Back when Rob was a non-cuddly little infant in a stroller and I was a stunned and isolated new mother, we had a Goodwill within easy walking distance of our apartment. I used to have a goal of getting the two of us out of the house every single day, and that was one of my favorite destinations. Pretty plate for 50 cents! Revereware saucepan for $1.99! End table for $10.00! Suitcase for $5.00!
Plus, that was where we donated our decluttering: I didn't feel as dumb getting rid of all the brand-new tags-still-on-them placemats it turned out we never used if I knew they were going to a good cause (and to another shopper who would get the same thrill I got when I saw the plates for 50 cents).
Then we moved, and there was a Goodwill but it was pretty far away, and then that Goodwill closed. Years of twilight passed.
Then, on a day we didn't realize we should note as The Day Our Lives Changed, construction started on a new building. We felt mild curiosity: What will it be? A new Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, probably, since there are only two so far in that mile-long strip.
But no! No! It was a GOODWILL. We discussed it. Could it be a rumor? Maybe it is just a Dunkin Donuts BUILT BY Goodwill, and not an actual Goodwill STORE. But it continued to look like it was actually going to be a Goodwill.
This past Wednesday, my mom and I were driving up that road and we saw the full parking lot. Could it be OPEN? Is it OPEN?? IT'S OPEN. My mom made a hard right into the parking lot. And oh! The riches! A Gap sweater and a J. Crew sweater for William, $4.99 each---but one of them was yellow-tagged, so it was only $2.50.
|William does not want to model his $2.50 Gap sweater|
Four non-cropped sweaters for Elizabeth, who had NO sweaters this year because they're ALL cropped, $1.99 each---oh, but one is yellow-tagged, so only $1.00!
|Elizabeth in her $1.00 non-cropped sweater|
A Rugged Bear pinwale corduroy dress for Elizabeth, $1.99---whoops, yellow tag, $1.00! A cute short-sleeved t-shirt cardigan for me, $36.00 store tag still on it, $7.99! A Lands' End tie-dye shirt for Edward---THE VERY ONE I HAVE CONSIDERED BUYING FROM LANDS' END.
|IT'S THE VERY ONE|
Carter's spring/fall jacket for Henry, $1.99! A Gymboree sweater for Henry, looks like it's never even been laundered let alone worn, $1.99!
|Henry wearing $1.99|
Whoooo. I felt faint. I think one reason I got so many good deals is that four of the five kids wear sweaters, but sweaters are the kind of thing a lot of people WON'T wear. So people end up donating huge piles of them: I think in the men's section there were a lot of Unwanted Sweaters Received For Christmas (which William will wear EVERY SINGLE DAY until spring).
Speaking of sweaters, I wished SO HARD I was involved in a group that did an Ugly Christmas Sweater event, because there was a PERFECT sweater for it. Perfect in that it was not actually entirely ugly, but was nevertheless comical. Cardinals and holly EVERYWHERE. Also: it was a VEST CARDIGAN.
Then, that same night Paul and I went out on a date (we went to Chipotle because neither of us had ever been; we both liked it a lot) (I wore my new short-sleeved cardigan), and after we went to dinner we went back to Goodwill! I bought another few things for the kids, and tried on a jacket that wasn't quite right the first time and wasn't quite right the second time either. I looked more thoroughly in the plates and stationery, where I found a Griffin & Sabine stationery set I would have wanted very very badly twenty years ago, and maybe I need to go back and buy it. [Edit: I went back and bought it!] Paul bought an electronic item BECAUSE HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS. It was $4.99, that's what it was. I could get TWO GAP SWEATERS for that. He also bought a set of three new glass storage containers, for a full-price price. I don't think Paul understands Goodwill.