Neuroses Galore

Tomorrow is our yard sale and I’ve been having second thoughts about it from the beginning. I want to do it because I’ve had some ethical issues with Goodwill recently and their selling and hiring practices, and I have a tendency to feel obligated to donate everything, as if it’s better not to make any money, on top of the not-making-any-money I already do. I think I do plenty of that. I have never had a garage/yard sale (I don’t know the difference because those terms seem to be used interchangeably despite from where a person is selling their wares; either in a garage or in a yard) that wasn’t with six other people with the proceeds going to a nonprofit. So I guess I don’t know what to expect.

Since we live in a pretty nice neighborhood, I’m a little concerned that neighbors and coffeeshop regulars will come by and either judge me based on my crap, or people will go out of their way to check it out, thinking we’re going to have some top-of-the-line things for sale. Lastly, I don’t want charity. If someone who does know me comes by, I’d rather avoid the “Awwww, let me buy something from you because you’re a poor college student and you could use this fifty cents.”

These are the ridiculous thoughts that go through my head and please just slap me now.

But the truth is, there is a certain amount of discernible judging going on around here. It just seems to be what wealthy people do. You should see the catty stay-at-home moms and aging trophy wives with obvious face-lift scars clutching their D&G bags and digging their claws in to another “friend” the moment she leaves the coffeeshop. Meanwhile, they’re speaking French to one another to prepare for their anniversary trips to Paris with their lawyer/doctor/politician husbands.

It’s clear that most people assume I’m a lot younger than I am because I slosh around coffee for a living and I go to school full time. If they knew I was 31, they’d wonder why I don’t own my house, or why I was driving around a beat-up Toyota Corolla with rust all over the hood and a belt that squeals for two minutes whenever you start it up. Of course, that got traded in because the cost to fix it was higher than its value, but that’s beside the point. If they want to think I’m 23 or 25 or whatever, that’s totally cool with me.

Yesterday afternoon Scott & Jay were hanging out at the coffeeshop and gave me a ring since I work most Thursday evenings. I pedaled over there on my beloved bike with a basket and bell to visit. Jay seems to be doing really well and said none of the panicky things people told him would happen having his tonsils out actually happened. I’m really glad he had a successful recovery, and he has new, really sharp, modern glasses that I like a lot.

Barely fifteen minutes into my sitting there with them, dozens of people started piling in. If you’ve never been to the shop where I work, it’s small. Really small. We have, maybe 600-700(?) square feet in the store (I’m not good with space), and a total of about 9 really small tables with two-to-three chairs each. It’s a bit cramped on most days, but more so when the private school that’s put up art made by its elementary students decides it’s a good time to bring in everyone who slapped paint on a canvas, their parents, their siblings, and the teachers. Poor Laura, Charlie and Cavan’s co-worker from the nightclub, was in there studying for law school finals and ended up leaving because people kept standing in front of her to take pictures of the kids with their art work.

I am not a claustrophobic person. I used to go spelunking with a geology class in high school and a few times thereafter with friends and I had no problems squeezing through the narrowest of crevices. I don’t panic on elevators and I’m not plagued by thoughts of being buried alive in a box. It’s not something I would necessarily want to do, but it’s not something I think about. I understand some people do.
That being said, I get a tad on the anxious side when I’m in a small space with a lot of people, or, like last night, when I’m being swarmed by eight year-olds who are bouncing in to my chair or putting their germ-infested little hands on me to steady themselves.

I know, I know. Very maternal of me, right? I suppose I’d feel differently about my own kids. That’s what everyone tells me. But there’s something really unsettling for me about being bombarded with questions or touched by children. People, in general, touching me is not one of my favorite things in life. I’m very hands-off. I like my personal space. I understand that’s a pretty American luxury. Everyone I know who’s been overseas tells me Europeans stand on top of you. It’s bad enough when I can feel the person standing behind me at the grocery store, but actually having their breath on my neck makes me shudder.

I think with all my various neuroses and anxieties I’m doing pretty well to get through a shift at work or trudging to class after find a parking space half a mile from the building I need to be in.

I also just realized I was giving a mutual acquaintance of Jay and Scott’s and mine a hard time last night for his blog pontificating and I’ve just gone on about people making me nervous for fifteen paragraphs. I’m a hypocrite, too.


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