Saturday, November 26, 2011

Put This On Your Bucket List

I had never conceived of a Goodwill Outlet.

I confess: I'm mostly a novice when it comes to thrifting. I'm not hard-core. I don't have special gloves. I don't own a bottle of hand sanitizer. True story.

When my friend Elisha offered to take me, I was way past intrigued.




This was my Breakfast of Champions. When I met up with her she had a bottle of water and a bag of Cheez-Its waiting for me. Homegirl knows how I tick.

So yes, I was well-fortified and ready to attack. I would own those blue bins.


The Goodwill Outlet is like purgatory for home items from the early 1970s and boxless boardgames and broken glasswares. It's all the stuff that didn't cut the mustard in the everyday variety Goodwill. It's the end of the line. I swore I saw a headless Barbie with her fingers crossed.

You just line up with your cart and start digging.

You pay by the pound. $1.69, I think. Books are $0.59/lb.

Can you imagine?

I couldn't. And I was there.


Right out of the gate I found two white flower pots from Ikea. They made me immediately suspicious of the overall premise, because they totally deserved to be in a regular Goodwill. Maybe they sacrificed their own future so that a terra-cotta pot painted in a 1988 country motif might live to see another day? (I've heard the Swedes are a particularly selfless people.)


I bypassed Alphie's brother-from-another-older-1970s-mother, but totally snapped up the toy garbage truck. And just when it seemed like things couldn't get more intense, this guy wheeled out that little cart with a Boom Box - yes, a Boom Box - and blared MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This".

The air was electric.

I scanned the crowd for Elisha. I was so confused! And yet so happy! I had no choice but to sing along.

A few seconds later, MC still makin' 'em sweat and ringing' the bell and oh-ohing, a different guy wheeled out a large cart holding a NEW BLUE BIN. He danced that sucker out. He backed the junk up for a step or two. I never would have taken him for a hip swiveler, but he totally was.

The bin was covered ceremoniously with a blanket. The crowd gathered.

O-oh.

O-oh.

U can't touch this.

No really, you can't.

At least not until the bin is in place and the secret covering is removed.

And that's precisely when I decided that I wanted to work there. Part-time, but still.

All of this, on a random Wednesday. These are some people who know the meaning of life.


I never did get close enough to that new bin. I got the vapors or something. I choked.

I'll never know the treasures I missed.


The possibilities are endless.

When all was said and done, my fingertips were black and I had 5 bags of stuff. For $20.11.

Cory texted me to see if I found anything.
Me: I bought 5 bags of crap.
Cory: Good. We needed more crap.

Let me just say this: Vintage Children's animal book. In FRENCH. True, I don't know French. But it probably cost me $0.13. I dare you to say you wouldn't have done the same.

Did I buy two random Duplo blocks? Why yes, I did. Green and white, respectively.

Am I the proud new owner of a frame-worth Parcheesi game board? Hate me.

Old clipboard? Yep. Oil painting of a lone, leafless tree? Do you even need to ask??

18.6 pounds of children's books? A kid's gotta read.


It was a winner of a day, topped off by my first Vietnamese meal, which I devoured along with eight cups of tea and hot/sour soup so hot and so sour that the roof of my mouth still won't take my calls.

Just find a Goodwill Outlet and go, man. Wear your easy britches and your dancing shoes.

Because as a wise man once said, If you can't groove to this then you probably are dead.

Harsh but true. Harsh but true.

63 comments:

  1. I wish we had a Goodwill Outlet in our small town...guess I will have to settle for our Goodwill. Something to look forward too.

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  2. We have one of those here. It's hard core...not sure if I'm up for it. It would be fun with you though crazy girl.

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  3. That post just left me smiling - your writing style is so fun. I've never even heard of a Goodwill Outlet but I'll be googling the closest one as soon as I post this comment.

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  4. Listen weirdo...how could you post something like this and then not post the actually pics of your finds? As if!! You bought spill the beans didn't you! I knew it!! Regardless...I'll give you 48 points for trying to sing a long with The Hammer.

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  5. This is wonderful. Written like a song.

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  6. I'm currently deducting 13 points from my own personal tab for the extra "ly"...drat..

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  7. ok post pics of the stuff you bought!!!!
    I've been to one of those outlets and I still don't believe it either!!

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  8. Totally hard core! Its worth it though. The other day I found a piece of Murano art glass for 35 cents. SCORE!!

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  9. I'd loved to have had the frame worthy Parcheesi board! Brings back a lot of memories of years gone by...hours that my mom and I would play it~probably in my jr. and senior high years.

    Glad that you had a fun day!

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  10. This was so great!! I absolutely love how you write!! Always leaves me smiling.

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  11. I have never met you, but I LOVE you. We have GOT to hang out. Hilarious post!

