Saturday, June 17, 2006

Village people

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a shopper. At least not a willing one. Yet today, I had possibly the best shopping streak of my life. I shopped non-stop for three hours, and managed to spend a record $160 on mostly pants! Moreover, pants that FIT me. Which are an endangered species. I owe much to my very patient mother. With honorable mention to Value Village and Old Navy.

Value Village is my favorite shopping experience. It’s more like treasure-hunting than shopping. You have to wade through all the junk to discover the diamond in the rough. There’s so much more victory to it…sort of like eating curry (see last post). There’s no going back to regular shopping, with the plethora of sizes that comes with it, and every piece of clothing in prime condition. Where’s the fun in that? It’s nothing like finding a quality item at the Village in YOUR size that’s not stained or frayed, that’s free of frills and shoulder pads, that has already been loved, that you can put in the dryer without worrying about it shrinking, and all at the low low price of $7.99! Indeed, only at the Village will you exclaim, “Fourteen dollars? That’s rather pricy.” Only at the Village will you get weird looks when you ask the change room lady for another size in something. Only at the Village can you overhear a college guy ask the change room lady, “If I were a girl, what dress size would I be?” (I later found out he was shopping for an embarrassing costume to dress up his soon-to-be-married friend at his stag. Poor guy.)

It’s also the one shopping activity that improves with experience. Soon you learn the little tricks, like checking for T-shirts in the little boys section, or pushing all the clothes to the end of the rack so that they’re easier to quickly flip through. You train your eyes to immediately scan past hot pink pants and shirts covered in huge flowers. (Unless, of course, you’re into that sort of thing.) You learn ways to sneak more than 5 items into the change rooms, to cut down on trying-on time. But whatever you do, don’t get a shopping cart. My mom and I were tempted today, but we resisted. Shopping carts at Value Village = going overboard. You must be more selective. Do not buy what you will not wear. Do not try it on if you have your doubts. Economize your time.

Bottom line is – I now have lots of pants. Including a couple pair I found in the men’s section that make me look like a skateboarding poser but I couldn’t resist buying them because they’re lined with this great fabric that makes them SO comfortable - the meshy stuff on the inside of men's bathing suits. Why don’t they line women’s pants with this stuff? Wow. Guys get all the perks. Anyway, I returned home after the successful shopping, and I began packing for camp. The packing experience included raiding my mom’s closet for possible “retro” costumes, which turned into trying on my mom’s old bridesmaid dress from her sister's wedding (pink with poofy sleeves - I hope the one I'm wearing for Sarah's wedding will be lower on the poofy scale), which turned into trying on my mom’s wedding dress. I got a little sidetracked. And that's not all. Perhaps because of my sudden increase in clothing, I was also distracted by the urge to simplify my life by giving away all the clothes I never wear. So, I tried on everything in my room. I filled two garbage bags with things to give away. Mostly things from Value Village.

My life is simplified, and not a moment too soon, because I leave for camp tomorrow. I’m excited, although I’ve had so much fun with Chris and Dan the last couple of nights (I’m a fickle hockey fan, but it sure was great to watch the Oilers win tonight!), and fun with my mom this morning – I’m sad to be away from them yet again. At least I’ll be home on weekends. And they’re going on trips of their own. As for my trip - I will drive up to camp tomorrow in the company of seven senior citizens. It’s Adult Camp, and I’m driving them up in the ten-passenger van. I’ll let you know how the drive, and the week, go… let’s just say I hope they’ll all be up for watching the Stanley Cup final on Monday… Go Oilers!


rochelle laura knox said...

i wandered into the "ontario march for dimes" which is kind of like value village but really more like salvation army because it is totally a charity and generally a little cheaper and i think it's staffed by volunteers and stuff in search of the largest possible suitcase i could find. you see, i've accumulated junk this year and i'm not quite sure how to get it all home which is where i'll this time next week and i'm so stoked but also a little sad cause i'm going to miss people here. anyway, my expectations were low. i was thinking i'd be happy with an old pink dirty suitcase i'd throw away on arrival. and GUESS WHAT! i found a BRAND NEW black samsonite suitcase on wheels and everything. and i'm a traveller so yes i get excited about suitcases. $15 dollars later i'm thinking, instead of chucking the thrift store suitcase i think i might just chuck my old suitcase. sometimes you just luck out at these places. happy happy me.

Anonymous said...

THAT is a smile that can change the world.. does that sound convincing enough for you to believe that your grin is A-mazing, beth???