February 6, 2013 by drandmrso
Last week one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, challenged readers to The 100% Totally Unofficial Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge! If you haven’t heard the irritatingly catchy song (which I first heard courtesy of a shower concert by Dr. O) check it out here on YouTube. Warning: it is neither work- nor kid-friendly. But it is hilarious. And totally glorifies the fine art that is shopping in thrift stores. My thrifting days go way back to high school, when a group of us would cram into my hand-me-down minivan and cruise the aisles of Savers or AxMan. Memorable finds from those trips: neon yellow shoelaces, a heart-shaped key chain, a t-shirt from a rival high school with the name “Fuzzy” on the back, etc. What can I say? It was cheap entertainment. Anyway, the rules of the YHL challenge were clear:
- Head to a thrift store with $20 and take a picture.
- Spend it any which way and photograph the finds.
- Scavenge around for items mentioned in the song, too!
On Monday night I bundled up (it was approximately 6 degrees outside) and ventured to the Salvation Army Thrift Store…or to what Google Maps thought was the Salvation Army Thrift Store. The building did say Salvation Army, but I got the impression it was a service center, not a store. Lame. So I pulled a u-turn (how do you spell the other way of saying this? u-ey? uwey?) and trekked over to a Savers that I knew actually existed. It’s in what people say is the “sketchy” part of town. I assure you: there is very little sketch anywhere in this town. The Savers is next to an Aldi and a Dollar Store–but also a Pier 1 and a Chipotle. 8 mile it is not.
Unfortunately I broke rule 1 right out of the gate. As I was prepping to take a self-portrait with my smart phone in the dark parking lot, a couple of people came out of the store and steered their cart right at me and I got totally self-conscious and stashed my phone. But I was determined to accomplish the second and third objectives.
Oh, the treasures that awaited me! The dank smell didn’t deter this frugalista. Even within the first aisle (books, movies, music) I discovered photo-worthy goods. While both of these had serious cover appeal, they didn’t make it home with me:
Next, the home accents section. The sheer number of tchotchkes was astounding. (That’s not how you thought that word was spelled, amiright?) This collection of glass was pretty, but steeply priced (for a thrift store) at $5-7 a piece.
This dapper gentleman was just begging for a good home; alas, that home was not with me.
And this thing scared the hell out of me. She’s super creepy, right? And her little doll, too.
As I was about to give up entirely on the home decor section, I came across a print of the Swedish Chef from the Muppets! My dad does a killer Swedish Chef impression, so I considered getting it as a gag gift of sorts, until I realized what a poor quality the print was. And then I realized something worse: take a close look at the hands…
REAL HANDS?! Not Muppet hands. I was floored. I gathered up my shattered childhood and shuffled over to the clothing section. My goal here was to find a wolf t-shirt for Dr. O. You know, the totally, horrendously tacky kind from the early ’90’s that has a wolf howling at a full moon in a forest by a waterfall with a totally rad eagle superimposed on the background or something? Yeah, Dr. O really wants one of those. He found one in London last summer for 15 pounds (about $22) which was clearly WAY more than one should pay for a wolf t-shift. Sadly, the t-shirt collection at this particular Savers was dismal. The closest I got to a bodacious wolf shirt was this lemur nonsense.
I waded through the racks and racks of clothes toward the furniture area, and thus hit the trifecta of the Macklemore challenge:
1. Big Ass Coat
3. Knee board
Bam. Mission accomplished! So what, you are wondering, came home with me? For a grand total of $4.01 which actually turned into $4.00 because I didn’t have a penny and the cashier lady didn’t want to give me $0.99 in change, drum-roll please…
A book and a picture frame! Two things that my husband would say I need zero more of. The book was absolutely meant for me: it’s about a woman that’s a writer (eep!) that moves to Minnesota (double eep!) to help her friend Melissa start a farm (full-on-gasp!). I have a dear friend named Melissa (though we don’t call her that) that is a farmer, so this story is clearly my life, right? No…well, it was $1.99 so whatever.
While the frame doesn’t have glass, it’s in great condition and is a nice big size. All it needs is a coat of paint and soon it will be displaying pictures of the farm I’m going to start with “Melissa.”
So will I be going back to the thrift stores anytime soon? Hell yes! Especially if I can talk someone into going with me so I don’t look like a super creep taking pictures of everything on my own. Oh, and best surprise of the night: Mondays are 25% off everything in the store! What a steal. Consider this challenge complete.