Do You Tell Little White Lies?

Let me say up front that I think honesty is the best policy. Always. Okay, almost always!

The other day I told a little white lie because I was too embarrassed to tell the truth.

Here’s the story…I was at my city’s monthly book sale in the children’s room. I was one of the few adults who didn’t have children in tow. I found six books and went up to pay.

[By the way, here are my favorites…]

The volunteer cashiers were two chatty older women. They looked at each of my books carefully as they tallied up my purchase, making comments on some. Then one of them asked, “So what grade do you teach?”

GULP! Do I tell them I’m buying these books because I’m going to resell them and hope to make a wad of money?

No, I do not. I lie.

I tell them no, I’m not a teacher. The books are gifts. To which one lady replies, “Oh, aren’t you nice!”

I walk out feeling ever so slightly smarmy.

But let’s face it, resellers, rag and bone folks, have never been held in high regard, with the exception of high-end antique dealers with posh stuff and posh clients. Not convinced? Let’s say you are having a yard sale and one of the items is an old rocking horse. You’ve got it priced at $20 because it’s old and kinda cool.


First scenario: A woman comes along with a toddler and the kid tries out the horse. Loves it. The woman offers you $15. You accept and off it goes to be used and loved in a new home. Second scenario: An old guy comes by. Checks out the horse for five minutes. Looks at it every which way. Offers $10 for it and after negotiating you settle on $15. You suspect this guy is just going to resell it…and jeez, he’s probably going to make a lot of money! It irks you a bit.

In the end the horse is gone and you get the same money for it, but who do you want to have it? 

See what I mean?

Frankly, even I don’t like some resellers. For every nice one, I’ve met others who are obnoxious. Case in point a few weeks ago at an estate sale there was a woman who had post-it notes with her name and the word SOLD. When the doors open she started slapping them on things. She wasn’t totally indiscriminate but she moved quickly. I wonder now if she actually bought all the items she had tagged. I know this is a often a ploy used by resellers to “hold” the best items till they have time to fully look them over later.

But my “favorite” guy at that sale was the book guy. There was a narrow book shelf, maybe two feet wide and this guy had positioned himself squarely in front of it. I came over and he didn’t move at all to let me see the books. So I said, “I’m just going to look over your shoulder.” No response. I actually reached in over his arm to pull out a book and he didn’t move out of the way at all. Finally, I decided I would do another circuit of the condo and come back to the books. Ten minutes later I was back and he was still there.

I guess what bothered me about these two people is that they had no sense of fair play. Or maybe I’m just not that hard core. I do realize when the doors open at an estate sale we are all competing with each other. But I don’t believe that rudeness or pushing (which has happened at other sales) or deviousness or selfishness has any part, of any endeavor. Period.

Anyway that’s my two cents on that.

And about the white lies? Well, honestly, I’ll still tell a few. I know I will.

How about you?


  1. well, I guess I would try not to lie, but not devulge anything more than I have to…like, No, I just like these books….( it’s not their business what you’re going to do with them) as to the man in front of the books, I hope you don;’t meet too many like that. Rosalie


    1. Thanks Rosalie. I like your idea about not lying, but just not divulging everything. And you’re right…it’s not their business what folks do with the books they buy. So appreciate your wisdom. – Karen


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