Sunday, June 03, 2007

Estate Sales

My neighbor of 18 years died last winter, and this weekend, our neighborhood has been mobbed by an estate sale.

Not normally a "sale" kind of person, still, I had listened to this man's tales about his exotic art and furniture over the 18 years. He had lived in Spain and Mexico for many years and had a lot of art and artifacts. Also, after his wife died about 5 years ago, I helped him clear out her sewing room, and myself inherited most of her stash of beautiful fabrics and other sewing goodies. I wanted to see if there was anything I'd missed.

Anyway, I went over to the sale.

Tomorrow, I'm adding a "No Estate Sale" clause to my will. Let it all go to Good Will, boxed up in one fell swoop by the mentally challenged who need jobs and sold at a good price to the poor who need good prices.

If I have to imagine people pawing through my underwear drawers and old dishes, and chatting out loud their outrageous imaginings about my life, I would simply refuse to die. Talk about lack of dignity! As I wandered through the house, trying to remember the stories I'd been told, not to mention these lovely people who were such good people and such good neighbors, I overheard and oversaw things that broke my heart.

And the best of the artifacts were priced so high they didn't sell. At least, not yet. Today everything is half price, apparently, and perhaps even, "make us an offer". So I suppose I'll go back. He had a couple of wonderful pictures...

I'm painting a worse picture of the scene than it warrants, I know. Jostling crowds always put me in a bad mood. But I realize that most of my reason for going over was to have my own private little memorial service, so I was the odd person out.

I missed his service. Her service was at the Episcopal cathedral and, as a memorial service, it was very unsatisfactory. It was focused on the mass, not on the deceased. That's no way to say goodbye. It is better, however, than an Estate Sale.

Once the fuss is over and before the house sells, I'm going to climb the wall between our back yards and sit a bit on their back patio and say my Adios (to God!) to Victor and Jessie, good neighbors, good people, good world citizens.


Ms. Theologian said...

When my grandmother died in a nursing home, the tradition in the nursing home was to sort of sell off all the possessions in the room, first to staff, and then to anyone.... I remember thinking it was sort of an informal memorial service of sorts, but there seemed to be a lot of pawing.

Jess said...

Vultures sometimes shed their feathers. ;-)

Both of my paternal grandparents passed away when I was a teenager, and also had Episcopal memorial services. I remember thinking at both of them, "Why are we doing this? They're not here, and they barely ever came to church. This is so empty."

I'm sure they're not all like that, but found it interesting that you had similar thoughts to mine.

Lizard Eater said...

I HATE estate sales.

My sister and I used to be garage-sale hobbyists, of sorts. For about two years, we were out every Sunday, hitting the sales. (Early days of Ebay, I resold a lot of stuff.)

But we grew to hate estate sales. It just felt ... gruesome. It felt as if strangers were ransacking a cold body for pocket change.

We grew to avoid them at all costs.

Celia said...
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