oh friends. do i have a tale to tell. i have been to the belly of the beast and i escaped alive.
this is the exterior of the new salvation army family store they opened in bartlett on kirby whitten road. as i mentioned in a previous post, they shut down the danny thomas facility to relocate way the hell out here in the boonies (which i'm not too happy about, still) but hell and ass did they build one serious facility.
your first impression when you walk in is "wow, it's huge. and it's clean. and it's huge and clean and WHAT THE HELL IS ALL THIS CRAP." that was mine, anyway. it looks like a marshall's, or tj maxx. it looks like a god damned department store.
there's a book area.
there are oceans of racks of clothes and shirts and whatnots.
there are large, clean, spacious dressing rooms.
with little bench things. forgive me if i'm a little out of practice, but i haven't written one of these large scale "overview of a new store posts" in a while.
there were a buttload of good cheap shoes which is a god's honest miracle, along with
a goodly amount of solid, clean kitchenware. clearly they were pulling out all the stops for this one.
i was in the market for some additional bedding and boy did they not disappoint. tons of quilts, blankets, sleeping bags, and sheets, all for fairly reasonable prices.
the "art" is almost always the most specious part of any thrift store but they had a few things that might have actually passed muster as home decorations, including that small portrait on the lower right that was selling for around $45 i think and would have made a snazzy addition to my walls if my walls weren't made of plaster and next to impossible to hang anything on.
LOTS of really nice furniture, much like the other premium salvo on austin peay, like this divan-ish lounge chair sort of thing that was selling for around $50 i think, not a bad deal at all.
this is when it started to get hairy. i had filled up an entire (regrettably small) cart with clothes, bedding, various fooferah and whatnots and had decided to buy what i had and take it out to the car so i could come back in and load up another round (a first, in recent experience anyway) and the last thing i snagged was a REALLY NICE set of dishes for one, for about ten bucks. so i go up and pay for my shit, take it out and by the time i get back inside they've brought out ANOTHER ENTIRE SET of the same amazing dishes, right where the last ones were. so i bought them too.
and then it got really nuts. i saw these two sets of church bench chair things for like a little over 100, really clean and nicely upholstered, and i began to sweat.
i saw these two beautiful black upholstered office chairs for around 50 a piece and i began to shake.
this wine cabinet thing almost sent me into fits. what IS this place, i asked myself?
i apologize if this entry is lacking in the usual witty digressive banter but looking at these pictures i'm just bowled over again at the unbelievable caliber of the merch they were just constantly slinging out onto the floor at this place. that's a PERFECT looking deco armoire thing, couldn't have been more than a bill and change. god, why do i not have room for this shit?
weirdass 80's bedroom set thing, basically untouched. where does this crap come from? is this the kind of stuff they donate to charity out in white-flight-land?
the books, by the way, were very reasonably priced, although i am not, have not been, and probably will not ever be again in the market for buying any of them. still, it was nice to know.
and TONS of vhs/dvd/records and cds and stuff. the old guy was extra. i asked. actually, remember him. he factors in later.
i didn't buy any movies, but i was SORELY tempted to pick this classic up, BIBLEMAN, starring one willie aames of "charles in charge" semi-fame. the pictures on the back of this thing were laughable, but i wisely concluded that picking it up and looking at it and giggling was about the maximum amount of amusement i was going to gleam from this particular object, so actually bringing it up to the counter and plunking down money for it and taking it home would have been a mistake. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IT CAN BE TAUGHT.
i already have a pretty solid camping shovel but this was still tempting. i will say if this store was lacking in anything it was the sort of "large dirty metal things just sort of lying around" department but thankfully there are a dozen other stores in town that seem to SPECIALIZE in that so it was no big deal.
see these woks? these woks were enormous and they were 12 bucks a piece and i SO bought the one on the right because it was huge and heavy and a bodum and you could fit a whole cat in it (I WOULD NEVER) and so i had to get it. there happened to be a LOT of things i had to get that day.
by this point i was getting dizzy, just stumbling around snapping random pictures of things. this tiny kitchen cauldron and weird matched set of cow glasses, for example.
but TWO grandfather clocks. really? TWO grandfather clocks in the same thrift store? i began to suffer under the delusion that this was all an elaborate prank, a la "the truman show" or something. my kneecaps began to sweat. i thought of escape, all the while tossing things into my cart.
when i saw this green glass bookkeeper's lamp, i knew it was time. i had to make a desperate break for freedom. i could hear my bank account weeping softly in the distance. just for perspective's sake, i haven't had to MAKE myself leave a thrift store in almost three years, since the days of the almighty value village in houston, but i had to do it this day. in my mad dash for the exit i caught a few last fleeting glimpses of the terrifying paradise i was barely escaping with my sanity (and credit limit) intact.
i will tell you this, dear readers. don't make the arduous journey out to the wild wastelands of bartlett without your head screwed on straight, or this place will flip you upside down and steal your wallet (albeit in exchange for a bunch of amazing shit). let me put it this way: i spent a little over 100 bucks. regular readers of this internet blogging writing spacing thing will know that i am a discriminating shopper, in addition to being a very poor, stingy, miserly fellow, but there were just SO MANY things i couldn't say no to, SO MANY things i'd been looking for forever, SO MANY things that i wouldn't have been able to look at myself in the mirror knowing i let slip through my fingers that i handed over my card (both times) with a huge smile on my face, and i don't regret a god damned penny that i spent there. but the usual rules apply:
1. set aside some extra time
2. set aside some extra money
3. and for god's sake, don't have any expectations. just look at what's there and appreciate it and see what you see, and buy what you like.
i'll be back next time to hopefully conclude my goodwill bonanza from four months ago, but until then, good luck and godspeed, my children. i'll say nice things about you when you're gone.
oh ps that old guy i mentioned earlier? when i was leaving (the final time) he was bringing his cart back inside after loading out into his car and looking for his female lady shopping companion, and he walks inside and mutters "i thought i had my wife with me before" and one of the managers standing nearby NOT MISSING A GOD DAMNED BEAT says "we sold her!"
and out i went to my car, cackling like a god damned maniac. live to thrift, thrift to live.