Last week Vince and I went to an auction house in Newark, Ohio. Not because we needed anything, but simply because our neighbors were going and we thought it would be fun to tag along after them. It was Vince’s day off and, besides, we had nothing better to do.
Well, that’s not entirely true. We could easily have spent the day doing long-neglected chores around the house. Like painting the trim around the garage. Or cleaning the grout in the shower.
As those particular chores held less than zero appeal on a sunny Tuesday morning, we hopped in the car and headed to Newark. Besides, I wanted to hear an auctioneer talk really, really fast.
I’ve never actually been to an auction, so I pictured the auctioneer on a raised platform standing in front of a podium with the crowd below in organized rows so the auctioneer could see who was bidding.
Ha. People just hover around the auctioneer and whatever it is he’s selling and somehow or other he knows who is bidding. There is no podium, no gavel, no raised platform.
Me? I had no clue what was going on.
By the time we arrived, our neighbors had already purchased several boxes of junk, er, treasures. They only cost a few bucks each, so it’s not like anyone’s bank was getting broken. But what I didn’t know is that even if you only want one particular thing in a box, you have to bid on the whole box.
Holy heck – I’m tryin’ to get RID of clutter around my house – not add to it! And I just had a garage sale a couple months ago that I still haven’t gotten over yet. (For your information, it takes approximately one year, eleven months and sixteen days to get over having a garage sale before considering having another one.)
So I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be bidding on any boxes of stuff.
On the other hand, it was kind of fun walking the aisles and looking in all those boxes filled with trinkets and toys and housewares that once was treasured by someone. There was a box of copper kitchen tools that attracted Vince – but it was on the very far wall, which meant that the auctioneer wouldn’t get to that aisle for several hours. Plus, I have no more room in my kitchen cabinets or drawers for one more stinkin’ colander or ladle.
I’d be bringing boxes of junk, er, treasures back to the auction house just so we could get into the kitchen.
They also have several auctioneers working at the same time – something else I didn’t know. So Vince and I wandered outside where outdoor goods were being auctioned – flower pots and garden decorations and the like.
While I was standing there I realized, “This is SO not me!” I’m much more deliberate in my thinking about the things I want. I have to consider where I’m putting it and why I would even want such a thing. I have to consider how much I’d be willing to spend and if it would be a good addition to our home.
At auctions, deliberate thinking goes completely out the window. You have to make snap decisions. Plus, I couldn’t tell who was bidding and how much things were going for. By the time I decided that, yeah, I would be willing to pay $15 for something that – new – would cost me at least $100, the item was sold and they were three items down the line by then.
I knew that if I ever tried to bid on anything, I’d probably start bidding against myself. So I decided to step away from the auctioneer.
I did, however, tell Vince that there were a couple ceramic pots that I might like. But I was leaving the wheeling and dealing up to him.
And it was right about this time that I felt something crawling along my shoulder inside my top. That is NOT a good feeling. Ever. So I lifted up the neckline of my shirt – and saw a wasp. There was a freakin’ WASP inside my shirt!
So I screeched and with much flapping and flailing of arms and swatting at the thing, I practically tore my shirt off in order to get the wasp out.
And, yes, I made quite a spectacle of myself – but I didn’t care. And, surprisingly, I didn’t get stung.
I was a little surprised, however, that the auctioneer didn't take all that arm flapping as me bidding. I'd have won the tacky garden gnome for sure.
It was just about this time that I decided that auctions were not my thing, so I headed back inside to wander the aisles to see if there was anything I’d missed. In truth, I was really trying to avoid further interactions with stinging insects. And I was sort of hoping to avoid making a further spectacle of myself.
By the time I walked back outside to see the action, Vince told me he’d bid on (and won) several items, including a very pretty mint/teal green ceramic pot.
I was thrilled with it because I could just picture it in our kitchen. We have a plant that has outgrown its current pot that would fit in it perfectly.
And he spent less than 20 bucks all told – so that was a “win” in my book!
So, while I had fun at my first auction, I’m probably not anxious to go back to another one. Too stressful. Both the bidding thing – and the potentially stinging insect thing.
Maybe next time I’ll tell you about the other auction I attended recently – the art auction on the cruise ship (completely different than a household goods auction). All I’ll tell you now is that Vince wasn’t there to protect me. It was not good that he left me to my own devices.
But at least there weren’t any wasps.