Monday, July 25, 2011

Buy the Bag [of Rabies]

Oh Monday...

You are quite dreary and overcast and slow this week, but at least you are only 80 degrees and I am wearing ALL BLACK and SLEEVES and DENIM PANTS without wishing I could surrender my soul to a dementor so that I'd at least lead a cold existence. Suc
cess! Take that, stupid heatwave.

Alright, I've now sworn off mentioning the weather for a while...pinky promise.

Instead, let's talk about one of my favorite passtimes: thrifting.

Now, I looooove thrifting. It's a hobby I've slowly cultivated for the past few years and it's led to the acquirement of some of my all-time favorite items- the number one of which is a long, gold chain necklacke with a no-longer functioning clock that features the symbols of the zodiac calendar on its face and that I have rather tragically missplaced somewhere. Alas, c'est la vie...or just ma vie...a losing vie...leading to envy...of people who don't lose things in their vie...and read issues of V (Magazine). Yeah, I'm going to stop that now.

What exactly was my point? Oh, right: thrifting. I love it. And as a lover of it, I was really excited for the Housing Works "Buy the Bag" sale last Saturday. You see, Housing Works is this really great organization that supports those living with HIV/AIDS and runs a number of thrift stores in NYC to make money for their cause. And, on Saturdays during late summer, they start having these "Buy the Bag" sales, where you get to go to their warehouse in Queens and pay a flat $25 fee for whatever you can fit in a rather large, brown paper bag they give you- pretty much a thrifters dream come true.

So, around 9:30 on a Saturday morning, yours truly trecked to Queens- on a day when it was already in the 90s before noon and she was still a little hopped-up on Delsym Night Time- to wait for the sale to begin at 11 AM.

And then, yours truly proceeded to wait until 12:30 in the afternoon before she could be let in the sale because of over-crowding and the very real risk of heat stroke in an unconditioned warehouse.

And then, after much anticipation and nodding politely to a very well-meaning-but-annoying woman who couldn't stop speaking in front of her in line, yours truly walked inside the sale, walked around, and walked back out- putting her back on the 7-train before 12:50.

Why, you ask?

Well, see for yourself:

Honestly, nothing can do justice to how bad the entire thing was. First of all, as I found out only after I was at the front of the line and had already been waiting for over an hour, there was no jewelry. That's pretty much all I was in it for to begin with, expecting to walk out with oodles of over-sized cocktail rings and vintage baubles galore. Nope. Nothing. Not even one measly brooch.

Second of all, being the Housing Works warehouse, it was completely unorganized. Of course, I had been expecting a certain level of unorganization. What I was not expecting were mountains, literally MOUNTAINS, of clothes jammed in a room to the point where you actually couldn't see the ground and were forced to teeter on at least a foot-tall dome of textiles everywhere you went.

And third, and to me worst, of all- nothing was laundered. Also something that I was expecting, as I imagined Housing Works doesn't have the time or resources to launder things that aren't going in their stores. However, paired with the unimaginable amount of stuff that was piled into one space, this meant that you were basically paddling your way through thousands of items that, if not washed at all, had at least been sitting in a dusty old building for God knows how long and very well might have been diseased (no joke- I once read about a blogger getting crabs from a pair of pants she wore without washing from a thrift store). Some people had brought gloves. I had not.

All in all, I was just super skeeved about the entire thing. I had been totally prepared for an intense, out-of-the-box shopping experience, but this was just a little lot much for me. Maybe, maybe, I would have stayed longer if I had seen anything good, but the amount of unhygenic crap I would have had to dig through to find it was so not worth the trouble. Below are the three things I saw that looked even-vaguely promising, all of which were too big for me and could easily be found at a normal thrift shop anyway:

Whew. That was a long post. Bottom line: Buy the Bag kicked my ass. And possibly gave it some sort of flesh-eating virus. I spent the rest of the afternoon washing my hands three times in the bathroom at the Starbucks at Columbus Circle once I was back in Manhattan, buying Pinkberry for lunch, and sneaking it into the theatre at Lincoln Square where I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (hence the lame witty dementor reference earlier) by myself- and it was awesome. Cost: $19. Rabies not included.

*Note: I do realize that I have an immense amount of privilige in being able to dismiss this sale as a bad experience I don't want to go through again, as I am sure some, if not several, of the people in attendance didn't necessarily have the luxury of passing up an opportunity to receive such a large amount of clothing at such a cheap price. I do not at all mean for this post to be insensitive or to offend anyone, I'm just trying to present the experience from my point of view. Please, feel free to call me out on anything you think is inappropriate in the comments- any and all are appreciated.

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