Over the weekend, I was afforded the rare opportunity to slip out of the house and do something on my own. I chose to visit our local Goodwill. (Keep the bar low.) Without the minions. Who, by the way, have not discovered the joy of the hunt for uncovered treasures, that await most every visit to Goodwill.
To bad for them. And not having anyone trail me with the repetitive “ARE YOU DONE YET MOM?” was icing on my cake. My mother and grandmother introduced me to thrift stores, garage sales, dumpster diving, and auctions before I ever cut my first tooth. And I was hooked.
The Goodwill was unusually crowded late in the afternoon. I had to abandon my cart midway through the store. Generally I have a few things on my wish list when I enter the store. On Saturday that list included, but was not limited to, calf high black boots, and some cute tops to wear over stretchypants.
Immediately I headed back to the shoe rack. And there they were. Or rather, it was. On the top shelf sat the perfect black boot. Brand: Candies (can never go wrong there), rubber sole in perfect shape. Quickly I checked the size. EUREKA! WHAT LUCK. IT WAS MY POST-CHILDREN size of 8. I was a 7. Until 3 pregnancies. I’ve heard it’s an old wives tale that your feet spread during pregnancy. I’m here to dispel that idea. They not only swell, but permanently change zip codes.
Notice a problem? There was only one boot. ONE BOOT. I searched the black shoe/boot aisle high and how. Not an easy feat since there were two women who took up residence in that tiny space trying on EVERY black stiletto they could find. And then discussing them at length. I went to the other shoe aisle just so that I could reach through to the black shoe aisle, searching for the boot. I got down on my hands and knees and looked underneath all the racks. Nothing.
I tried perusing the reading nook, where the only chairs are located, in case someone tried the boot’s mate on. Nothing.
I looked in the golf bags, located next to the shoe aisle. (At this point I was getting desperate.) I then reclaimed my cart and decided to go in search of the cute tops to wear over stretchypants. Still, I kept the lone boot with me in case I were to discover the other in another part of the store. At one point I stopped an employee and asked her if a boot was missing, where I should look for the other. She shrugged, “It could be anywhere.” WHERE WOMAN? IN THE STORE? IN THE CITY?
A good hour and a half went by. Still no boot. At last it was time to try on the 3 lonely shirts that I found. Which, btw, would have looked FANTASTIC with the boot. Nothing can ever prepare me for what I look like under the fluorescent lighting in a Goodwill store. No shirt, no matter how cute, or what size, will EVER look decent on me in that lighting, in front of that fun-house mirror.
Depressed, I left that room of horrors. And reluctantly, I took the lonely boot back to the top rack of the black shoe aisle.
I left the store, only purchasing a package of neon #2 pencils. The clerk gave me the senior discount.
WITHOUT EVEN CHECKING MY ID.
I think crawling around on the floor of Goodwill for an hour plus change can render one rather haggard looking.
When I got to my car I discovered that Fiddledaddy had been trying to reach me. I may have been hyper-focused in my search, and didn’t hear the 3 phone calls. Or the 4 texts. Evidently the children were in a state of panic, thinking their mother was dead on the side of the road leading to Goodwill.
However, this is what Fiddledaddy posted on his Facebook page. With the caption, “She’s gone shopping and left me with all three children. No really, I’m fine.”
To appease the offspring, he called Goodwill and asked to have me paged. The clerk answering the phone asked him, “Sir, is this an emergency?” He looked at the starving/worried faces of his 3 children. The answer of course was YES, but he replied, “Never mind.” Then he called me once more, and this time I was in the parking lot, forehead on my steering wheel, wherein I answered the phone.
I like to think of myself as the anti-Cinderella. My Prince was back at the castle minding the children, but my glass slipper eluded me.
(STORY TO BE CONTINUED)