Adventures in Thrifting & Thrifting Tips
Episode 3: “That’s Not a Knife- THIS is a knife!!”
Every now and then, we bring a child with us on our thrifting adventures. My own daughter, Brianna, considered coming thrifting with me on this occasion. Brianna is usually bored and loves to do things. She’s not a sit-around person. She loves getting out and about. However, when I told her this was thrifting for the house and not for her, she swiftly changed her mind and wished me well. Melissa was luckier (or unluckier) than me. Her daughter Elliot decided to go thrifting with us. Elliot is a sweet and funny girl, charming and helpful. But I don’t have to live with her, so maybe that’s all a facade- I don’t know. I like her; but that’s cuz at the end of the day, she doesn’t come home with me. It’s always different when it’s someone else’s kid, you know? In any case, I was happy to see Miss Elliot with us that day, like we were cool enough for her to be seen with or something. 😀
Anyway, last Wednesday Melissa and Elliot picked me up in Lettie (photos of Lettie at the bottom), and we ventured out at 10 am, making our routine first stop at Starbucks. I want to ban Starbucks for all sorts of reasons, but in the end, I always go there. Ugh, I hate it. But whatever; we stopped by Starbucks and got our coffees. Melissa is my friend. She is true to herself, real, and no nonsense. She's down to earth, except for her obnoxious drink order. Ok. I used to be a barista at Caribou, and we really, really couldn’t STAND people like Melissa who ordered their drink with every single variation possible. If it had 2% milk, they wanted skim, if it had skim, they wanted whole. If it had whip, they wanted no whip or fat free whip. If it had vanilla, they wanted sugar free caramel with 4 pumps instead of 2. If it came in a medium cup, they wanted a large cup with the extra room so they could either add ice or milk or air. If it came with chocolate, they wanted the syrup instead of the chips. Melissa’s drink is very much like this. She really could care less, which I kind of admire. She pre-orders it, and when we go through the drive through to pick it up, they automatically know it’s her and they put a sleeve on her blended concoction probably to keep from having to hear her ask for it. The upside to this is that I get a sleeve on my cold drink also, so I keep my mouth shut and just tip a bit extra.
Today we were headed to a few places, where we found some little things, then we headed back to the Goodwill in Maple Grove. It had been a few weeks since I had gone there so we figured it was a great time to go back. The mood in Lettie was upbeat and we were ready to find some cool things to purchase or at least see a few things that were unusual. Unusual, haa! Little did we know that yes, we were about to experience something unusual!
We came to our exit off the freeway that would lead us upwards towards Grove Circle North and Maple Grove Parkway. We needed to make a left at the top of the exit, onto Maple Grove Parkway. The light was red, so we made our way up the second from the left lane, slowly falling in line behind a few other vehicles. We could hear shouting to our left, and I think we each silently wondered if someone was actually shouting at the people who sometimes sit at intersections and panhandle. The shouting grew louder and louder, so we turned our heads and saw a man in his Jeep shouting angrily at the driver behind him in a semi pulling a side dump trailer. We couldn’t make out what he was saying, but caught a few words that included swears and slurs. By this time, we started feeling a bit concerned as the man was getting in and out of his Jeep yelling and jumping up and down. We continued to watch the display of what can only be described as a human being losing their shit.
All of a sudden, we saw a flash of silver gleaming in the sunlight. No joke- this man had pulled a knife out of his vehicle, and not just any old knife, but a knife large enough to be labeled “Machete”!! He was waiving it around and making jabbing motions at the driver behind him. The driver in the semi stayed safely in his truck while yelling back out of his window. By this time, I’m feeling the onslaught of adrenaline and Melissa is starting to ask questions in a loud, high pitched voice, “OMG!! Is that a KNIFE? HE’S GOT A KNIFE!! Is he going to use that??” I turn around and see Elliot staring wildly out the window and then at her mom and then out the window and then back at her mom again. I start giggling nervously and at that moment, the light turns green. Cars are advancing slowly because of the side show, and by the time we get up to the top of the exit ramp, the light is turning yellow. The Jeep with the man who is standing outside waving the knife isn’t moving because he’s still yelling. Part of me wanted to stay and watch, but that would have put us with a child in the vehicle right next to a crazy person wielding a machete, and that’s no place to be if you want to have a fun day of thrifting. Melissa turned just as the light was "pink", and we were all talking in high pitched voices simultaneously, although I have no idea what was being said until Elliot said quite forcefully and probably for a third time- “CALL 911!”
