... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.


The sun hadn’t yet risen, the four of us weren’t quite awake, but once we arrived at our destination, we got busy!

The early birds were on us as soon as we opened our car doors. “Do you have any perfume?” “Do you have any real jewelry?” “Any cell phones?”

“Not yet, not yet. Come back in half an hour after we’ve set up,” wesaid as we unloaded enormous plastic sacks and boxes loaded to the brim.

You actually have to be a little gruff and shoo people away at this point because you don’t want anything to be stolen and we had no time for lollygagging. Our wallpapering tables had to be set up for the foldable stacked items that would be folded and refolded and restacked throughout the day. Our stands for our hanging items had to be assembled. By the time the sun rose we would be well on our way into selling it forward; offering our wares at one of the largest flea markets in the city!

There were four of us menopausebarbees: Naima represented Madrid via Morocco, Deborrah, New York, Maria whose roots trail all the way to Mesopotamia and me.

Naima had brought 2 carloads of items. Occasionally she hollered out:”Hey, Tracie! Did you see that old lady with the 2 kids? She stole my box of jewelry! I just brought all that back from Madrid!” This happened a couple times. Thankfully each time she did recover her things. They were found buried beneath some other thing -she just brought along way too much!

Sometime during the early noon hour, I mentioned to Deborah that she may want to consider lowering her price on a pair of her jeans. She had been on a pretty good roll selling up till that point. She looked at me and said: “I’m not lowering a damn thing except my collar!”

Maria had grown up working in her parents’ restaurant. “Hey you ladies want some chicken I cooked last night?Here. Have a bite. Forget the no carb thing-you gotta try it with a bite of the spicy rice and veggies. Help yourself to these mixed nuts…

We laughed and winked and gave each other sign language and told each other’s potential customers what a bargain they were getting and if we didn’t have what they were looking for, our menopausebarbee colleague would surely have it.

And our customers gave pause for thought to say the least.

There was a preteen girl whose mother was interested in a floor length pink skirt I had on display. Mom picked it up, held it up to her waist. Should she or shouldn’t she? Her daughter said no, because it was too…colorful. Hmm. Wow, I thought if pink is too colorful now, she will probably only see grey when life really kicks in. I felt sorry for her.

And then of course there were the men who bought a few of my outfits. I was happy for them because it freed up something inside me to see them exercising their freedom to do their own thing. T not only stands for Tracie, it stands for Tolerance.

And of course throughout the day, there were those who come to the market just for sport. They banter and bargain knowing they have no intention of buying—they are there just to wear you out!

Our day had begun at 5 A.M. When the time came ‘round to close shop at 5 P.M. we were exhausted. Simply had no more to give. We lowered the prices on some articles down to1 Euro.And then we even gave things away for free. So much for that collar.

By the time I got home, I realized my sense of appreciation for all things lollapalooza had deepened.
I hadn’t had so much fun all week.