Sale Value over Sentiment: Naming My Price and Rena Grushenka

All my life, I’ve been keeping things.

Things from my childhood. Things I accumulated along the way.

I come from a good, upper-middle class family. We always had what we needed–and more. My father had a great education, and made sure that I did too.

Until now, I’ve only saw myself in artistic terms. But I’m going to learn to be creative with saving, bargaining, and selling. I know that good money sense is in my genes– and I’ve got a lot of friends who are excellent with these skills as well.

I don’t want to be the starving artist cliche.

I’ll be checking in here– yes. I’m not going away. But when I started Unrelenting Amee, I thought I may be running ads on here by now. I thought I’d find a way to make money as a writer on this blog. And granted, I haven’t invested the time to do it. But I’ve had other concerns. That’s real life.

I’ll accept my blog for what she is– something I do for myself. But it’s a luxury, also.

I’ve been in sales for so long now.  And I’m realizing there’s a lot of things I can sell if I just take the chance and let go of it. Do the research, so I don’t get taken advantage of when haggling with vendors.

Right now, many people have been flooded. They’ve lost their belongings– the basics. I don’t need all this stuff. Until recently I wanted to donate a lot of it– and that’s the Christian thing to do. But I need money to get by myself.

So I plan to donate some of it, and sell other things that will help me to pay off bills faster.

I don’t need all these. Clothes. Furniture. My car– that is something I definitely need.

It would be nice to have more space, actually.

Necessity is making me practical, rather than sentimental.

Don’t get too excited now! I’m not becoming a Republican. 🙂

But my feelings right now are summed up by a passage from one of my favorite books, White Oleander, by Janet Fitch.

To pre-face, it’s about a girl named Astrid who drifts along the foster care system after her mother goes to prison for murder. She’s been through several homes at this point– and Astrid has had almost everything taken from her. Her mother, her innocence, and now her latest foster mother, Rena, has gone through her belongings and wants Astrid to sell them. Rena supports herself and the teen girls she takes in by making a living hustling flea markets. Astrid sees that Rena has taken her own clothes without permission, and is now livid:

“Someone gave it to me,” I finally said to Rena.

“So?” Rena looked up from her hangers. “You’re lucky, someone gave to you. Now you sell, get money out.”

I stood there sullen, my arms full of T-shirts.

“You want car? Artist’s college? You think I don’t know? How you think you pay? So this dress. Pretty dress. Someone gave. But money is…”  She stopped, struggling to find the words, what money was. Finally, she threw her hands up. “Money. You want remember, so just remember.”

So I did it. I marked a price on my crimson velvet dream. I marked it high, hoping it wouldn’t sell. I marked them all high. But they sold.”

In the end, Astrid becomes a tough woman who learns to survive on very little– and she channels what she’s learned into being an artist. She learns a lot from Rena. People want to buy her work. She’s just getting by, without much safety. But she’s doing it on her own terms.

I can’t be like that just yet– I’ve got bills I’ve got to pay first before I can be that hardcore.

But I want to learn to be more like Astrid. And every day, I’m feeling smarter.


One comment on “Sale Value over Sentiment: Naming My Price and Rena Grushenka

  1. mancuso79 says:

    As you become more experienced, you can help me sell some stuff around my house.

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