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  12. Okay gotta know - where was the outlet? Was it in South Bend? I've heard of such things down in Indy and dreamed of going... someday... but the Bend would be slightly closer and I could use the excuse of visiting my baby brother....so..... fill me in please.

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  13. I have to agree with Becky 110%

    Also, Hammer pants must have gotten the memo that FPFG was in the house & 'brought it' just for you.

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  14. Ours is a real adventure too.

    But the last time we went we were maced. Inside the store.

    Mace was going off inside a bin and people were hacking their heads and STILL DIGGING! It was macing my kids. I haven't been back since.

    Bummer.

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  15. It was fun! We'll have to go again when you're back, because no two days are EVER alike AND everyone needs a little Hammer in their life....oh, and please remember to live by the Golden Rule, like we do here at the Goodwill Outlet...treat your friends to the left and the right and even across the aisle, like you'd like to be treated and take care of each other. ;)

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  16. Oh. my. word. This is the stuff dreams are made of. I had no idea such things even existed. Will you be making a weekly pilgrimage? Because I think you should. The end.

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  17. Becky Farmgirl Paints and I have the same Goodwill Outlet. My beloved and I have been many times, but he doesn't permit me to go without him, especially because I always have our children. It's in quite the rough area of Richmond. He and I haven't been, together, for quite some time. It was hard enough to keep Clementine's fingers to herself in there before we had Charleigh's fingers to worry about, and now I'm pregnant with a whole new set of fingers, so we might never make it back. Having said that, I've found some real treasures there: vintage things I really love, like wrapping paper, patterns, craft items, and Christmas decor. I also picked up a few things for nickels that I re-sold on ebay for many, many dollars. I will admit: I found the clothing situation in there nearly impossible because nothing had been sorted by gender or size: just dumped into those giant, nearly-bottomless blue bins. Digging that far down made me feel scungy. Ok...the whole scene made me feel scungy, and I don't think I could've eaten, afterward, without taking a shower. Glad you had the experience; it's a unique one, to be sure.

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  18. I never heard of such a place : )
    The children's book in french? Stop it right this instant! I want one : ) pronto. Isn't that a french word? See, I NEED that book, I am practically Parisian... : )

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  19. your enthusiasm makes me feel like i just read a disneyland vacation post.
    i'd go for the books, for sure.
    armed with plenty of hand sanitizer. that's how i roll.

    i love you!

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  20. Me and my goodwill outlet are BFFs.

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  21. this is fuhreaking hilarious. BTW I took 5 yrs of french. I can barely remember any of it!

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  22. I seriously laughed out loud (this comment not worthy of an abbreviated version) and then proceeded to read it out loud to my husband just because it was that funny. I lost it completely at the 2 duplo blocks. But your creative self will do awesome things with so much of the other stuff. Junk or not I have a feeling some pretty things can come out of a french vintage children's book. But man you are ridiculously funny.

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  23. I loved reading every word. WHAT FUN!! Thanks for sharing and please post some pictures sometime!

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  24. Goodwill for clothes is my new botique! I sported my "new" shirts all weekend. Three name brand shirts for under 9 bucks- heck yeah. But a goodwill OUTLET ? oh, I must try!

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  25. The GW outlet is one of my favorite places to visit...I go a couple of times a week and find the best things! My husband calls it the 'garbage goodwill' but loves when I come home with an old fishing rod or something else cool! Watch out though...it's addicting. :)

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  26. I can't stop laughing...cause you know, we wore those MC Hammer Type pants back in the day and I am hanging my head in shame. I gotta find me one of those outlets.

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  27. I love your blog. I became a follower! Erin

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  28. dying. the hammer knows how to get a party started. fo sho. my goodwill is laaaame. isn't it funny that depending on the day/mood crap = awesome or crap =crap. i like it. crap is fickle like that.

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  29. i think i am most jealous of the parchese board. and the ikea vases are probably mine, but don't tell.

    ;)

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  30. I've shopped thrift stores for years, especially GoodWill. I didn't know they had outlet stores, and just did a google search for our area and found one. Now I can hardly wait to get there. :-)

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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  31. We don't have a GW Outlet but we have an AS IS store, it's not by the pound but it is rediculously cheap and everything is thrown in heaps on the tables. my older kids love to go there to find the vintage clothes that they love to wear... it's a win-win for all! I loved the conversation with your husband... good we needed more crap! hilarious! t.xoxo

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  32. Oh girl, I love me a thrift store outlet! It is pure craziness, but the kind I crave! I find good things, and too wonder why in the world they didn't make the 'cut' for a regular Goodwill store. Glad you scored some good things!

