'Mum, I am imagining a line of people stretching right up the road,' she told me last night. I thought I'd better manage he expectations a little. 'There might not be that many customers,' I said. 'It's a pretty quiet road.'
'No,' she said. 'I think so many people will come and they'll be, like...' She started pretending to walk along the road. 'What's this? Ivy's...what? Op shop? Wow! What is she selling? Oh, yes, jewellery, and lucky dips! Great! Wow! Awesome!'
'Well, it hope it works out for you, ' I said.
When Ivy set up her table she was thrilled to write SOLD across the 'cards' section of her sign. She had sold all her card stock to Nanna and her Aunty Sam the day before. Sam bought my favourite, which had a crying person on the front and the cheery phrase Sorry! Inside Ivy had lettered To: and From: with spaces to fill in the names and the transgression. Sam gave it back to me that night on my birthday present. 'Sorry!' she wrote. I didn't buy you a birthday card.'
Ivy and Ted sat and waited for the rush hour.
It was, as I feared, a very quiet Sunday.
What else could I do? I quietly called Nanna and Pop. Good old Nanna and Pop.
Ivy invented a sales cry. 'Ivy's Op Shop!' she and Teddy shouted, at any sound of a distant car. 'Come now! Come then!' They spent hours sitting at their little table at the end of the driveway valiantly calling for custom. There were a few staff problems. At one stage - it was hard to get the full details - somebody drew on somebody else's paper and somebody yelled in somebody's face. Teddy took his break. He stomped past me at the door and I watched Ivy do a tragic sales call. 'Ivy's Op Shop!' she wailed, voice trembling. 'Come Now! Come th-e-e-e-en!'
In the end, a young couple walking their dog stopped and bought some items, and that marked the close of business. I would myself have called it a pretty failed business model, but Ivy was delighted and says she is going to run the shop every weekend from now on.
Nanna and Pop are going to go broke.