One of my friends called me a maven not long ago. Those of you who have read Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point will understand the reference (it’s an interesting book for those who haven’t yet read it). For those who haven’t, Wikipedia defines Mavens (ala Gladwell) as “those who are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends.” Given that I have 3 young kids and lots of friends with my feet in very different worlds, I do tend to hear a lot. I listen carefully. As a result, I get asked about schools, play places, birthday party venues, ballet schools, and other opportunities rather often. I don’t think much of it, I just like to learn, see, hear, and listen. And I definitely don’t really think of myself as a trendsetter.
Now, for those not from here, you may not be aware that Jordanians have a stigma attached to used things. This is especially true with used clothes. You say vintage, they think ewwww. As an American, I don’t really have that stigma. Especially with kids clothes, they get used for short periods of time and are often in perfect condition. A close friend gave me baby clothes when ButterBean was born that had been through her three kids. They went through my three as well. And then I gave them to a needy family. So, for me, garage sales are an opportunity. They’re the chance to find a treasure for the price of trash. They’re mystery, and excitement, and opportunity.
Knowing that there are lots of foreigners here who feel the same way, I decided to have a yard sale. There are a few schools and organizations (mostly foreign) that do this a couple of times a year, but no one really does it in their yards. But, last fall I did. I invited some friends and we had a multi-family yard sale. It was actually quite fun. I got to visit with friends and sell stuff at the same time. It was excellent. Soon after, a friend created this Facebook group called Amman Garage Sale. It was an inspired idea. People are out there getting their unwanted items out of the house. So, I’ve been excited that it is so successful. Then, last week, I saw that the Municipality is “hosting” a three-day garage sale at the Martyr’s Park in Abdoun.
I’m excited about the idea. I don’t fool myself that mine was the first, but it almost seems like it was a catalyst to help show people here that used=green=good. So, color me happy that the garage sale idea is catching on… especially since I still have lots and lots of things to get rid of. Here’s hoping garage saling is here to stay!
Happy Trash to Treasure!