That kind of snapped me back to reality and Melissa pulled over on the side of the road while we made the call. Elliot had the presence of mind to memorize the license plate of the Jeep, and Melissa had snapped a few photos of the scene while we had been waiting at the stop light. I don’t remember her doing that, but it was amazing she did it at all because the three of us were in a state of panic.
After making our phone call, we made our way to the Goodwill. Now mind you, all Goodwills down here are set up the same, so if you go in one, you’ve gone in them all, except for the items are different of course. Walking into Goodwill was sort of calming, because it was so familiar and so comforting on a weird level. We grabbed a cart and started wandering down the aisles. Let me just let you know that we all were still a bit gobsmacked by the previous 5-10 minutes.
Ever since the Covid thing, and stores putting arrows on their floors to tell you which direction you need to go down each aisle, I’ve been quietly going out of my mind. I’m anal about things like this. I HAVE to go down the right way or nothing feels good or right. If I see others going down the wrong way, it bothers me so much. Not because I agree with the arrows or I think Covid is more dangerous going up the down aisle, but because I feel a sense of satisfaction when things are exactly right. I know there’s probably a term for this but that’s a different blog. In any case, there I was finding comfort in starting in aisle 1, following the arrows and checking out the merchandise. As I was browsing, I skip the toy aisle and absentmindedly go up the next one. It was at that point that I realized I was going the wrong way. Melissa was behind me, and I abruptly changed direction with my cart, exited, and went up the toy aisle so I could go down the next one the correct direction. I think I did this out of the sheer need to have everything be “right” and have things “the way they should be” and to “right my world.”
When I sheepishly apologized to Melissa, she was like, “yeah, I noticed you did that. It’s ok.” I looked at her and asked her quietly, “Do I have a problem? Like, seriously, do I have issues? Should I get this checked out? I’m seriously asking.” Melissa smiled and said reassuringly (as if I were 8) “You’re fine. Don’t worry about it.” I looked back at her, “Are you sure?” I asked. She smiled and nodded. “You’re fine.” This is one thing I love about my friends. They accept me and my weird quirks. She knew I needed to do this because she was actually freaking out inside as well. After all, it’s not often that we encounter people waving around weapons at stop lights. I mean- who is carrying that in their vehicle anyway??? Why? Is there a legitimate reason you need a machete in your car? I’m so confused.
Elliot was handling it better than Melissa and I combined I think. I mean, sure, she was shaken by it, but I think she bounced back quicker than we did. Maybe that’s because we were calm on the outside and reassuring, who knows. Or maybe she’s just really good at acting calm when she’s not, I don’t really know. The police ended calling us back and it sounded like the Jeep had been apprehended. This made me feel better in general. It’s nice hearing about the police who are doing their jobs and not just about the ones who are responsible for making the entire force look bad. Hmmmm…
Anyway. We didn’t do much that day in Goodwill. In fact, it was around 1 and we were pretty hungry. We came up with the idea to go to Taco Bell, to which Melissa asked, “Is this going to be another ‘eat our feelings’ day?” I laughed and said, “yeah… probably.” We really need to start packing a sandwich on our adventures. Or something, because it seems like we end up experiencing big things, and then we end up nursing our shattered confidence afterwards at some fast food joint. Ugh.
We did end up at Michael’s after that, where true to form, Melissa came through with the coupons and I ended up getting something that I am making as a gift for someone special. By the time she dropped me off at home, I was exhausted. Like, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I was happy to be home, where I could see my dogs and collapse on the couch with a glass of red. I mean, it was only 3 in the afternoon but I didn’t care. I just really didn’t.
I did have something cool happen that day, however! At the first stop we made, I had picked up a print of New York for Bri’s plans for a travel bedroom. It was a poster that was super long and skinny. I had even asked Melissa if it would be ok to hang it with tacks because I didn’t feel like looking for a frame at the moment. The next stop we made, lo and behold what did I find? A frame for the exact size of the poster I had bought for her! That was pretty awesome, I love when things like that happen - serendipity, amIrite?
So after THIS eventful day of thrifting, here is my thrifting tip: Lock your doors if they aren’t automatically locked when you come up on a stoplight because some people are carrying strange and dangerous things in their vehicles. And don't forget to breathe. Just breathe.
Oh, and Goodwill has coupons and different deals on different days of the week!
Happy Thrifting Friends!