For the past month, I’ve seen signs around our town advertising a big sale for used children’s clothing, toys and gear. Naturally, my interest was piqued as I am unable to pass by an opportunity to shop. So I was up bright and early Saturday morning, ready to enjoy a nice leisurely morning, shopping for some kids crap.
And while I arrived promptly as the event began at 8:30am (having been up already for two hours. life with a toddler), I was shocked to see a line around the block for people waiting to get in. AND PEOPLE WERE ALREADY LEAVING WITH STUFF.
Now, if you know me, you know I just can’t handle that. And by that, I don’t mean waiting in line for a sale. Crap, I lived in NYC for years and hit up the Theory sample sale twice a year like it was my job, rain, sleet, snow or long line. If I’m gonna get a deal, I’ll do just about anything. And sure, time is money, but there is no single thing that is more satisfying to me than telling people I paid five cents for something worth 10 cents. I covet jealousy.
No, what I can’t handle is that I arrived ON TIME and yet, still, there were some shopping ninjas who managed to get there before me and score some almost free crap before I did. The injustice of it all. I am still smarting. And I need to know how they did it, so I too can cheat next year.
While I waited in line, I read the very handy rules board that was on the lawn (the only shopping worth doing is shopping that requires a rules board.) It stipulated that all shoppers must use the clear bags that would be provided for us. You also needed to pay for your items in the area you shopped in. Each area would require a new check out process. The board also laid out the floor plan for shopping. What this told me is that I needed to prioritize my shopping. I don’t have time to waste in every line. Okay, well I do have the time, per se, but I won’t devote unnecessary energy waiting in line. The stupid line I was in was bad enough.
Like any seasoned consumer with an unhealthy fixation coupled with shopper’s rage, I scanned the crowd, and I could immediately tell the baby gear was old and ratty. Nobody was parting with Bugaboo or Stokke for this sale. I don’t need a high chair from 1980. Thanksverymuch. With the floor plan imbedded in my mind’s eye, I took off for the basement level, down three flights of stairs, to the mother lode: Children’s Clothing.
Now here’s the deal with children’s clothing. Some of us moms go a little hog wild in the clothing department. This results in each outfit purchased being worn approximately 2.8 times in the child’s life. I’ve done the math. No need to double check it. So unless your child is Pigpen, chances are, the practically never worn clothing will go directly into a storage tub and will be kept in immaculate condition while awaiting its fate.
And that fate? Thy name is Kate. Nice to meet you.
The clothing floor was like a mini department store with racks upon racks of clothing, separated by gender and size. I honed in on the blue 2T signs and nimbly stepped over small children, narrowly avoiding clobbering them with my purse while en route. Like I said, I’m an expert.
$2 Baby Gap T Shirt from THIS YEAR? Yes, let’s just take that home. Cargo shorts in every imaginable color for $2 each? GET IN THE BAG! A Red Sox shirt? Oh why the hell not. It was a dollar. I’ll pretty much buy anything for a dollar.
And I wasn’t the only looney there, crazy for cocoa puffs. I actually heard the following conversation:
“This is like the running of the brides!”
“So Tyler’s a size 2T. If you see something cute and it’s a 2T, just grab it. Anything at all. Just throw it in a bag. We’ll decide later if we want it.”
It was all clear bags and crazy times. AND I WAS LOVING IT.
There was a woman there who had in her bag one of those talking plush dogs. We have it too. I hid it in a closet and only every now and then does Colin unearth him. That thing is horrible. As the lady was shopping next to me I told her kindly, “I’ll be interested to see if you leave with that dog after hearing it for thirty minutes straight.”
She shot me a dirty look. She’d be damned if she wasn’t going to bring it home. It was probably a dollar.
I understand. But that dog will be back in the sale come the fall. I guarantee it.
Anyway, in the end, I scored a pile of summer clothes for $35. And let me tell you: I felt nothing short of victorious. I came, I stood in line, I scoured and I conquered.
And then I came home and bleached all of it to within an inch of its life.