Tag Archives: Gemini

Why You Don’t Want Me in Charge of Your Memories…or Your Garage Sale

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Sifting through almost ninety years of my grandfather-in-law’s stuff just sucks.  On multiple levels.  In an effort to weave a path through lives still in motion, things become pretty cut-and-dry, and more quickly than I’d like to admit, a keep pile, sell pile, and trash pile form.  Multiple mounds ebb and flow seamlessly, in constant competition with one another while they grow in disproportionate shares.  Every artifact is there, present and accounted for, if not fully appreciated for a sticker price that can no longer be collected on demand.

One man’s treasure is another man’s trash, like the wooden bowl with a permanent, oily sheen that’s tagged for Good Will.  Even though it held a homemade Italian salad every Friday for fifty years, because spaghetti night was Gumps’ favorite of the week, valuables must be sifted, prioritized, and turned into chattel.  Tschokies are tagged at a dollar each because they don’t match anyone’s décor.  The truth is, no one else in the family is into cluttery collections, or understands the international appeal of the Lladro-like figurines that lined every dresser and shelf.

Image via teachickadees.com

If you’ve been in the position of having to troll through a loved one’s possessions, you know that determining the “value” of the mementos left behind not only feels wrong, it is.  But life sometimes becomes commoditized, drilling down to a series of lists to be checked off and eventually thrown away.

I’m not going to mine a trove of memories too deeply right now, because I’ve been sad for two weeks, and at the moment, I’d rather smile.  Instead, I’m gonna tell you why you shouldn’t put me in charge of anything you cherish or might want to keep.  As sentimental as I may sound, my actions tell a different story.  It’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do.

I’m a classic discarder, the anti-hoarder, an OCD Gemini who cleans the kitchen counter and sweeps the floor about nine times a day, with or without Necessary and Proper Cause.  I’ll pick up your glass and put it in the dishwasher before you’ve gotten halfway through your drink, and you’d better nail down or hide anything I consider to be superfluous, because I’ll toss it through the air and into the trash before you have the chance to remember that it was ever yours.

I am not a hoarder. I am, however, hyperventilating while looking at this picture.

This is especially true with anything containing the words “stocking” and “stuffer,” and if it was purchased at Dollar General?  Forget it.  It never existed as far as you know.

So I found myself in an interesting position yesterday, suddenly a person of great influence and power.  I was tasked with the responsibility of negotiating prices at Gumps’ estate sale, and while others in the family were actually trying to make money, my goal was a little more mild: to get anything inside the house out.

If you’re gonna take the time to argue over why a box of sandpaper should be $0.50 instead of a dollar, you can have it.  Seriously.  Take it, because I’ve got better things to do than give you the thrill of your life when I settle at $0.65.  In fact, since I’m in such a generous mood, why don’t you add the dining room set and a Mandarin-to-English dictionary while you’re at it?  You’re a big guy, perfectly capable of strapping a four hundred pound organ on your back, right?  So go for it.  It’ll look great next to that new table and chairs you’re lugging home to set up in your backyard alongside the washer and dryer that don’t work and your collection of blown-out tires.

Sanford and Son rules!

But in my haste to discard waste yesterday, I was little trigger-happy with a couple of things that deserved a second thought.  I’m listing them below so that when you have to spend a warm, sunny day selling the relics of someone you wish was still around, you’ll be a little more judicious than me.

Even though the Craig’s List ad says the doors open at 10:00 a.m., there’s a contingency of scavengers who get to a garage sale at least an hour ahead of the start, and sometimes camp out the night before (just kidding…I hope).  I imagine this occurs because at a certain age, the sleep that’s beginning to elude me simply disappears, and rather than watch an endless, glassy-eyed loop of Lawrence Welk reruns, it’s a lot more fun to get out of the Barcalounger and haggle with me.

Image via furnitureplanners.com

So when an ancient dude walked up with a box full of old spray paint, I thought I’d hit the mother lode.  Not only was it useless junk, but hazardous waste that I couldn’t put out by the curb.  Double score!  If he’d been the clairvoyant zombie that keeps popping up in every book I read lately, he’d understand that I would have paid him to take that stuff off my hands.  Instead I got a crumpled $10.00 bill.  Sweet!

Image via senseslost.com

I was feeling pretty good about myself until a nice lady tapped me on the shoulder and told me the real value of what I let ricochet out of the tool shed.  Apparently, there’s an ensemble of successful graffiti artists, mostly residing in Malibu or Park Avenue co-ops and not anywhere close to the river in a tent, who will pay just about anything for certain paint colors that have been retired.  Like, to the tune of $1,000 a can.  As I internally high-fived myself, about a dozen of them walked out the door, on my watch, and under the appraisal of my self-satisfied eye.  Oops.

A little more on my guard (or so I thought), I immediately ran into another kind person who found a box of toys we hadn’t had the chance to sift through.  We managed to pull a vintage G.I. Joe off the top just ahead of the sale, but hadn’t yet foraged into the depths of broken Lincoln Logs, pick-up sticks, and dirt.  He rummaged around, and at the bottom found some old Barbies with mismatched clothes and really bad hair.  He mentioned that his granddaughters loved to play with dolls, he missed them dreadfully because they lived out of town, and that he’d take them off my hands for $1.00 each.  I found this sentiment to be endearing, since I have two little girls of my own.  Plus, he was old, and even though the coot with the spray paint pulled one over on me, I have a soft spot for elderly people who smell like Vicks vapor rub and mentho-lyptus all rolled into one.

Vintage Bad Hair Barbie. Image via Flickr.com.

Had I made it past remedial math in college, I would have realized that at about eighty, his granddaughters would be like, twenty years old today.  Playing with dolls when you’re almost legal is creepy, but I was so touched by his desire to look out for his sweet girls (and excited to get rid of more junk), that I would have happily let him take the whole box off my hands for free.

