Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Absterge

I’m participating in the A-Z blog challenge for the first time ever.  If you want full details,click here, but the abbreviated version is that the challenge is to write a blog post every day of the week, except Sundays, and the posts need to correspond with a letter of the alphabet.

I work better with a theme so I picked vocabulary—each day I would learn a new vocabulary word and try to come up with a brief (always a challenge) post about it.

Which took me forever because then I got all into reading long lists of words and saying “Hey, I didn’t know there was a word for that!”

Like abacinate. Which means to blind by putting a red hot metal near the eyes. Who knew we needed a word for that particular practice? I didn’t even know that was a thing. I didn’t even know you could blind someone in that fashion. I mean, it says NEAR the eye. How near are we talking? How close do you have to get to the eyeball with hot metal to blind someone.

Honestly, considering my issues with eyes, I’m getting a little sick just thinking about it.

So, after working my way through list after list, almost feeling a sense of aboulomania (pathological inability to make a decision), I decided on absterge.

Absterge – A verb, to wipe clean; expunge; purge.

And the last time I really had to absterge was when Opie and I were engaged and we were combining our households as I moved to Oklahoma.

At which point, I made the insane decision to have a garage sale.

Which may not sound like an insane decision…if, perhaps, you have never had a garage sale or seen the kind of people who frequent garage sales.

I mean I go to garage sales and I'm fairly normal but apparently I am in the minority (or maybe I'm not as normal as I think.)

I'm talking about people like the woman showed up at my house at 9:45 PM the night before the sale said she'd seen a sign on the corner and was wondering if she could get come in and "get an early peek at the merchandise."

"No," I said.

“Why not?” she demanded, edging closer and closer to the front door like she was trying to get me to back away.

“Because I you don't even know you,” I said. “And I'm generally opposed to letting strangers come into my house and go through my things.”

And she got really offended. I mean not so offended that she didn’t stand there saying “Oh come on, please” three or four more times. And not so offended that she didn’t show up ten minutes before I opened the garage door the next morning, knocking again on the front door and asking again to come in early.

Then she started pointing at things that were CLEARLY marked Not For Sale and saying “What about that? I’ll give you a dollar for that.”

And it was only because I had two friends with me and we’d fortified ourselves with mimosas for just such a situation that I managed not to throw caution to the winds and punch that woman in the face.

She was the worst of the lunatics but not the only lunatic.  We had a couple of would be shoplifters, a lot of people who tried to bargain down from a quarter, a couple of realtors who thought this would be the perfect moment to aggressively try to convince me to list with them when I moved...basically, even though we got rid of a lot of stuff and made a little cash, it was a lot more trouble than it was worth.

So, the next time I need to absterge the house, I think we’ll just take everything to Goodwill.

Stay tuned for more letter related posts! 


  1. I am in desperate need to absterge. But I, too, have had garage sales in the past. And I won't do it again. Goodwill is the best bet.

  2. I wish I had a yard or driveway to absterge my own things in a sale!

    1. I guess you could have an "open house" but I wouldn't advise it! :-)

  3. HA! Absterge is one of those words that sounds made up. I'm going to try not to forget it, though, and I'll be back tomorrow for letter B.

    Oh, love the yard sale people. "This is 25 cents; will you take a nickel?" "NO. Please. Just take it for free if you need your quarter that bad." Yeah, I'm not very tolerant.

    1. I wasn't very tolerant either; I kept just staring at the people saying "Really?"

  4. Wow. That is CRAZY. ::mind blown:: I had a yard sale before my move to the woods and I had one lady who basically stole from me. I was so pissed because of the premise of the whole thing. But hey, if she's that desperate... But OMG. I should have been drinking memosas too! lol OH yeah. That sounds good right NOW...

  5. Reciprocating your visit to my blog and the follow.

    Good A to Z theme and a good word to start out with. I haven't done many garage sales and usually haven't made much money from them. I've done a bit better with Craig's List. Still though mostly absterge through Goodwill. That tax write off always helps out.

    Have a successful A to Z

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  6. Love your theme! Yes, garage sales can bring out the worst in people. It never occurred to me to fortify with mimosas, though. :)

  7. Yes! I love garage sales and going to them, but having them you just never know who you're going to get.

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