OBI-WAN: “I sense it, too.”
ANAKIN: “Stay here!”
DORMÉ: “You all right, M’Lady?”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Oh, yes. I’m doing just fine with some hot chocolate and raspberry-flavored handmade marshmallows (not by my hands!). Mmmmmm.
Luke Skywalker: “3PO, tell them if they don’t do as you wish, you’ll become angry and use your magic.”
This may be my next step if the local thrift stores don’t stop trying to make their stores as difficult as possible to shop in. I resisted the thrift store world for decades (because of a bad experience as a kid), but I’ve grown to love them in the past couple of years. An old friend, Qui-Gon Jinn, used to say she thought of them as life’s ”storage unit”. Don’t need these black slacks, take them to the thrift store. Two years down the line, if you need another pair of black slacks you go back and pick up a pair of black slacks, paying a small “storage fee” of roughly $2-4 dollars for the service. No, you won’t get the exact same black slacks you dropped off, but really what’s the big deal? They’re black slacks.
Nearly all of the local thrift stores here in lovely Des Moines sort their clothes by color, instead of by size. A little clue here folks: I can easily find a white shirt from within a selection of size small shirts. It’s far harder to find a size small shirt within a selection of white shirts. Similarly, it’s much easier to get a “I hate shopping” teenager to try on cargo pants (that he’s going to out-grow in less than a season) when you don’t have to check the size on every. single. pair of cargo pants in the mens department. Shockingly, this annoys the crap out of boys that hate shopping.
Since I’m venting my spleen, it also annoys me that they don’t sort out the obviously damaged, worn or stained merchandise. Sure, some people don’t care if there’s a nasty ketchup stain down the front of a white top if they’re only going to wear it to work at a dirty, nasty, greasy tool & die shop (i.e., my mother). Maybe someone is just looking for a cheap source of cleaning rags. Perhaps another person is looking for bits and pieces of material they can morph into something else. That’s great! Reduce, reuse, recycle! So sort those “not likely to be worn in public as-is” duds into a special “scratch & dent” ultra-savings section like you find in an appliance store. For example: all green tagged pieces on these racks or in these bins (still sorted by size, please!) are 25 or 50 cents each. The vast majority of people are looking for good quality used clothes that don’t look like they’re been worn to within an inch of their lives or missed out on the great Washing Machine experience of 2008.
The racks, where do I start? Clothes should not be immobile on the racks, they should slide a little so that the shopper can actually SEE what something looks like rather than having to make a judgement from the sleeve alone. Slide, glide, move; pick your term. If I go into a store and the racks are so tightly packed that I can’t pick one item without fighting off the two on either side, I am more likely than not to just walk away. You do want us interested in the things you are offering, right? To be so, I have to be able to take a good look at it first.
And what’s the deal with the tiny, poorly lit dressing rooms? When I can’t judge how something really looks like on me, I’m not likely to buy it. Oh, and since I’m on a roll, it also annoys me that a “no returns” policy appears to be the norm out here. Which just sucks. The one that I know of that does let you return things within 3 days does so because they no longer even HAVE a dressing room anymore, and even then they only give in-store credit for returns which isn’t exactly the same as getting your money back. If I can take an item home, check to make sure it will go with some of my other items (or give me time to find something to go with it), I’m much more likely to buy it in the first place.
So here you go Goodwill, Salvation Army, Junior League, and the other thrift stores out there that want to outfit the frugalistas of the Midwest:
It’s really a shame about the anti-customer practices here because I bought nearly all my clothes at the West Michigan stores that sorted by size and – again, key- let me return things up to 30 days. Those stores behaved like… you know, actual clothes stores. For that courtesy, I gave them my business and my loyalty. I can’t say I feel the same about the thrift stores here in Des Moines. I find that I’m much more likely to poke around, find a few cute “maybe” things and leave with all my money still in my pocket because I don’t want to risk that they aren’t going to match anything else I own.
If you make it easy, we will buy more.
Darth Vader: “What is thy bidding, my master?”
Ah, but the Emperor knew what Darth Vader had not yet fully begun to grasp. The acquisition of knowledge is a powerful ally against the Dark Side of life.
Padawan Learner’s first year of high school is moving along, and I find that I need to cull the homeschooling shelves again. That can only mean one thing, a few more additions to the Watto’s Junk Shop page. If you see anything you’d like to claim, please just leave me a comment on that page and I’ll forward it to you promptly.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have received cheap and free curriculum from other homeschoolers over the years, and I’m glad to keep the generousity humming along. With this many books involved, a little help with shipping would be appreciated – if you can swing it. If you’re in a bit of a tight spot though, just let me know. I’ve been in that boat before and remember the relief that came when our curriculum needs fell into place.
Note: Comments have been re-opened on that page. Sorry for the mix-up.
Lama Su: “I trust you are going to enjoy your stay. We are most happy you have arrived at the best part of the season.”
The best part of the season has arrived here in central Iowa – that first day of seriously crisp, cool, breezy fall weather. I love autumn, but never have I loved an authum like I love the coming of this autumn. This first summer west of the Mississippi has been an adventure for us.
rain, flooding, rain, heat, rain, rain, rain, flooding, heat, heat, heat
That was summer this year, but today we have a high of 69. The apartment windows are open. Since he woke up to a morning in the upper 50s, PL even had to wear a sweatshirt over his shorts and t-shirt as he left for classes. I wore jeans and a 3/4 length-sleeve shirt. I’ve missed sleeves.
The Iowa State Cyclones had their season opener last night; U of Iowa has their opener tomorrow. An entire city’s emotional balance appears to be teetering on the outcome of these games. Seriously, Dad Windu watched the news this morning just to see if ISU won last night. He needed to know what kind of a day it was going to be in the office. The two schools battle each other on the 11th. If this site goes quiet after that date, it’s because the city has imploded due to overload.
High school football also begins all over the region tonight – weatherman recommends a jacket as the evening will be dipping down into the 40s (!) overnight. Fall is upon us – and none too soon. And no, I am not going to be thinking about white flakes falling from the skies before long. I’m just going to enjoy this lovely, gorgeous day and soak in all it has to offer.
And I grabbed two pair of pants that fit like a glove, an adorable skirt, and two nice sport jackets today at the thrift store… for 1/2 off. Oh, yeah, color me happy.
Rune : “We have them on the run, sir…they’re no match for destroyer droids.”
It was just too beautiful to be indoors yesterday.
After dropping my brother off at work and grabbing a quick lunch, Padawan Learner and I found ourselves about 30 minutes west of town at a park with a fantastic wooden play structure, trails, enormous map of the US fashioned out of stones, and endless open areas for running, jumping and clamoring around. Flowing games of tag and such were played with whomever was around. As it is Spring Break around here, the park was full of other kids but not packed.
We are slightly sunburned but happy. PL slept until lunch, and I napped on and off during the morning thunderstorms – something I never do.
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