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The Spark (he said)

My mother and me at the Big-E, circa 2000

My mother and me at the Big-E, circa 2000

I love the hunt. Searching for and finding that amazing deal—anything from a hotel room to a vintage steal.  There’s something about landing a bargain that gets my blood pumping. For some it’s playing the slots at Mohegan Sun, but for me it’s scavenging in the sun at a flea market.

Looking back, it started early. I inherited it from my mom. She also had “the bug.” For her, it was less about antiques, but more about the deals. She loved going to yard sales, and from a young age she would take me along with her. At first, she had to drag me, but it soon became a mutual obsession. Living in the northeast, ours was a seasonal adventure, but it was something to look forward to—like vacation from school. Summer weekends, we’d get up, grab some breakfast from Dunkin’ Donuts, and were off! Sometimes, Mom would scour the newspaper for listings in the “nicer” neighborhoods in town, but mostly we’d just drive. Searching for yard sale signs is so ingrained into my sub-consciousness, that driving past one always leaves me with a twinge of remorse.

I learned the art of the deal from Mom, and she was good at getting deals. Sometimes she wouldn’t even have to get out of the car. If it was later in the day and she was tired, she’d send me to scope out something she’d spotted from the street, and as I held it up, she’d shout out the car window, “Fifteen dollars?! I’ll give you five for it!” I think most people were so taken aback by her brashness that they would just concede.

Even though my mom isn’t around anymore, I’m proud to carry on the tradition. And while my taste has evolved from yard sales to auction houses, you can still find me rummaging around in the sunshine…on the hunt for the next great deal.

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