Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Goodwill? Good God!

The only thing you hear in the news lately
is this financial crunch that the nation is in.
Everything is money, money, money-
or the lack thereof.

Which I suppose is the reason that
the grocery stores have stooped to
selling twenty thin slices of bread
for three dollars
and spiked that fancy canned
horse meat I feed my dog
to almost a dollar a serving!
I could graze off the dollar menu
at McDonald's four times a day
for what I spend to keep my
bratty dog alive.

So, money is the main reason
I have regained an interest
in shopping for the best bargains
and the coolest clearance items.
Anything without a red or pink tag
rarely finds its way into my cart.

I have always been a rummage sale fanatic,
but the bonus of the newly built
Goodwill store in town has added supplemental joy.
Not only is it clean and organized,
but the employees know me by name.
They don't even ask for I.D.
when I write a check anymore.
They've got my drivers license number
practically memorized.

Anyway, I feel particularly drawn to
the new store because it's bright and
friendly -and finally socially acceptable.
Gone are the days of
wearing a hat and dark glasses because
you might bump into someone you went to
high school with while you're reaching
for the gaudy leopard leggings.

But like my girls tell me-
"Mom, they are there, too! Why should you
be embarrassed to be shopping there?"

The only reply I have to that is-
"Those fifty-two year old cheerleaders
and prom queens aren't buying-
they are dropping off!"

But it is fun to take time to examine
each and every rack.
I've learned to look on the top shelves,
the board game corner,
and even sift through the underwear.
Now, I'm not desperate enough yet
to buy someones used panties,
but I have discovered great scarves
among the B cups.
I like to use them for napkins or
table toppers and I keep a bin at home
to toss in potential Halloween costumes.

Last week I stopped in for my
weekly Goodwill fix and decided
to leisurely inspect every item I could.
I rummaged through the linen basket,
I twirled the purse rack a few times,
and I even tried on some funky disco
shoes with purple glitter.

Fun times.

Well, stuffed amid the stretched out sweaters
and ripped tank tops, I found a really cute
blouse with an amazing price tag of $4.
And it fit perfectly! Almost as if it were
made just for me.
I already knew I would wear it
to a family dinner the following day.

I looked especially refreshed the next evening.
I had a certain glow about me
that only a seasoned bargain hunter knows.
There was something in my mannerism
that said I was comfortable in my
pre-loved clothing-
that I undoubtedly had an eye
for second-hand fashion.

As I was about to bite into my chicken finger,
my oldest daughter looked at me curiously.
Then my youngest began staring critically
my direction.
It was as if time stood still
and every person in Cracker Barrel
was looking at me.

"What?" I asked, dipping into a blob
of honey mustard.

"Well", Erin said, "it's just that I thought you
got rid of that ugly blouse a long time ago."

"Yeah", added Becca, snarling as though
she had just stepped in poop.
"It has to be the most horrific excuse
for a top I've ever seen."

I swallowed hard.
The chicken finger lodging in my stomach
like a sandbag.
Then I inspected myself thoroughly.

I had bought my very own
Goodwill donation.

But, you know what?
I saved money
and I had fun.

And the Halloween bin
just got
a little fuller!