scooped them up and made to leave. And I found that my wallet was plum empty. I asked if I could rush to the cash machine about a quarter mile away. The friend said sure, and that if I was lucky the homeowner would be at the house by the time I got back.

I have never driven more quickly to an ATM machine in my life. I got the cash, drove back like a demon, and bought those dolls. Four dolls for ten bucks. And I left as quickly as possible.

I went back later (two times) to get armfulls of clothes and furniture. And later I sold those dolls, beds, dresses, costumes, desks and related goodies on eBay. And that made the rotten divorce/moving sale my best estate sale ever.

But I still like the old lady houses better.

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