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Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Rare Trip to Goodwill

A rare event: a trip to Goodwill yesterday. Goodwill used to be a regular stop on my frugal path, but I now go less than once per month. It's a few miles away; the store mistreats its employees; as far as I can tell, its "mission" is to run stores with low-paid employees and well-paid management. Aside from these somewhat virtuous reasons, I have a personal one: my GW raised its book prices from 20 cents to 99 cents. It just doesn't seem worth it to slog through all the John Grishams to find that book I've never heard of that proves to be excellent.

Now I only go to GW when Mr FS goes to Home Depot, which is right next door. Yesterday was the day. It is a huge store. The shelves were sparsely filled, perhaps because it was a busy day and many treasures had already gone to new homes. I was looking in a rather desultory fashion, hoping that Mr FS would soon rescue me.

Then I heard one of those GW "bonding" conversations. These often occur between two middle-class shoppers who are both excited to be at GW and slightly embarrassed. These conversations are always VERY LOUD. Yesterday, two women bonded over the housewares, which happen to be right next to the racks of shoes. They were exclaiming over their wonderful bargains. "But," said one, "I would never buy SHOES." "No," said the other, "That would be like buying UNDERWEAR [also sold at GW]. DISGUSTING."

Even though I was not looking at shoes, I headed right over to join the other shoppers. Pickings were very slim. Still, I had to show some sisterhood to the other shoppers who were buying shoes, perhaps by necessity, and being treated to a scornful message.

Now, I am lucky (in the secondhand shoe world) because I have relatively small feet. I found a pair of Mephisto sandals! I also spied (probably from the same donor) a pair of Arches and a pair of Ferragamo loafers. The latter two were too small. I have learned through painful experience (and too much clutter) that shoes are to wear, not to look at.

I bought the Mephistos. Then Mr FS rescued me. He had had a bad time at Home Depot. To cheer ourselves up, we got two Frosty's at Wendy's, right behind GW. The employees at the OTHER thrift store gave me some coupons as a gift. Thanks, guys!


Anonymous said...

Good for you! I've never encountered this type of behavior at the stores where I shop, but I have had the weird experience of people being embarrassed for me when I told them I was wearing something purchased at a thrift shop.

Frugal Scholar said...

@ Bettina--I hear stuff like that all the time. Or worse. I used to tell people. Then I stopped after receiving several "Oh, it looks it" comments from various "mean girls"--all in their 30s and up! Now I tell people again.