There was another estate sale last weekend in Grosse Pointe, a big one in a big house, with the magic words in the ads that always brings the stampede: “Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo.”
There are two kinds of estate sales around here: The kind where someone died, and you’re asked to take your pick of the old-lady furniture after the heirs have stripped off all the Chippendale and Stickley. Sad, tired, dusty and pee-smelling, these sales are hardly ever worth my time, although if you like small appliances from the ’50s, you can pick up a trinket or three. And then there are the ones sometimes called “moving sales,” where the sellers are much younger, the stuff newer. I always assume it’s a bankruptcy sale. Not much of a stretch.
But old or young, I can’t help but construct elaborate narratives in my head about the family whose stuff I’m considering. The woman’s clothes are a size six, but her shoes at 10s? Model type, obviously, tall and lanky. Walk through the library, inspect the books on the shelves: lots of chick lit and biographies of sports figures? She sat home reading many nights while he entertained clients at Wings games. The kitchen has a six-burner stove fit for a restaurant, but looks brand-new? She heated Lean Cuisine after he came home and said he’d already eaten in the grill room at the club. (Was that someone else’s perfume on him? Why did he pull away from a kiss?) They keep witless, inspirational knickknacks scattered around, river stones engraved breathe or believe, little needlepoint pieces propped against a desk lamp: Follow your heart. Their artwork is so bland it blends with the wallpaper, although it’s priced very high (probably because of the frame).
I do all this to make myself feel better, of course, although lately I look at these 6,000-square-foot showplaces and think what the heating bill must be in January.
By the time I got there, all the shoes had been snapped up. The furniture was meh and there wasn’t even much in the kitchen. There was some corporate-branded swag in an upstairs bedroom, and a little Googling revealed the owner was a high-ranking executive for the swag-brander, and that the brander was struggling. Bankruptcy? Still possible, but given the way of the world it’s also entirely possible they’re just selling it all and relocating somewhere warmer and sunnier, where they’ll restock with all new river stones and Jimmy Choos and semi-literate sports bios. My guess is, they’ll land on their feet. The rich so often do.
Today’s interlude in lack of character and schadenfreude concluded, let’s take a look at the bloggage, shall we?
Jim at Sweet Juniper has an excellent post on dealing with his inner food snob. At least he acknowledges he has one. The worst ones just judge, judge, judge.
In the Department of Animal Justice, one of my former colleagues Facebooked this oddity, about a man who bled out after being sliced by a fighting cock. I’d heard of the practice of attaching sharp blades to a rooster’s spurs to make the game bloodier and deadlier, and while it’s possible to enjoy this particular outcome, I was more interested in how, exactly, one arms a rooster. Google led me to this photo-heavy blog about cockfighting in the Philippines; gory and distasteful pictures, but fascinating just the same.
I’d like it on the record: I couldn’t care less where Keith Olbermann will be working next.
Something I don’t want to read as my daughter enrolls to take biology next year.
Off to work.