Friday, September 26, 2008

Turning Around in my Cadillac

Do you like watching strangers peruse your garage sale, peer at all your stuff and turn up their noses, evaluate how much this-or-that is worth, and walk off having wrested something real from you as if it was never of any value to begin with?

I usually start off a garage sale day feeling totally in charge of the world (I'm determining the prices; I'm offering my goods), and end it feeling like an unenticing, floppy dishrag, crying pitifully, "Love me, love me. My old hat is worth your dollar!"

Well, perhaps that statement's excessive. But it is so human to mix a feeling of defiant pride simultaneously with the need for affirmation.

I've gotten off track here, as the situation we're in hasn't had much of the need for affirmation, just that very odd feeling I imagine persecuted and oppressed people the world over have had when those stronger than them survey their lives to see what might be worth taking.

The owner of Sam & Dora's house (they're renting) has decided to sell it. This means that while her husband is away at sea, and she is about to give birth to their daughter in his absence, she may also have to pack up the whole house, find a new one, and move. Of course, I wouldn't let her do much of the packing, but the emotional stress of it all is something I can't take away.

So, people (they seem more like circling vultures) have been periodically coming and walking around our home. Someday I may experience the reality of having absolutely no say over my own life and watching others take what they want. Happily, that is not now. Still, the exercise of sitting still while others survey your living quarters, trying to decide if they want to purchase and kick you out, is tinged with that bigger sense of disenfranchised helplessness one sometimes has nightmares about.

We've been trying to behave in a golden-rule, Christian sort of manner. For instance, we haven't trashed the house in preparation for showings, and we haven't told the viewers that the neighbors have excessively loud cars which come and go in the middle of the night. I did almost tell some people that the house next door is a halfway house. Luckily, Dora corrected me before I did. Turns out it is a "care home". But that would have been an accident.

So we've cleaned and straightened and been pleasant hostesses, all the while praying hard that the house-hunters will be uninterested. We're on tenderhooks, since if the owner doesn't sell by the end of the month, he's taking it off the market until January. That would mean Sam would definitely be home before any moving has to happen. The other day another viewing was scheduled. We were ready. We were hoping. Hoping they'd hate it. We saw a Cadillac pull up the street. It pulled into the driveway. Dora opened the door. The man got out, but the woman didn't. "We're done," he said. He got back into the car and drove away. DRIVIN' AWAY IN HIS CADILLAC. Whoops of joy rose out our windows. There've been no viewings since.

So, I guess our little roost didn't pass muster. It does make one feel slightly defensive. Defensive, and oh so happy!


Carolyn said...

I love it! Keep driving away, people!! I'll pray that with you! Why in the world wouldn't they just wait until January given what Dora is going through? I don't get it, but God does, and I trust He will be with you all in the midst of this.

Dora said...

Haha. Well written, Amy. Though I would not have painted my plight so piteously as that. I feel much more pity upon the poor owner of this place who is probably losing thousands of dollars on a mortgage he can't cover (our rent is not high enough to cover the price on this place at current market interest rates) and wishing beyond wish that someone would like his house. I hope he doesn't internally blame the pregnant woman dwelling here whose sad plight all the potential buyers see and are immediately turned off to buying from... Poor owner. Fortunate me for being pregnant.