Five & Dime Giving
A long, long time ago in neighborhoods scattered among the hills and valleys yard sales were as close to a general public give away as it got. There were other means of giving like the Salvation Army or local food bank, but yard sales had a unique quality back then.
Unlike today prices that reflect the seller’s attachment rather than reasonable dollar value, prices in the past were ridiculously low, five, ten cents maybe a quarter. No one expected to pay rent with the proceeds. I liked the conversations and finding oddities. Back then bartering was expected and it was honorable. Engaging with the seller and getting your offer accepted was an acknowledgment an acceptance of sorts and had nothing to do with “getting away” with something nor that you had conned them.
In my sweet memory of past yard sales price was irrelevant for me. For others, it might be the difference between a new old pair of pants or none at all. Yard sales had a good feeling, unlike the vibes one gets today. I recall hosting a yard sale where not one item cost more than a quarter. The tables were almost empty by the end of a few hours, and during that time I saw genuine smiles looks of astonishment and a few shop owners still not satisfied with my pricing.
Energy flowed that day, and my stuff lived a second life. I was happy to let it go, and tons of people thought they got a great deal. My intention was to release, and in return, I felt energized and light.
I started writing a response to Ivana Knezevic story, The Culture of Giving, and that turned into a story.