It's a strange mutual delusion, garage sales. All you wanna do is get rid of your crap: a 1992 poster of a Chevrolet Corsica; hulking plastic toys that had brief yet rabidly followed cartoon series; candlestick holders that, now that you have kids, are just a trip and mistimed fall to be featured in next month's "Holy Crap What's That Impaled In a Youngster's Skull" Quarterly supplemental; a shag carpet sampler.
We know this stuff is junk. Undeniably, objects that will never ever be used in any capacity. But somehow it seems too useful, or maybe too kitschy (this means ugly, but in a nostalgic way) to just throw in the garbage. This stuff just skirts outside the confines of real junk and earns its place on the Shelf Of Storing.
The Shelf of Storing is that little cubby hole or perfectly situated storage rack in the pantry that would just be great to hold something you'd really need if it wasn't carrying your complete collection of 1981 Hot Wheels and a replacement bulb for an Easy Bake oven. It's something you see every day until you find yourself asking yourself why is it that you have to reach over that box of Slinky's every time you want to get a can of tomatoes?
Garage sales are spurned by that desire to reclaim the Shelf of Storing. That most perfect and ideal spot of storage that, if reclaimed, would make your life as organized and well-run as an Ikea catalogue (Storage & Bin Solutions, p. 872). You'd also start throwing dinner parties, and making all your food from scratch too. Maybe buying a small plot of land just outside the city and doing all your own organic farming...
And yet, somehow, when we see a garage sale, we somehow think we'll discover treasure there, an unrealized wonderiffic find of unbearable value. A baseball card worth millions, a Mongoose BMX, a Van Gogh. We know, somewhere deep down, there's an Antiques Road Show expert just waiting for their moment to shine.
It's a symptom of our own blindness, or a retreading of the phrase "Another man's junk is another man's junk in about 2-3 months or whenever he gets around to having his own garage sale." . We can't be as dull and as stupid as the average Joe. Yet, you know, math never lies, the average Joe is as dumb as the average Joe. Odd how that works.
In other news, I got this totally rad 80's Battlestar Galactica Basestar! Damn, it's sweet. And all for 2 bucks at a garage sale! The guy didn't even know what he had. Hehehehehe.