Friday, October 15, 2010

She Knows (Thrift Shop)

I wasn't sure whether to label this Unspoken Agreement or Three More Items OUT or Meanwhile, Back at the Thrift Shop....

But I know she knows.

Halle mentioned "fate" lending a hand to keep her from getting caught without having to resort to telling stories. I often feel someone is watching out for me.

A few years ago, I was shopping for MegClothes at KMart (hey, it was on my way). I had some undies and socks in a cart and I had parked it so I could take a look at shoes. Walking towards the shoes I saw a freind of mine and my wife's, walking towards me with her two youngest children. We exchanged pleasantries and I continued on towards... something not feminine. I abandonded the cart.

Another time I was heading towards Marshalls and saw a woman I used to work with, and her sister. We chatted a bit and I veered right towards a conveniently-located computer store. They had just come out of Marshall's. A few minutes earlier and I might have been sprung.

I made a special trip to the thrift shop last Friday.

Driving there, I was in the right lane of the highway when I saw a van ahead of me. It was in the same lane and BACKING UP. I was able to get into the adjacent lane without hitting anything. A half-mile later, the exit I had to take was all backed up. An SUV with its front end destroyed was blocking traffic and cars had to gingerly go around it. Then at the end of the exit there was a disabled car just off the road. The roads here are one big construction area (the Virginia state tree is the traffic cone) so shoulders are generally non-existent. Someone decided to help the disabled car by sitting in the only traffic lane next to it as an eighteen wheeler tried to go around him!

I started to wonder if the gods were trying to tell me "this is a Bad Idea".

Or maybe they were just trying to tell me I'm too early, and CC is having a late lunch. :)

That's the problem with fate ~ you never know what it's trying to tell you.

A quick consult of the cards told me that the gods were not trying to prevent me from going. I did get to the shop, and I asked for CC. Someone said she was "downstairs" and went to get her. I looked around and waited. A few minutes later she came in and greeted me warmly. I showed her my business cards (which now have a line in purple about a discount for her customers) and told her I'd bring more if she needed them. She mentioned the computer was a bit slow, which is unsurprising. That also gives me a reason to follow up.

I didn't say anything about looking around. It didn't come up.

So I just started to look around.

CC came over after a minute or so and said "is there anything you'd like me to pull?" I said "I'm not sure what I'm looking for yet." She reassured me that there is no problem with me looking around and if I needed help to just ask. She then disappeared into her office and although I looked for her I didn't see her again that visit.

She knows.

I spent quite a bit of time looking around. They didn't have much in the way of casual dresses; they did have some party dresses, a couple of gowns, and a few wedding dresses. Remember, I'm focusing on Clothes I Can Wear Out, not pretty things I can wear around the house.

Shoes went up to size 10-1/2. Prices were more than reasonable.

I found some nice tops, but none in my size.

They had a lot of sweaters, which isn't what I was looking for that day.

They had a lot of jeans, but I prefer to get jeans new so it'll take longer to wear them out.

They had some outerwear (which I may need for Halloween) and racks of skirts.

I picked out two skirts. One was patterned, medium, with an elastic waistband and high slits on either side. The other was solid brown; it zipped up the side and looked like a really nice officewear skirt. I couldn't find a size, but it looked about the same waist size as the other skirt. I also looked at the larger shoes. There was one pair I liked.

I took those three items. The total cost was $7. I'm sure if CC knows, the cashiers know. I'm OK with that.

When I got home, the house was empty. Good: some try-on time! The patterned skirt came to just above my knees and the slits weren't as high as I'd feared. It fit well.

The brown skirt would NOT zip up. The zipper worked fine. My tummy did not. That will go into the swap bag for some lucky skinny woman.

The shoes are a bit snug, but not bad. I'd need to try them for an hour or more and see how they feel.

So two things have to go into the swap bag. It's a good thing I didn't sort through those camisoles yet!

Follow up: last Sunday, I had a chance to wear those new-to-me shoes for a while. They're a bit tight, but not bad. They're definitely possible for the rally. I will be going to Payless (at least) before then!

The rally will be mostly on the lawn. My favoured heels are definitely out. It's fat heels or flats.

These are the three items I bought. Click to enlarge. Or not. It's up to you. :)


  1. Hi Meg,
    I know the fear of seeing some one I know when buying 'girl stuff', but it has been getting easier with time. Pre-Halloween time is the best because you can say it's just part of my 'costume'. I vote for suit #1 as the best by the way.

    Hugs, Elly

  2. Meg
    Fate does work in strange ways. I was nearly busted in the ladies aisle at a local Marshall's store when I ended up face to face with a neighbor. My wife and I socialize on occasion with her and her husband. I was caught red-handed looking at ladies clothes and quickly put on the lost boy look and moved over to mens where I quickly picked up a package of boxers and two ties (how is that for overcompensating).

    Since thrift shops are favorite shopping grounds for the CD community it only follows that owners and workers at thrift shops are comfortable with men buying woman's items. A customer is a customer and a sale is a sale. I would assume that CC and her staff have sold plenty of woman's items to men and I am likewise sure that they never had an issue with any of those sales. It is also likely that they have had men shop while presenting as women and have had no issues with that either.

    Your prior discriptions of CC present the image of a caring and understanding woman who will not be uncomfortable having a CD as a friend, customer and service provider. My read is that she is just laying back giving you elbow room and the option to control the amount of information that you wish to share.

    She has offered to help you shop. Clearly she knows or at least strongly suspects and has offered her friendship and assistance. I would let the association grow in a natural fashion. She is not forcing things on you and you need not force things on her. Just keep patronizing her shop and let the conversation and observations just grow in a natural fashion.
    Good luck.

  3. The great advantage of the thrift shop is if one out of three works, it is still a bargain!

    Fate is a wonderful companion along the way. Even when the stuff that happens is a bummer (the blocked highway) you can rationalize that fate is setting you up for some other good 'coincidence', or that fate has spared you some nasty occurrence that would have happened without the interruption to your day. Either way, it improves the attitude and gives you the confidence to stride forward, meet the friends, abandon the cart (good move! LOL) and get through yet another day with a smile on your face.


  4. In the UK we call these shops "Charity Shops" and there are several on most High Streets. I like many other CDs patronise them and have never had any adverse comments, indeed just the opposite I have nearly always found the staff to be very helpful and friendly, even on occasion giving some (solicited) advice.
    Today I popped into a shop I know slightly, bought some flat dressy female shoes which I hope to get away with wearing with my dinner jacket (Tux to you guys) and tried on a jacket while I was there, it was too small.
    As I was paying for the obviously female size 8 shoes, I was aked if I realised that it was a ladies jacket I had tried on, I just replyed that yes I did realise. Not only was I in boy mode, but I was in my work clothes, i.e. safety boots, dirty karki jeans and cord shirt.
    Enjoy and make the most of the developing relationship

  5. Don't be ashamed of shopping in Kamrt; I've found several of my most fave outfits there (and in Target)! You seem to have much better luck in thrift shops than I do; I can never find anything attractive in my size!

  6. Yes, she knows... and isn't it great! :)
    Loved the excitement about home-alone "try on time"...Yessss!!!

  7. I was convinced that she knew on your earlier visit. So many of us haunt their premises. It has to be old hat after working there for a week. Perhaps the employees compare notes on which guys might be attractive women, but I'm sure they are respectful of clientele with cash to spend. I think with a bit of prompting regarding your tastes, she might start pulling items for you when you are due for a repair visit.


My day is brighter when I hear from my friends!