By STEVE EIGHINGER
We have officially entered into the fall garage sale season.
How do I know this? If you're married, you know. Believe me, you just know.
In my world, Saturday mornings in the fall are meant for sleeping in until at least 9, and preferably 10 or 11. Just allow yourself enough time to get up, showered and make a quick trip to the nearest fast-food breakfast drive-thru before the first wave of college football games begin on any one of about umpteen channels. Saturdays are glorious days for recliners, remotes and glasses of Classic Coke with a lot of ice.
For about the next month or so, my Saturdays will become challenging times.
In my wife's world, Saturday mornings take on an entirely different meaning. My wife is addicted to garage sales, especially this time of year when the early morning air develops a bit of a bite to it and sweatshirts are the desired attire.
She's not alone. There are millions of others like her. I know. I have seen them. And it's scary.
Every Saturday morning this time of the year, I am awakened at about 5:30 to the sound of water running in the shower and my dear wife singing some sort of Celine Dion classic. As she's fluttering around the bedroom getting dressed, she is so happy she can't contain herself. There is more singing, and if not more singing, plenty of humming as she tries to decide which pair of jeans and which sweatshirt she will wear on this particular Garage Sale Saturday. (For those wondering, she usually opts for the "World's Greatest Grandma" sweatshirt.)
Why is she getting ready so early for a series of garage sales that are supposed to start at 8? If your wife is a veteran of this subculture, you already know the answer. If a garage sale's start time is listed at 8, that really means 7, so you have to leave the house at no later than 6:45.
She actually talked me into one of these expeditions once, and by 7:30, I felt like a cast member from "Night of the Living Dead." I was awake, I think, but all body parts were either numb or not working.
Why hasn't someone ever had a garage sale that started at 11? It would be a huge success. People, or at least people like me, could sleep in until a decent hour, and still receive their needed garage sale fix. The people holding the garage sale could get up at 9 or so, instead of .. what, maybe 4 in the morning?
Another idea that would help garage sales is to have a television available for all visiting husbands -- and have it tuned to ESPN, not the Food Network or Oprah Winfrey's new channel. That way, all the husbands who find themselves at these things could stand around, talk with one another and watch sports. In turn, their wives could stay as long as they want to look at stuff and never hear the slightest complaint from their hubbies. This would be genius.
All of this deep thought about garage sales hasn't been just by chance. There has been a definite method to my madness. You see, I was informed by my wife we were going to have a garage sale at some point this fall. (Apparently, walking over hot coals in our bare feet not available that day?)
I'll let you know how it all turns out afterward, but I will tell you in advance my first question for her was, "What time are you planning on starting?"
I certainly hope we can get a TV out to the garage that will pick up ESPN.