BUNKER MENTALITY: Tis the Season and It’s Not Christmas

My sinuses are clogged. My nose is running like an open faucet. My throat is sore. I am sneezing like crazy. And my red pickup truck is covered in yellow dust that looks pockmarked from a few errant raindrops.

I know it is that time of year.

No, it’s not allergy season. It’s yard sale time.

And like the upcoming royal wedding in England, it’s time for my significant other, the Yard Sale Queen, to show off  by finding bargains.

The woman has been working many 10- and 12-hour days in recent weeks. You would think that on weekends she would sleep in. I never disturb a sleeping queen.

But no. She insists on getting up at the crack of dawn, driving to pickup her daughter and burning gallons of gas in search of deals.

The Yard Sale Queen has a keen eye for deals. She can spot a deal in a heartbeat, as well as  yard sales where everything is way overpriced.

She often finds new items suitable as Christmas gifts.

“I just bought my first Christmas present,” she proudly proclaimed as she climbed back in the car after stuffing some items on the backseat floorboard. I didn’t ask for fear that it would be for me and I would ruin the surprise.

But then again, why would I think she got me something?

Beside an egg slicer, the only thing she bought me in the past few years was a nice University of Virginia hooded sweatshirt. I tried it on and it fit. There was  one problem though – the zipper was broken.

“I can’t wear a U.Va. sweatshirt with a broken zipper,” I whined.

“Fine, I will wear it at work,” she said defiantly.

I think that was the plan all along. She still boasts how warm it is.

Women have cold hands, cold feet and, well, you know.

This is a woman who complains that it is too cold when it is 70 degrees.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. She turns the electric blanket on her side of the bed year round because she is so cold-natured.

But back to the yard sales.

Several weeks ago, we made our annual trek to see my high school classmates, their wives and/or girlfriends but never both in Western Maryland. While there, we always hit the yard sales on Saturday. We get the local newspaper and program the GPS. It seems that we rode around in circles.

She moans when people price brand name items as if you were paying full price in a store or fundraising yard sales that price things too high.

“They don’t get it,” she has said repeatedly.

After driving around for what seemed like an eternity, she bought a few items, mainly for her daughter and grandkids. She found nothing for me, who was doing all the heavy lifting by chauffeuring her around.

This is the same area of Maryland where we found an awesome community yard sale several years in a row. There must have been 20 or more yard sales in this neighborhood, with really good deals.

But we haven’t seen that yard sale there the last few years.

When we get back to the hotel to the hospitality room where my classmates meet, they always ask the Yard Sale Queen what she found that day and tips about finding bargains. The list of purchases was short that day.

One thing the Yard Sale Queen has noticed the past few years is not many people advertise in the newspaper perhaps because it is too expensive and the local daily paper doesn’t publish on Saturday. She has noticed an increase in online yard sale listings, but overall there appear to be fewer people attending the few yard sales out there.

One person who will definitely be there as long as there are yard sales is my sweetie, the Yard Sale Queen.

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