It’s time for another Goodwill, Badwill Questionable-will, and boy-oh-boy is it a doozy! It all started with the chore of needing to return a pair of Levi’s to The Mall.
At this point, you may be questioning my non-consumer cred, as I normally shout far and wide about only buying used. But I’ve been carting around a JCPenney gift card for a year and a half, and finally succumbed to my younger son’s valid whining about how he only owned a single pair of jeans. (Note: He used to own multiple pairs, but swore he hated skinny jeans, so I mailed them all to his cousin in NYC, but that’s a story for another day.) Unfortunately, I had trusted him to try them on without any parental input. Which of course meant they were waaaaay too small. (Poor kid doesn’t know about how new clothing shrinks with washing. And before you start a collection to buy the neglected kid some jeans, he actually found a great $14 pair of used Levi’s at Buffalo Exchange right after the mall jeans had been found to resemble sausage casing.)
So yes, I needed to go back to the mall to return the jeans. However, it’s a bit of a schlep, so I decided to incorporate some thrifting along the way.
First off was the Goodwill on S.E. Powell Boulevard.
My eye was immediately drawn to this vintage juice jar. Just the embodiment of perfection, with wavy green glass and embossed “Juice” and “Water” written down the sides. Priced at $2.99, it had no choice but to join my family of vintage jars.
I’m polyamorous that way.
I was tempted to bring home this colorful piece of vintage pottery as well. The drippy glazing was truly wonderful, but it had a teeny tiny hairline crack along the top, and when it comes to ceramics ya’ll know that crack is wack!
What I was not tempted to buy, but still had to photograph was this truly bizarre pair of enormous silver plush handcuffs. Not just because some savvy Goodwill employee styled them with striped pajamas for that ole-timey prisoner look, but because they oddly resembled toilet seats.
Handcuffs + toilet seats = made my day.
And of course, I came across an obligatory targeted savings bank. Will they ever end?!
My next stop was at the Salvation Army shop, where I found perhaps too much stuff.
If you are a female child of the 1970’s, you hold Ms. Holly Hobby in a special place in your heart. Clever marketers played on our love of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and gave us Holly Hobby lunch boxes, (had one) Holly Hobby dolls, (had two — a big one a small one) and an extended family which included a brother . . . Mr. Robby Hobby, (had him too!) So when I saw this $12.99 new old stock set of Holly Hobby glasses I actually gasped loudly and squealed in a way that is unusual for those over the age of nine.
Yes, I ostensibly bought the set for resale, but I have no problem keeping her around until a new home can be found.
My heart aches when I look at this set. That’s how much I love the girl.
I was tempted to snag this mid-century poodle-bookend-pen-holder. Priced at $1.99, it would have been pain free. But the profit potential on this guy was not impressive, (maybe sell for $10-$15?) so I left it there.
I’m glad I kept my hands free though, as there was no effing way I was not buying this antique Roseville Jardiniere! Priced at $8.99 it was a steal! These puppies sell for $150-$175 on eBay, so the profitability potential was right up my alley.
I already have it up on Craigslist for $100. No buyer yet, but it only takes a single person who wants your item to make the sale.
I also bought this console table for a cool 35 bucks! (Didn’t actually get a photo at the store.)
I’m calling it my “Women’s Libber Table.”
Because the male clerk was horrified that I had carried it to the cash register without any manly assistance. And when I declined help getting it to the car he asked:
“What are you, some kind of women’s libber?!”
To which I laughed and replied:
“What are you, a time traveler from 1975?”
This too is up on Craigslist, also for a hundred bucks.
My next stop was yet another Goodwill, (82nd Avenue is da bomb when it comes to thrifting!) where I was briefly enchanted by this inebriated gentleman. I think the whole genre of sweet drunken tchotchkes is hilarious. Who decorates with “drunk” as a theme?
The one thing I did buy was this vintage Oregon souvenir tray. I will be visiting my sister in New York City next month, and I’ll need to bring a hostess gift. And for the low, low cost of $1.99, this funky tray will fit the bill.
My last 82nd Avenue stop was to the Deseret Industries thrift shop, where I succumbed to this $1 West Elm vase. (How did I know it was West Elm? Because it had a sticker on the bottom!) My best friend Sasha just had surgery, and it would be a perfect way to bring her some flowers.
But my hands down favorite find of the day was this 50¢ framed set of photos of a father and his baby. The three connected oval frames are metal printed with a wood pattern, and absolutely melted my heart. I love how the photo on the left shows a cranky baby, most likely due to the sun in his eyes. There is a heart breaking timelessness to these photos that transcends outdated apparel and other such chronological identifiers.
I put this photo up on the Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook Group, and my mother shared it as well. The best consensus based on style of collar, tie and hat is that it’s from around 1910.
Gone but not forgotten.
Do you not agree that this was the best day of thrifting ever?! Hopefully, I’ll profit a couple hundred dollars to fluff up the better-late-than-never college fund, and I’ve brought a few wonderful new items into my home. And in case you were wondering, JCPenny gave me no flack about returning the jeans. So I can keep my non-consumer cred intact for one more day.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”