secondhand frequency.

While you can get most anything at a yard sale, obviously some things are more common than others.  You are sort of at the mercy of the fates.  I’ve come to like that aspect of it.  It makes everything seem very serendipitous.  If you were looking for something specific in the retail world, you could look it up online or go to a specific store that is likely to carry your desired item.  However, with yard sales, you just sorta have to go from lawn to lawn and see what those people have to offer.  You have no idea if these people even have what you are looking for, much less whether they want to sell it.

Of course, some things are very common.  You may not see them at every sale, but you will probably see them every week.  If you are looking for a very common item, you likely will not have to wait very long to find it, and you can probably even be a little picky in terms of which one you want.  You want baby clothes?  I can get you baby clothes.  You want a baking sheet?  Well, that might take a couple of weeks, but it probably won’t take more than a month to find one.  However, some items are rare.  You might only see one once a year, if that.  And then every once in a while, you come across a once in a lifetime find.

Josh and I have been trying to think of a scale that we could use to describe the commonness of yard sale items, kind of a measure of secondhand frequency.  I mean, we could just use a 1 to 10 scale, but it would be more interesting if we could have items on either end of the scale that would epitomize something really common and something really rare.  We decided on “Christmas tins” as the representative item item on the very common end of the scale.  We see a lot of those, probably because everyone buys them and gives them away.  They’re not quite disposable enough to just chuck in the trash, so they accumulate in your basement until you get sick of them and have a yard sale.

Then we struggled to think of our unusual item.  After all, we wanted something we had seen in our yard sale exploits, otherwise the scale would lack veracity.  It became a matter of figuring out the most unusual thing we’d ever seen.IMG_20101121_201454And then yesterday, we saw it.  And then we bought it.  Because when we see the thing that is representative of all the amazingly unusual things that can be found at yard sales, we feel the need to bring it home.  I guess that’s just the kind of people we are.

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