What I Thought / What I Said

18 May

What am I thinking about? Well, since you asked...


At the church rummage sale last Saturday:

A man was looking at a really nice tea set we had for sale–not made of plastic, not chipped, beautifully painted–and finally asked how much it was. I told him $5 and he responded with “I’ll give you 75 cents.”
What I thought: What a stupid thing to say to me! Was that supposed to be haggling? Are you kidding me? You’re supposed to suggest $4, maybe $3, and instead you go below a dollar? Get out of my sight!”
What I said: “Mmmm, I don’t think so.”

The church’s priest came over to our booth. Since we aren’t regulars at this church (we go to another one in the county and had just heard about this sale from our church’s newsletter), I smiled at the priest but didn’t greet him by name as the other vendors around us did. He was interested in some barbecue tools my dad had given my mom to sell and I told him it was $3 for all five. “How much for priests?” he asked.
What I thought: Was that a joke? I can’t tell if you were trying to be funny, or if you’re a greedy priest. Either way, I’m uncomfortable. If you’re being greedy, though, I must point out to you that a lot of this money is going to your church. Are you being greedy and trying to cheat your own parish? Hold on while I move a few feet away from you, because I’m pretty sure your boss (with a capital B) is about to smite you big time.
What I said:  “Haha…ha? Um, have you met my grandma? Hey grandma, he’s interested in the barbecue tools.”

The woman with the booth next to us was really nice and clicked with my mom right away. The two of them ended up chatting for most of the six hours that we were in the church parking lot. She was selling a beautiful, very old-looking basket for a whopping $40, a price that prompted every potential buyer to immediately set it back down as carefully as if it were a chotchke bomb. The basket was close to our things, which gave a lot of people the mistaken impression that it was my item and I was in charge. I knew how much the vendor was selling it for because I had heard her tell at least a dozen people, but when I was asked I would just point and tell the person “It’s that lady’s, over there.” Not my basket, not my problem. Eventually though, I got tired of being the middle woman. A woman with skin one shade away from an oompa loompa’s called me over. “This is gorgeous,” she barked. “How much?” I told her it wasn’t mine, but that I knew the woman was selling it for $40. She raised her already arched eyebrows and said “You must be kidding. It’s not even in good condition. It’s, like, old.”
What I thought: Um, I’m pretty sure that’s the point–that it’s old. I happen to agree that $40 is a surprisingly high price for a rummage sale, but the seller must think it’s worth that much. You don’t know anything about it–it could be a hundred year old basket. It could have a rich history. It could have been hand-made and passed down for generations, only to land at a church rummage sale. You seemed to recognize that it’s gorgeous, but somehow you think it can’t be gorgeous and old? You are full of contradictions. You and your skin color are an enigma surrounded by mystery.
What I said: “Yes, I’m sure it is very old.”

The woman with the coveted basket also had a beautiful candelabra for sale. It was in a sort of tree shape, with indented pedestals for small, flat candles. I thought it would be a great jewelry holder, not to mention that it would be pretty all lit up with candles, and was surprised that no one bought it. I mentioned this to the seller as we were packing up our stuff. “You like it?” she smiled. “It’s yours! Take it, please.” Of course, then came the obligatory, polite back-and-forth, with me insisting that I’d pay for it and her insisting that I could have it. Finally, she got me with: “Come on, you don’t have a job–you can’t just be buying candelabras with your non-existent paycheck!”
What I thought: Ouch. Below the belt!
What I said: “Well, you have a point…”

My loot from the rummage sale. Wanna know what I think about it?

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14 Responses to “What I Thought / What I Said”

  1. lexy3587 May 18, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    lol… I so often have those types of internal monologues that don’t match up at all with what I actually say to the person!
    yours, written down, were hilarious 🙂

    • Oh My Words! May 21, 2011 at 12:24 am #

      thanks! nice to know that my internal monologues can stand up in the “real” world 🙂

  2. anjobanjo22 May 18, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    This post made me laugh. I find myself doing this all the time.

  3. Through The Screen Door May 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    I adore your writing style! It’s everything I wish mine was lol. I have to give you props, the below-the-belt-get-a-job-you-loser jab would probably have been the last straw for me. I doubt I could have handled it as gracefully as you did! But then again, I work with the public (i.e. IDIOTS) on daily basis so my patience isn’t what it used to be! Keep writing sister, I love reading! :o)

    • Oh My Words! May 21, 2011 at 12:27 am #

      thanks! Your compliments really mean a lot to me. You know, I enjoy YOUR writing style! (Particularly that last one about your close encounters with panic at the health food store.)

  4. creatingafairhaven May 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    I consider myself to be a tactful person, but there were times in your stories that I was wishing you would’ve said JUST WHAT YOU THOUGHT…people can be so frustrating some times. However, good job. Your tact is amazing.

    • Oh My Words! May 21, 2011 at 12:29 am #

      Thanks! Well if it makes you feel any better, I am pretty good at controlling my words but utterly hopeless when it comes to controlling my facial expressions. (Actually, I’ve gotten into some sticky situations because of that.) It’s quite possible that my face revealed my thoughts…

  5. WobblyWords May 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    “Hold on while I move a few feet away from you” hahaha you are great!

  6. Roshaunda May 27, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Every time I tell my husband a story, he asks, “Did you just think that or did you actually say it?” I say so much sometimes that people think I don’t have a filter. If only they knew…. Thanks for encapsulating this duality. I really enjoyed it.

    • Oh My Words! May 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      glad you enjoyed it! I sort of have a selective filter…my stories would also be much different if I didn’t!

  7. Rodnee May 27, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Thanks. Interesting post!

  8. Bindu John May 27, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    That was soooo funny. The feelings and instincts of people everywhere are almost the same, I think. But some people are rated ‘polite’as they are always successful in disguising their thoughts.You are really polite.

  9. goingroundandround May 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Your candelabra is nifty, and being free makes it even better! Running or working at a rummage sale is definitely a big exercise in politeness, even for those who generally don’t have trouble being nice.

  10. My English Thoughts June 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    I’m doing the same kind of internal monologue quite often actually. Sometimes it’s really tough to me to not tell what I really want to tell, so I guess to think at whatever I want or should say before speaking saved me a couple of time !

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