Rummanah Aasi

    Today I'm thrilled to bring you author Arlaina Tibensky's Teenage Garage Sale post. In this post, we ask the author on what we might find if there were to have a garage sale featuring items from their teenage years. Here is what Arlaina shared with us:

In And Then Things Fall Apart Keek and her friend Nic like to go to garage sales in the suburbs of Chicago.  The call it garage sailing and they love it-

Last summer, before high school started, we would get a Suburban Life newspaper and a red Sharpie, and circle the most promising sale events, mapping out our route and filling our handle bar baskets with crap we could not live without.  Albums and fondue paraphernalia, dresses, jackets, square-toed patent leather boots.  Cocktail rings, Adam Ant posters, fish tank toys and giant daisy pins.  How we loved the ephemera of suburban living, repurposed with knowing worldliness for our own lives, making everything we did seem unique and full of unearned gravitas because the very objects themselves had a history separate from our own.

Do not be shocked when I tell you that some of these very same items in the book are from my actual teenaged life…

  1. Adam Ant Poster $5.00. 
      Yes, I was (and still am a little) in love with Adam Ant.  I have all his records on itunes. Prince Charming and Stand and Deliver are my two favorite songs and when I was into him, I’d kiss the poster. On the lips. Dreamily.

  1. Hexagonal fish tank $25
      Blue gravel, treasure chest aquarium toy, and missing dwarf albino African frog skeleton included.  How many nights of my sophomore year were spent listening to Adam Ant on my tape deck and dancing in the blue light of this same fish tank as my tiny white frog pumped his pale pink legs open and shut on his way up for air?

  1. Handmade One of a Kind (OOK) Barbie doll hair clip $2.00
      Keek likes to make upcycled items of wonder for her Etsy shop.  Was I any freaking different?  Dear reader, I was not.  Here on sale, today only, is a unique hair clip featuring a Barbie head, arm, arm, shoe, another head and another arm all lashed to a giant barrette with blue plastic beads and florist wire.  How punk rock.

  1. Sylvia Plath tights OOK! $2.50- make me an offer!
      Random Sylvia Plath verses from Ariel and The Bell Jar written on a pair of white tights in Sharpie Marker.  “The blood flood is the flood of love,”  “Devilish Leopard!”  “Daddy Daddy you bastard, I’m through,” “I’m a pure aceyletyne virgin-”

  1. Hair Crimper $3.00 Like new.  Used three times.  Once for Junior Prom.  Sigh.
 6. Nazareth Academy Catholic Co-Ed College prep uniform skirts- one red Stewart tartan, one gray with maroon check. $15.00 OBO 
            These look especially amazing when paired with the Sylvia Plath tights.  A look to remember.

7.  Various VHS videotapes in the 25 cents box
            Titles include such classics as Repo Man, Barfly, Casablanca, Near Dark, The Hunger, Earth Girls are Easy and Sid and Nancy.

  Arlaina Tibensky is the world’s oldest teenager.  She lives in NYC where she curates the Pen Parentis Literary Salon at the Libertine Library. Her debut YA nove, And Then Things Fall Apart, about how Sylvia Plath and an old typewriter usher a reluctant virgin through the worst summer of her freaking life, is out July 26, 2011 with Simon & Schuster.  Visit her at

4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Hahaha I used to have a hair crimper! I loved using it even though it made my hair frizzy and enormous and all-around ridiculous. I didn't care, I thought I looked AMAZING:) Such a fun post!

  2. Lauren M Says:

    It's great that the author incorporated elements from her own life into the book!
    Also, those Sylvia Plath tights sound hilarious. I wonder if she actually wore them around! :)

  3. LoriStrongin Says:

    Ooh, fun interview! I love the concept of learning about these characters (as well as the author) through the "junk" they buy at garage sales. Definitely will have to look further into this book. Thanks for the rec!


  4. A hexagonal fish tank is different. And gotta love Sylvia Plath as a teenager.

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