    Mary

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  33. ask darcy about her $3.79 J. Crew jacket with tags on + a brand-spankin-new Boden COAT & new Boden sweater. from goodwill. amen. {all with tags and her mamma is a true goodwill-er--they find the gold.}
    xo
    kara

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  34. I've heard they are pretty amazing, but haven't found one in my area... you've sold me though! Especially the book deals!!

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  35. Sometimes I think to myself "this is her best post ever,"...

    and then you come out with this junk, and I say it all over again.

    You rule the school, even on the holidays.

    I hope you and E took a moment to speak of me. Law. I need to trip it up there.

    xxoo

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  36. I am wondering if you are in Dayton--This looks just exactly like our Goodwill Outlet and the lunch looks like what is next to it! I have shopped there forever and have also had some real cool people time:). It is truly an experience. Glad you had fun!

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  37. Okay, that totally sounds like my kind of day minus the gummy bears.

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  38. I didn't even know they existed. I must google it!

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  39. It is not too late to incorporate all this into your book. Now get cracker-jackin!!

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  40. LOL on the boombox with MC Hammer blaring.

    Was that real? That really happened?

    I saw the wall of frames in that boombox pic and my heart raced.

    Frame Nerd! That's me.

    This whole post was awesome-sauce!

    I need to find one, stat.

    Sidebar: Thanks so much for the Compassion heads up months back. My hubby and I are so excited. We've begun doing back and forth letters with our Edgar and his mother. Just received two letters on Friday and was told about how Edgar got his first b-day gift at age 7 because of an extra $20 sent. It was heartwarming and I felt a lump in my throat.

    Anyway..thanks so much. It's nice to be a part of a charity that actually DOES amazing things. We are overjoyed.

    xoxoxo~

    TT

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  41. We want to see the pictures.
    Sounds like you were in Ohio, hah.

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  42. Your weirdness.... makes me happy.

    Dana

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  43. ah ha ha, this made me smile! Rock on with your green and white blocks, ta livre en francais, and your tree painting. I hope your mouth starts taking your calls soon :p

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  44. Sakes alive!! A Goodwill Outlet! Oh My...I am hyperventilating @ the very thought.

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  45. This is like dumpster diving only with better music. I am about to scope an outlet out in my area. Who knew Goodwill could get even better?!!!

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  46. you are so stinkin' funny. that just made my day. sad but true, sad but true.

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  47. Who knew..OH You and Your friend did! Sooo, I googled G.W.Outlets and dang again I will say "Who Knew" ..next visit South to Indy..I'm beggin the daughter to do some shopping with me...
    ~~HUGS~~
    for the heads up
    :)

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  48. Never heard of a Goodwill Outlet either...sounds like the island of misfit toys.

    I'm now heading to my basement to find my MC Hammer cassette tape. Wait...I don't think I have a tape player anymore. :(

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  49. I love to read, but rarely comment on your post! Honey, my sides are hurting from laughing is all I gotta say!

    Cheers to the G.W. outlet!

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  50. i adore goodwill. my house could be a goodwill outlet for all of my finds. good on you, girl!

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  51. Great post! One mans junk is another man's treasure... or something like that? I have found some keepers, but it is hard sometimes not to get caught up in the buying frenzy and buy some junk.

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  52. Where in the world is this gem, and how do I get there?

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  53. I am still laughing with this post - I had to read it out loud to my hubby! A Goodwill outlet?! Who knew?! And pay by the pound?! OMG. I'm going to bed still giggling...
    Jo-Anna

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  54. i've never heard of it. never.

    but i think i would LOVE it. in fact, my heart rate rose just a bit.

    and really, any man who will back it up and make joy out of the mundane makes me want to be there.

    this reminded me of my south of chicago childhood.

    awesome.

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  55. I was scanning my blog list to see which post's I would read, when these words caught my eye....I don't own a bottle of hand sanitizer. I wish I were not obsessed with NOT getting a barfing virus, it is my one great fear. I wish we had a goodwill outlet here, the regular goodwill has gotten so expensive I hardly go anymore.

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  56. I would SOOOO frame a Parcheesi board.
    Fun post!

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  57. I just got off the phone with the IRS, made me cry (long story short they keep denying our adoption credit and are about to close our case) anyways I said to myself, I'm going to catch up on shannan's blog and stop feeling sorry for myself and indeed it worked. You really are so very funny! thank you! xo

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  58. Oh my goodness... I am still laughing my MC-Hammer pants off. You are hilarious.

    Love it.

    Every bit of it!

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  59. Love this post! I live by a goodwill outlet. Ventured in for the first time a couple weeks ago and fell in love.

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  60. Oh my goodness! I haven't laughed so hard for so long! I am an avid Garage Saler but never have I heard of Goodwill Outlet. Wish we had one here just to get a group of friends together for a gooood time :)

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  61. A Goodwill Outlet, why is this the first time I'm hearing of this? This post made me laugh. Thanks so much for sharing.

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