Garage Sale

Couple preparing for a garage sale

I love being married. However, conflict is inevitable, especially if one person is passionate about an idea and the other isn't. My wife gets excited about having garage sales. It's her opportunity to get rid of everything in the house that she doesn't want.

Unfortunately, it turns out that most of that stuff is mine.

I think the whole garage sale idea is great. I mean, why put your garbage in Hefty bags when you can sell it to strangers? The problem is, the stuff my wife wants to get rid of is not garbage — it's my collection of treasures.

She doesn't feel the same connection to my prized possessions that I do. For example, she would sell my old Operation game because "it's missing that light-up buzzer nose!" To me, that makes the game easier to play. Or, she might want to get rid of my G. I. Joe action figure, a collector's item. "This army doll of yours," she says, "is missing its body from the neck down." Granted. But don't forget that, in battle, there is nothing more intimidating than a floating head coming at you.

After my wife collects all the things she wants to sell, my struggle turns to the garage-sale shoppers. They come in fast, and you have to be ready for them. If you're not, someone will take the concrete steps in front of your house and leave 50 cents.

Over time, I've learned how to deal with them. For example, Jo Jo the Monkey was my favorite stuffed animal and best friend when I was growing up. Someone will pick up Jo Jo by the scruff of his soft neck, hold him high and ask, "How much for this thing?"

"Thing? Madam, that thing was my childhood friend during hard times, like when I had head lice, and pinkeye, and the original swine flu, and that mysterious bacterial . . ." She puts Jo Jo down and makes great speed out of the crowded garage, tripping over the hole in the ground that used to be my 50-cent concrete steps.

My wife is good at hosting a garage sale, and despite my tireless rescue efforts, she typically sells all of my treasures. After three days of exhaustion and conflict, we make a total of $10. My wife will sense that I'm not over the experience and will say to me, "Take the $10."

At this point, the best thing to do is to take it, go to other garage sales and buy back all my stuff.

Comedian Daren Streblow also is the man-on-the-street reporter for's news anchor, Buck Denver. This excerpt is taken from Happily Ever Laughter: Discovering the Lighter Side of Marriage, with Ken Davis as the general editor.

This first appeared on Focus on the Family's in June 2010. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get this publication delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

Copyright © 2010 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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