Garage Sale: Vintage Tinsel

Old-Fashioned Metal Tinsel: 800 Crazy-Making Strands Per Package!

I finally had that garage sale I’ve been talking about all summer but kept having to delay because of road work. They put down the last layer of asphalt and painted the lines early last week, AND it is Indian Summer (that magical time when the weather warms up briefly after the first frosts). We were selling all kinds of items we had outgrown: elementary-level homeschool materials; clothing; household items; toys; furniture; and all kinds of odds and ends. All were priced to go–except for my vintage tinsel.

You meet a lot of different kinds of garage salers when you put on a sale from hardcases like myself (I’d garage sale even if I won the lottery) to dabblers, dealers, and hobbyists. You learn all kinds of things when you talk to all these people. We had two older gentlemen who reminisced about having a radial arm saw just like the ancient Craftsman we were selling “as is” because we thought it was broken. Between the two of them, we figured out what was wrong with it and had it running before the end of the first morning! (My husband ended up taking it back into the garage!)

Every garage saler has their weakness. I met several “rocking chair-oholics”; one sheepishly admitted to having five already.  Another woman was obsessed with magazines. One lady loved to collect plants and commented that they were like children to her, “They’re my babies!” One gal gazed longingly at my complete set of Fire King Fleurette dishes but walked away empty handed because she had too many sets at home already. (Another blog about Collecting Things of Little or No Value in the wings!)

My weakness is vintage Christmas decorations. I rarely can bear to part with any of my decorations once I have acquired them. The one exception was the metal tinsel I had for sale last weekend. I should say the metal tinsel I tried to sell last weekend. (I was selling it because pets eat tinsel and get deathly ill, and we have a housecat.)  I watched person after person pick a package up, squint at it, then put it down and walk away.

Finally, I started talking up the tinsel to these people and every one of them would shake their head and tell a harrowing tale of being forced by some elderly relation to carefully remove each strand from the tree at the end of each festive season and carefully place it over a piece of cardboard, painstakingly smoothing each strand. One man laughed and said, “And you’d better not break even one!” Some folks even went so far as to iron the strands before storing them away for next year!

I came to the conclusion that there is no nostalgia attached to this type of tinsel because it was either something that drove you crazy or something that you threw away along with the tree. No nostalgia equals No sale, but I packed it up carefully anyway and saved it for next year! Begonia

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