Another Friday morning away from work, another estate sale just outside the city. I keep meaning to stop it, but I haven’t yet. Not yet anyway. If it wasn’t for my partner in thrift, I’d be tucked into the office every Friday morning, working. Instead, Friday morning rolls around and a few texts later, I’m trading stretch pants for real pants, we’re arranging who will do the driving, listing out our work worries, justifying our need(s) to get away from the office, and pulling up to another estate sale. Cash in hand. Hunting game faces on.
Yes, I like a bargain at the end of a treasure hunt, but thats not the big reason why I like estate sales. Estate sales are like museums of real life. Catalogs of things– some glamorous, mundane, exotic or extremely well-loved. Every sale is a snapshot of a period of time, of someone else’s life. That snapshot might not be accurate, it most certainly is cluttered and curated in a certain sale-y way. Its a fleeting sort of experience, you are watching (and participating!) in the dismantling of someone’s life through their leftover things. Sometimes the overall effect is a sad one (ex: aging wedding dresses hanging on doors), and sometimes, its incredible. America! This is what it looks like in San Francisco, and who would ever really know that without seeing it firsthand? We’re a nation of collectors, keeping up with the Joneses, keeping memories and things, one on top of the other, and forgetting most of it.