An occasionally updated chronicle of estate sales in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

"It's such a guilty pleasure..." Lynne Stiefel, Pioneer Press

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mount Prospect Meh

Here's what makes this job occasionally more difficult than you, I or anyone else would like: estate sales that don't really say much. That just sit there, without a point of view, a case to make, a story to tell or an ax to grind. There are a fair number of them. This is one.

Is this a real dining room, or one of those incredibly realistic dining rooms you see in high-end doll houses?

Yes, this picture really was taken at 12:22. On September 18, 2009.

Give me that chest of drawers in the right corner and nobody gets hurt.

This would be the perfect gown in which to murder your lover, because the blood stains would blend right in.

Once again: doll house or real house?

If you squint your eyes and look at this just right and use your imagination, these stairs sort of look like piano keys.

Today, people collect LP records because of their large graphics, liner notes and rich sound. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that people will never collect cassette tapes.

Ta da! All my inboxes and outboxes are empty. Can I go home now?

I've heard of Bunco parties. I'd always assumed they were code for a bunch of married women getting together to drink wine and tell scandalous truths they hope no one will remember the next day. But apparently Bunco is a real thing. Which isn't to say the wine-drinking and truth-telling don't happen.

If you happened to be looking for an antique trunk to turn into a coffee table -- a la Better Homes and Gardens 100 Ideas Under $100 -- this would have been your sale and your lucky day.

Back upstairs, and a word to those of you collecting all the pieces of the Victorian Christmas Village because you believe them to be a good investment: save your time and money.


  1. Au contraire, there is a seamy story to tell here hidden behind a veil of suburban respectability. This is the home of Bob, a junior executive at his company whose career has stalled, and his wife Nancy, a plain but well-bred Vassar English Lit. major.

    Bob, a closet alcoholic, toils away at The Company during the day, taking two-hour cocktail lunches at the downtown Hilton with his randy secretary Heather, a girl half his age. His bosses have decided he is not upper management material and passes him over for promotion time and time again. He finds comfort in bottle of Glenlivet and the arms of Heather where his manliness is absolute and the sex is racy. The bedroom at home has been only for sleeping for many years, except for the annual obligatory birthday boink.

    Nancy, a housewife, frustrated because Bob did not appreciate or support her poetry writing, fills her days maintaining a Norman Rockwellian home, decorating lavishly for Christmas, hosting holiday meals for Bob's family, working on the household finances, playing Bunco with her friends, and trying to keep up appearances of a happy marriage. She tries to provide a sanctuary for Bob to return to each night, but is confused by his emotional distancing and withdrawal.

    One evening, in an effort to revive their flagging marriage, Nancy cooks Bob's favorite meal and dons a beautiful red dress. Bob returns home from work, more than a little lit from an after work cocktail and faintly whiffy from quickie with Heather. Nancy is heartbroken at the realization her marriage is a sham and a loud argument ensues.

    Bob, tired of Nancy's clingy nagging, has had enough and retrieves his grandfather's antique pistol from the box in the bedroom closet. His drunken aim is not so accurate and he shots Nancy in the shoulder. When she falls to the floor screaming in pain, he stands over her and shoots again.

    It was the scandal of the century in this quiet neighborhood. The neighbors exclaim to the Channel 7 news cameras, "But they were such a *nice* couple!" Nancy is in the graveyard and Bob is doing 25 to life in the State Pen, thus the estate sale.

    Moral of the story: If you decorate with Laura Ashley, your husband is probably having an affair with his secretary.

  2. Ha! Needless to say, you read more into this sale -- and more creatively -- than I did.

    When I need a guest blogger, I now know where to send the photos.


Related Posts with Thumbnails