So here's a secret of mine - I love to browse estate sale websites. I enjoy going to them too but honestly, browsing them on my phone sometimes is just as fun.
Over the years I have developed two emotional moral turmoils during this ritual.
The first is that I tend to think very brief but negative thoughts about the kids of the homeowners. Why don't the kids want any of this stuff ?!?! I get it if you don't want your mom and dad's collection of unmatched Tupperware lids but what about your grandmother's dishes, your mom's special hat, your dad's recliner? Didn't you love your parents? It just seems to me that the more full the house, the more the kids are bad kids. The one caveat to this though is if the house is at Hoarder Level. Which brings us to my second moral turmoil.
The second moral turmoil is that the more packed, more hoarder'esque the photos, the more excited I get going through them. To me it becomes a giant Where's Waldo. I am hunting slowing through the photos for the lost ark or at least a forgotten diamond or Picasso. I have yet to find the ark, diamond or Picasso but that doesn't mean tomorrow I won't. I better keep looking. So the second turmoil comes from the guilt I feel for the joy I feel for essentially what is probably a stranger's mental illness. Very schadenfreude.
Is is moral to derive pleasure from family disfunction or an individual's neurosis? If I go to the sale itself and buy something is that at least helping the person?
Mmmm....not sure. Hold on while I go check to see what's for sale this weekend.
Sarah Rothschild, Realtor & Architectural History Nerd.