I didn't know it was a disease. My first clue should have been when my friend called and asked me to go "junkin" with her. I coughed, and said, "Excuse me?"
"Yeah," she said. "We spend a day hitting all the garage sales we can. Then, we hit the flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales and yard sales."
My idea of being miserly in a hard-pressed economy was different from hers. I was doing good to clip the coupons from my local Sunday paper each week. I hesitated, but she said she had a long history of junkin and it would be fun. I envisioned her house being a model for "below bargain basement" sale items with a map on how to navigate through the maze. Curiosity got the better of me, and she was ecstatic when I agreed to go with her. And, so, my junkin journey began.
My journey started before dawn, and, near dusk, we had visited almost all the places on her list. I marveled at how some of the items she bought were well-preserved. They were almost like she bought them right off a store shelf. By the end of the day, though, I was exhausted. However, she was still on a junkin-junkie high, but we couldn't fit anything more in my trunk.
"I enjoyed it," I said, being a polite friend but longed for the comfort of a bed. Then, I laughingly added, "The only thing we didn't do today was go dumpster-diving."
"Oh," she said with a smile. "We can do that tomorrow."
Fortunately, she did not hear me groan. I gripped the steering wheel tighter, fearing I started something I couldn't stop . . . and lamented how my precious coupon-clipping days were quickly numbered.