Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Here is what I am thinking as I sit unproductively:
1. My Everyday Food magazine came today. Hooray!
2. My ebay Halloween accessories better get here in the next day or two.
3. I really should vacuum my floor.
4. Yesterday was nice. Yesterday there was no school--record day. So all three kids were home and Gary was working in his office. About two o'clock I went into his office, after cleaning the third spilled drink and having all my projects strewn around the house.
"I've gotta get out of here."
"What do you want to do?" he asked from behind his computer screen.
"I don't know. Sit in a bookstore. I just have to get out."
(You have to realize, too, that Gary is gone almost every night of the week. So it's just me, mostly, with the kids. )
"Really?" (Don't you tease me, I'm thinking).
"Yeah, Jack's going down for his nap. The girls can entertain themselves. Go ahead."
So I did.
We have a pretty good system. Gary's outlet is wakeboarding, and he takes off Saturday mornings with a friend and whenever else he can. He takes the girls, so it used to be a break for me too. But now that jack jack attack is here, it's not the same. And he, thankfully, understands the need to have your own time. So he is as supportive as possible on this.
My friend Maria was the first one who introduced me to thrift stores. She is from Spain, and gorgeous. I would see her at the bus stop in these amazing outfits and to die for shoes, ready for work. I would try to keep my drool from hitting her Italian leather pumps when I asked her where she got them. She would look right at me, answer without hesistation, "Goodwill."
"Shut up," I would say, "Are you serious?"
"Yes," she would say in her thick accent, "I get almost all my things from there."
Francesca, my other friend, was the next one. She is Italian, and a model. Like a for-real model. She has worked all over Europe, Japan, South Africa, and of course, the U.S. She is beautiful, but also very humble, and you will see her in my Depeche Mode concert pics (if I ever post them). Anyway, she gets tons of things at Goodwill, thrift stores, consignment shops. She just got a wetsuit for her daughters for $5.
Once I was at a fundraiser when the women next to me was showing off her beautiful Coach shoes. She bragged about how she got them at a consignment shop for next to nothing.
The trick to successful thrift store/consignment shopping is to shop in the best neighborhoods. The places where women wear things for one season and give them away. You can find clothes in perfect condition, all kinds of brand names.
So back to yesterday. I was heading toward the bookstore when I got distracted by a sign at one of the thrift stores in a great part of town. Halloween sale! So I pulled in for a quick check. Two hours later, I came out having spent $30. I got shorts, capris, skirts, dresses for the girls, a Polo romper for Jack. I left with J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Gymboree, and Polo. I really don't care much about brand names, but I just wanted to make the point that it's well-made clothing. Fun stuff. Went home, threw it all in the washer and walked in the family room a much more relaxed person.
Maybe too relaxed, 'cause I'm still sitting here on my bed, looking out the window at white-capped waves, beating up against the dock.