Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You Thought I Was Thrifty

A couple of weeks ago I met a new friend.

We met for an entire day, having never even shared a phone call. Though there was a time when this sort of thing would have made me a ratty jumble of nerves, I found myself looking forward to it.

I wondered, am I losing my introvertedness? Did the internet warp my personality?
Then I spent six straight hours in silence while my kids were at school, ignoring every phone call, no radio, no TV, no podcasts. (The concept of listening to podcasts is so foreign to me, I can't even tell you. I want to do this thing, but I can't understand why I would invite such interruption into my silent hours. So, here I still am, utterly podcastless.) I don't even make eye contact with the cat when I'm home alone.

Yep. Still an awkward introvert.
(I'm not saying all introverts are awkward, I'm just saying awkwardness is a vital part of my life's fabric. It makes for a stunning combo.)

Just as we pulled up to the coffee shop for breakfast, I blurted out, "Wait, are you a healthy eater?" It was a sudden, visceral concern.  Could I forge a friendship with a girl disinclined to eat chocolate-filled carbs at 9 a.m.?

I couldn't say.

She assured me she likes the smell of junk food in the morning, then somehow segued into a story about doing a pull-up. Scratch that, FIVE pull-ups.

I mean, I was scared.

But five minutes into our "breakfast", I knew we were good to go.
We had a great many things to discuss. We share all kinds of common ground, except for the fact that she also plays basketball regularly with college dudes oh my gosh how do I get myself into these situations?

I could choose to ignore her glaring athleticism.
I was willing to overlook this obvious character flaw.

I kid. Come on. 
(Also, isn't she pretty?)

To celebrate overcoming this first hurdle to our friendship (does she jump hurdles, too? probably so) I took her to my favorite thrift store.

This feels like the right time to tell you her name, although writing about her in 3rd person does build intrigue....

Fine. It's Janell.

We spent the next 90 minutes sorting through good junk.
And yakking.

I got a cart, which I've never done in the history of my love for our local MCC Thrift Store.

I texted Cory a picture of an old man cardigan to match his old man beard and he wrote back, "It looks like a ladies sweater!"

Which, to be fair, I did accidentally buy him a ladies flannel the previous week from Goodwill, so he was still a bit suspicious, and rightly so.

Anyway, we filled the dang cart UP.

I kept tossing stuff in like I was some kind of secondhand Kardashian, then at the very end I put a bunch of it back, which I tend to do, including a supah-cute tea pot that Janell swooped in and grabbed.

I had no idea she was eyeing the tea pot!
(I'm so glad I didn't have to arm wrestle her for it.)

This is my cart after I put a bunch of stuff back.
What is wrong with me?
Atone me!

Do I plan to wear that tube top as a tube top, or turn it into a skirt? I'LL NEVER TELL.

As for the rest of it, I have no defense.

This is right around the time we knew we were in trouble.

Listen, many of the ladies at the MCC are the sweetest EVER. They're volunteers. And they're, I mean, in their golden years.

They're smart and snappy and they always oooh and aaah over what I'm buying, to the point that I sometimes feel bad, like maybe I should offer it to them.

But on this particular day there was some confusion with the register. Or...something. Plus, we bought ALL OF THE THINGS, which wasn't helping.

It took a reallllllllly long time to check Janell out.

Then it was my turn.
And when it was all said and done (all and all and ALL said and done)...

My total was $2,696.26 and that man thought Janell was stalking him.

Nothing seemed quite right.

Blue tags were 50% off and I had lots of blue tags!
Something was off.

So we started all over. Bless it.

As you can imagine, I had two pretty hefty bags of goodies to take home with me in the end.

But after I'd finally paid and after our sweet check-out gal had taken my coupon and apologized for the tenth time, she grabbed those bags and with grave concern in her eyes, took one look at me, then looked right past me at Janell.

She said, holding my bags out to a person who DID NOT OWN THE BAGS, "Here. You look young." (Quick glance back at me then right back to Janell.)  "And strong."

And she handed Janell my bags.
Even though my hands were entirely free.
Even though Janell was already carrying her own stuff.

They say youth is wasted on the young. 
If you ask me, youth is wasted on the middle-aged-ish.
(Also if you ask me, height is wasted on the uncoordinated and rapid-movement-opposed.)