These are the Barbies I deal with on a daily basis at home:

In the land of Essa's misfit Barbies, amputation is common, and floating heads fly across the room for no apparent reason.

This is the one he was most interested in at the sale:

1962 Bubblecut Redhead Barbie loves hanging out in the desert.

Notice any similarities?  Right.  They’re all scary as hell.

Luckily, the same kind, genius-lady who knew what a fortune we lost in paint was hovering nearby, and stopped him in his tracks.  Not only was he trying to get out the door with the previously pictured 1962 Bubblecut Redhead Barbie with extra-large bangs, he had Yachtsman Ken #789 buried at the bottom of his stash, who was totally spiffed up and packaged in mint condition as he smiled winningly from the confines of his box.  You could just tell that Ken was dying to go sailing with the mega-millionaire graffiti artist who buys four-figure cans of half-used spray paint on a whim, and probably, in a strange twist of fetish-fate, loves to play with overpriced vintage dolls.

Vintage Ken wants to play with you. Image via boocoo.com

The old codger’s offer immediately went from $5.00 to $100.00, my savvy mother-in-law said no, he turned a ghastly shade of do not resuscitate, and quietly slithered away.  As it turns out, Barbie, Ken, their friends Skooter and Skipper, and all of the mismatched clothes are worth thousands of dollars.  Don’t come lurking around my house in search of them as they await their eBay fate, though, because they’re nowhere near my house.

Everyone in the family is onto me now, and next weekend?  I’m in charge of the free coffee and donuts, and that’s about it.

How Nonverbal Communication Can Improve Your Relationship (Part I)

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Unless, that is, you’re a Gemini-Sagittarius couple.  If that’s the case?  Give up and move on.

Assuming you’re not with the wrong astrological mate or anyone who’s appeared on The Bachelor, I have some proven tips that might make life a little easier in the Mars vs. Venus, Mars vs. Mars, or Venus vs. Venus tug-of-war with your significant other.

Gemini

Image by Justinsanity via Flickr

You may be wondering what makes me qualified to give relationship advice.

My answer?

I’ve been in a lot of them.

Once I was wise enough to notice the opposite sex, I immediately became a self-declared, serial monogamist.

serial monogamist: se·ri·al mo·nog·a·mist \ˈsir-ē-əl\ \mə-ˈnä-gə-mist\ nounone Stacie, who spends as little time as possible being single, moving from the end of one relationship to the beginning of a new relationship as quickly as possible faster than you can say “Shazam!” although the relationships in which many serial monogamists Stacies find themselves are also often short lived doomed, the defining aspect of serial monogamy is the desire need and ability to enter new relationships very quickly, thus abbreviating any period of single life self reflection during which the serial monogamist Stacie may begin to ask questions of an existential nature

Middle School Era:

1. Boy asks me to go with him.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one other and I write Stacie + Boy all over my Wonder Woman textbook cover.
4. We proceed not to talk, look at each another in the halls, or communicate at all until we break up (which is usually around spring so I can go to the 8th grade dance with my besties).
Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, displaying her a...

Image via Wikipedia

High School Era (pre-car):

1. Boy asks if I want to go together.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one another and slip notes into each other’s lockers, which further acknowledges our undying love, until we get caught writing notes and have to go to detention after school (but we’re together and can pass notes so it’s O.K.).
4. We proceed to talk on the phone all the time, ask our parents to take us to the mall so we can hold hands and look at the cool stuff we don’t have enough money to buy, and write more notes until we break up (which is usually around fall so I can go to the homecoming dance with my besties).

Now wait. Before you get all, “Stacie thinks she’s all that ’cause guys were asking her out all the time and stuff,” remember that I grew up in Kentucky a thousand light years ago.  It isn’t the Deep South, but it is connected to the lower half of Indiana. Which is kind of sad.  Anyway, back then girls didn’t initiate anything with a boy.  Period.  Which I liked a lot at the time and even more now that I have two little girls of my very own.  So there.

High School Era (post-car):

1. Boy asks if I want to be his girlfriend.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one another, he takes me to school every day, we go to McDonald’s and hang out with friends, decide we’re bored, and drive around all night looking for a party.
4. We proceed to spoon after-curfew in the creepy basement, watch movies, and look for more parties until we break up (which is usually around summer so I can hang out at the pool with the cute lifeguards and my besties).

1979 Z-28 Camaro from a friend of mine, Bill C...

Image via Wikipedia

College Era:

1. Boy asks if I want to go to a grab-a-date.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one another, figure out we’re both way too into Erasure, and make mix tapes.
4. We proceed to go to more date parties, study together after class, and deconstruct why Andrew Shue plays such a doormat on “Melrose Place” until he asks if I like to cook.  And then we break up (I’d rather not cook for my besties.).

Photo of actor Andrew Shue at the 45th Emmy Aw...

I'm a doormat. Image via Wikipedia

So as you can probably tell, I’m the Gemini of the Gemini-Sagittarius couple.  Bet you didn’t see that coming!  Luckily, my husband is a Taurus, and when I start to display my Gemininess, he just ignores me.  In case you haven’t noticed, Gemini have commitment issues (Ha! The plural of Gemini is Gemini!), and if you don’t believe me, go to Wikipedia and check it out.

See?

Not my fault.

But this post wasn’t meant to be about the perfect fit between Gemininess and serial monogamy, or why I’m lucky I married a bull.  It was supposed to be about how nonverbal communication can improve your relationship.  I got so wrapped up in demonstrating my value as a nonverbal communication specialist, that I completely lost my train of thought.

And now?  I need a nap.