For the first time in my life, I had a yardsale on Sunday. Moley has been nagging me about doing this for a month, but naturally, there was never a convenient time for her to do it, and I've put it off as long as I could.
So today, she gave me strict instructions not to accept less than ten dollars for this or a hundred dollars for that and went off to the magic of motion pictures.
I couldn't do it. I'd already asked Claudia if she'd run the yardsale for a percentage, but she said no on the grounds that she is so over stoop sales. So I had to ask my boy.
As a mildly autistic person, I don't understand facial expressions very well. I guess that was part of why it was so easy for X to lie to me with impunity. My facial crayon box has like four colors. I also don't understand haggling. It's part of the reason I could never go into politics.
Why would someone say the Daily News costs 50 cents if he thinks it's actually worth 35 cents? Why would I offer less than 50 cents if that's the stated price? How come we haggle about the price of a car, but we don't we haggle about the price of a doughnut?
I realize that haggling is historically an outgrowth of the barter system, but as a Star Trek "we don't use money in the 24th century" kind of guy, I have never understood the point of money to begin with, so I'm kind of at a disadvantage. Is it honorable for me to sell things that were gifts or that I found on the street? Should I profit from someone's misfortune or they from mine?
What makes this perfect is that ever since I told Moley that I discovered my maternal grandmother was a jew, which means technically I'm a jew, she's been like a dog with a bone about my unexpectedly revised ethnicity. When I confessed to Moley that my son and I had made a cool 18 dollars so far, she snapped, "What kind of a jew are you?" I guess my answer is the not so good at having yardsales kind of a jew.
By the end of the day, my boy had collected about 23 dollars, much better than I could have done, but it underscores my point that nothing in life is worth more than what someone is willing to give your for it. We did unburden ourselves of some bigger pieces, but there is still too much to throw away in the time we have left. It finally got so pathetic that Claudia started insisting I not sell some things and let her take them so she can sell them when she feels like it. Since every item she takes is one less thing to store, that seemed fair to me.
Last night Moley and I went to see a screening of her friend Saye's new documentary about the Amadou Diallou killing which was deemed too controversial for Tribeca, but seemed amazing fair-minded to me. It was pretty great and it really energized the crowd.
I have to buy new luggage tomorrow, since somehow Moley lost my old luggage. I also need a new Swiss Army knife and a laptop. Other than that, how does one pack for the end of the world as he knew it?
This is a rather personal question from an anonymous poster, but what the hell. I'm not entirely sure there's a binary here. Suffice it to say that X is lost both in space and time, a Heraclitean river that cannot by definition be stepped in again. And whatever Moley/Wendy duality is being worked out is between us.
On June 10th, 2007 10:02 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
you might or might not know that when the first lubavitcher Rebbe was fleeing Napoleon's approaching army (he had worked very ardently to undermine Napoleon's conquest of Russia and surrounding areas) he told his followers that they could take whatever they wanted of what was left of his belongings as long as they left nothing at all behind. He told them that under no condition were any of his belongings to be given/sold to Napoleon's men.
When his house was empty he burnt it to the ground and made sure to instruct his followers to remove all of the books and scrolls (and other holy articles) from the synagogue.
When Napoleon's men arrived, they found only the smoldering heap of the Rebbe's home and when no one admitted to knowing of or possessing any of the Rebbe's stuff, Napoleon ordered the synagogue burnt down.
The way this story is told it sounds like Napoleon was some kind of sorceror.. but I found a teaching of the (first lubavitcher) Rebbe in which he discussed how a Jew's possessions are God's blessings made physical.
In light of the Jew-ness, and the questioning of the relevance of possessions I figured I'd share it w/ you..
apologies if you read about it already on my blog back when I first discovered this months ago here (http://www.thismortal.co.il/blog/2007/01/precious-possessions-are-result-of-our.html).