My name is Shannan. I'm almost 39. I hang around spring chicks a decade younger than myself who do sport things in an intentional and unironic way. I have low muscle tone and that tell-tale wrinkle between my eyes that inspires Silas to ask, "Why do you sometimes look mad when you're only not grumpy?"

But I can show you a good time.


  1. You are hilarious! And Silas needs his own reality TV show.

  2. What was the (amended) total? Curiosity is killing me.

  3. ha! i love it :)
    you gotta get the podcast thing figured out, girl. or don't. maybe you don't need one.more.thing. :)
    my hubby and i have bonded over lengthy discussions of SERIAL (npr, this american life, etc.)
    making new friends is priceless. happy for ya both. i've made about 6 new friends lately after making exactly 0 over 3 years. so, there's that & one of them is pregnant, the other has a very sick/almost healthy 1 yr. old - and i even prayed with her on the spur of the moment. so yeah, new friends allow us to be more of who we are, and lets out some surprises in the meantime! i even drove to nashville with 3 near strangers in my car, and the furthest i'd driven (you know as the actual driver) was to indianapolis (90 minutes). so hooray for new friends!

  4. Oh my word .... you slay me with your "secondhand Kardashian" comment. And your total ... $2696.26. I am laughling out loud. Thanks for brightening my day!

  5. I can top your wrinkle with the group of lines that have decided to set under and around my eyes, and double it with the sagging skin on my face. I too will be 39 very soon.

  6. Thank you for sharing all the awkwardness with us. We'd really miss out otherwise as you're prone to isolate as all good introverts do ;)

  7. Oh thank you thank you for the laugh! I have a feeling we would get a long famously. :)

  8. Made me laugh! I couldn't explain it to my 16 year old son.

  9. choking on my sweet potato soup. you're the best.

    (I'm with you on the podcast thing. In theory I want to listen but i never actually want to listen.)

  10. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for putting your words and joy out into the world. Seriously. You have cheered this stay-at-home mama UP and UP today with laugher.

  11. Oh too funny! I was out with my sons future mother - in - law the other day and the lady behind the counter thought I was her daughter. People, I'm 45 and probably only a couple years younger.

  12. I laugh only because I know the pain. I quit coloring my hair a year ago (I'm 41, but was totally gray by 35) and ever since if my hubby and I go out for dinner the server asks if we want separate bills. Gah.

  13. I die!!!! Golden year ladies are the best!! Also, I can't do podcasts either. I've tried. I want to. It's just not in the cards.

    Also, I wonder what a thrift store shopping trip would look like to really ring in that total?!

  14. I die!!!! Golden year ladies are the best!! Also, I can't do podcasts either. I've tried. I want to. It's just not in the cards.

    Also, I wonder what a thrift store shopping trip would look like to really ring in that total?!

  15. lol. who needs tim hawkins when i can read fpfg?!

  16. This made me laugh so hard I cried. Thank you for being such a blessing to my sweet sister.

  17. This made me laugh so hard I cried. Thank you for being such a blessing to my sweet sister.

  18. Hilarious. Especially the part about not making eye contact with the cat when you are home alone. I am also an introvert (my sister swears I am NOT because she thinks it means I am a wallflower) and when we first got a puppy I was depressed once I realized that I would never really be alone ever again. So glad to hear that someone else really wants to like podcasts and yet doesn't. I don't get the concept either.

  19. For the love!!!!! That is hysterical!!!!! Are you gonna show us what else you scored??

  20. There is no shame in that shopping cart. No. Shame. Fill it up with pride, that's what I say.

  21. Your total?! Too funny. I keep trying to peek into your cart to see more clearly what treasures you found. Apparently I am snoopy : ) You SO make me laugh!

  22. This so funny. I love shopping at the Depot. And I always take a deep relaxing breath before I head to the check out. :)

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  24. Where do you thrift in Indy?? I am moving there :) I need tips!

  25. $2,000 at a thrift store! I flipping love it! And I love senior citizen ladies. Honest to God, I used to want to walk over to them and hug them in the nursing home. Gary had to grip my arm tightly and tell me to keep walking. There is something so lovely about them. Even the grumpy ones.