Estate Sale Madness

We went to a few sales this weekend. Why? Well, partly because we like to. Partly because our new house is oh so much bigger than the one we’re currently in, and we’re going to need a few furniture pieces. And partly because we were already out and about looking for moving boxes – ones that weren’t nasty gross.

Anyway, we went to a few sales this weekend, and I really wish I’d brought my camera to snap some pics of one place in particular. But hey, I’m a writer (at least, my boss thinks so) and I’ll see if I can do this with words.

Imagine a small, 1940’s style bungalow – with a cute little front porch, clapboard sides, casement windows, wood floors, lathe and plaster walls, neat architectural details – all that cool stuff. Got that in your mind? Good.

The house has had some additions, so it’s an absolute maze of rooms, doorways, hallways and just odd spaces – each connecting to the other in the strangest of ways. Which, admittedly, can be charming and fun. This wasn’t.

Now, imagine it decorated in Victorian-style antiques, beautiful old rugs, etc. Got that picture in your mind? Good.

Notice I haven’t said anything about colors yet? That’s because it doesn’t matter. You’ll understand.

Next, imagine that decorating done very cluttered – as in there is not a single surface that isn’t overflowing with stuff – and I mean both horizontally and vertically.

Now add heavy satin curtains to every window and doorway. Put so much furniture in the room that there is a wide path through the room and you have to twist around things to get through a door you couldn’t see for all the stuff, add piles of toss pillows everywhere and you’re maybe coming close.

Are you dizzy yet? I’m not done.

If you’re imagining moderately cluttered – double it.

If you’re imagining supremely cluttered – add half again.

If you’re imagining a storage facility filled to the rafters – you’re close.

And that color question? There is no color scheme here. Pale blues nestle up against bright golds, which in turn sit with deep greens and soft coppers. A bright red is resting happily with a pale, minty green and baby pink sits cosily with a color best described as “burnt pumpkin.” I’ve no clue what the walls were like – they were too covered with stuff to tell. I think they may have been a butterscotch color. Maybe.

Now, imagine carting into this already cluttered space a pile of things for sale – things like antique costume jewelry (in boxes, glass display cases, on antique disembodied hands, etc), still more pillows, artwork propped against settees, and more and more and more stuff piled everywhere.

While you’re at it – add in a distinctly Asian theme to some of this Victorian decor, make sure it includes things from Japan, China and the Philippines,  all bunched together. Oh, and don’t forget to hang crystal decorations in each doorway, and hang them low enough so that even I (at barely 5’4″) had to duck to keep from bumping them.

Finally, fill the home with music – I’m not quite sure, I was too busy trying to avoid stepping on things – I think it might have been Stravinsky, and it was loud.

Some dedicated treasure hunters might find this cool – me? I was begging for air! That and it was very difficult to know what was for sale and what wasn’t. I found a lovely table, only to find it wasn’t for sale. A terrific painting – you guessed it – not for sale.

I did finally find a pair of masks I thought would make a nice addition to my collection, but the asking price was far higher than I was willing to pay, and negotiation apparently was out of the question.

I felt sorry for The BF, if I was having to duck through doorways, he was having to hunch over. It didn’t take long before we both reached “overload” and decided to vacate, post haste!

Back in the fresh air outside, I started to giggle, wondering if anyone had ever gotten lost in that maze of rooms and stuff. My vivid imagination started into gear, imagining people getting lost inside, the maze of rooms continuing on forever and ever almost like a huge forest before finally some piece of deceptively squashy furniture swallowed the resting interloper whole, leaving perhaps only their jewelry as a sign they were there.

Oh, now I see a great short story there!