Late January 2012
For the first few days when I started this project, my wife couldn't stop giving me sideways glances, as if she were assessing whether I'd just gone off the deep end. Why would someone be so freakin' excited about selling a handheld electronic game for twenty-some bucks? And then I sold the Fire Box and everything changed. Standing in the kitchen and showing her the bidding war that took place in the last 12 seconds of the auction and then showing her the final selling price, her gaping jaw was priceless. In the space of 90 seconds, I had gone from having a wife who tolerated her oddball husband and his financial antics, to having a business partner who was fascinated by my success and wanted to analyze how it was possible so that "we" could do it again.
The kids haven't been immune to my new hobby either. Whenever we're in a store and they see something they want, they have now started phrasing value on things in terms of, "Daddy, this is a really good price, we should get it." Today, on the way home from school, my 6 year old even confided she's started a resale shop at school. She employs classmates to comb the school campus during lunch and recess and bring her interesting things: a pretty twig, a feather, a lost bead. Then she creates art with them by tying items together into creative collages and sets up shop the next day during recess. Using one chair on the classroom porch as her office, she uses another chair as the display case and students can barter with her to trade for things they want. I'm not sure how I feel about raising a young venture capitalist, but for a first grader, she's doing alright. We even joked in the car at the similarity between her and Tom Sawyer (which we're reading now) as she had to consider the offer from her classmates to let them help her in finding objects. She's now in the front yard selling artwork to the neighborhood adults as they come home from work. This could get out of hand.