On Saturday I went to several yards sales with Mother Dearest, as we often do on Saturday. At one I noticed a small bucket with old, partially used nail polish and asked the woman running the sale how much they were.

“Oh, twenty-five cents each.”

She goes off the fold the clothes she has sitting on a table in her garage, complaining the entire time that people kept messing them up.

How dare people try to look through her things! What did they think – that they were at a yard sale or something?

I finish picking through her stuff, most of it grossly over-priced, and prepare to pay. I had picked up a few other small things – a small folding knife, a magnifier, and an unidentified toy – and a half-dozen polishes.

This lady really liked red and pink.


I sit down my items and ask her how much I owed her. She looks at what I’ve set down.

“Umm…Eight dollars.”

I’m sorry, what?

You will be happy to know that I didn’t bitch-slap her.

“That’s not right.”

I moved the nail polish over to one side.

“You said these were twenty-five cents, so that’s a dollar-fifty.” I pointed the the three small items still remaining. “How much are these?” She looks at the items for a few seconds, and I’m starting to fear that the hamster has fallen off the wheel.

“Oh. Umm… Two dollars for all of it.”

That was more reasonable, so I paid and left.

I think she was trying to charge me a dollar each for the nail polishes. A dollar is pretty cheap for high-end polish, but most of this stuff had been sitting so long it had separated and a couple were all thick and lumpy. (A few drops of thinner might fix that, but it also might not. For a quarter I was willing to risk it.) If she wanted to charge a dollar for them, that is her prerogative, but not after she already told me a price that was much lower.