Summertime and the birth of the eBay blues

For some inexplicable reason, I wax nostalgic in the summer. Perhaps it’s the gentle, warm breezes blowing my bedroom curtains or the far-away drone of a small airplane that brings to mind my childhood back home in Colorado.
This year, though, summer got risky because the new season brought with it the thrills of eBay buying.
Over the years I’d bought the odd item here and there on eBay, but it never caught my fancy like it did about a month ago. At the outset of summer. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
This year a couple of warm recollections were crowding my brain like the memories of our family’s fishing trips with picnics in the mountains. Lazy summer months meant heat and misery in town, but the cool mountain breezes and icy streams brought liberation from the steely bonds of summer’s high temperatures.
And wherever we went as a family, the cameras came, too. With my own Brownie camera I found a kinship with my parents, both avid photographers. And as I grew older, improved variations of the old Kodak Brownie – now with flash! – arrived for me under our Christmas tree. When I was 18 and leaving home for good, my Kodak camera came along with me when I moved to California.
Now the old cameras are long gone, replaced years ago by fancier gear. But those long ago, picture-perfect days are as sharp as a high-resolution digital image in my present, summertime-mode mindset. And, inexplicably, I missed those old cameras.
But wait. Didn’t I once see something on TV about a guy auctioning off on eBay a potato that looked like Lyndon Johnson? Or some such? Yes! And suddenly I knew where to find a little nugget of nostalgia.
Discovering that the old cameras live on through eBay, the bidding wars began.
With my old camera longings finally fulfilled, I went on to reminiscence of multi-generations of women in our family who regularly wore half aprons over their simple housedresses. My aunt cooking in her steamy hot kitchen fanned herself with her apron. Grandma carried in from her backyard aprons full of plump, juicy apricots. Sights as familiar to me as my own face in the mirror.
So it was back to bidding on eBay where my finds were plentiful and memory invoking. Yep; there are mosquitoes in summer, but the bug I was bitten by was eBay. Immersed in heated bidding wars over vintage aprons, you’d have thought I was after prime breeding livestock.
The other night I arrived at my daughter’s home to watch 2-year-old Charlie for a bit. As she left I imparted the latest bulletin: “I’m in a tight four-way race on an orange cross-stitch apron,” I said nervously. “And bidding closes at 7!”
Well. As you can see, eBay was invading my life. But if those three floozies from wherever who thought they needed to win that apron more than I did would just go away, I had a good shot at winning. I mean, it was only $7, people! Well, sure, the shipping was $5. Whatever. This was war!
I lucked out and won that cross-stitch apron plus others that my daughters and I will wear for family dinner nights at our house. It’s just my small effort to create our own nostalgia in our growing family. But I’m afraid the eBay bidding wars will have to continue without me. It was way beyond stressful. I mean, I was cracking under all that pressure.
Common sense dictated it was time to wean myself away from eBay. But wait … this could be difficult. I wondered if there’s an eBay rehab for bidders hooked on vintage comers and aprons … or potatoes that look like Lyndon Johnson.
Well, of course there isn’t and I can pull myself out of this eBay tailspin if I resolve to be strong. I’ve overcome far greater obstacles. And it is, after all, simply a bunch of old stuff. Right? Right!
Although just looking out of, um … curiosity a minute ago, I noticed a couple of nifty old recipe boxes up for auction on eBay. Hmmm … maybe I’ll just take another look … be right back …

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