Book Shopping at Goodwill

IMG_8237My local Goodwill has these old metal shelves holding the books. They’re jumbled, in no particular order. I can tell that someone has tried to put them in order (the cookbooks are separated from the fiction), but it’s probably a losing battle.

One time, as I stood there, looking over the shelves, a man came up to me and asked if he could help me find anything. I politely declined, but asked me again what I was looking for. I said, “I don’t know. Just whatever I feel like buying.” He then asked if I was looking for fiction or nonfiction, any particular authors. I admit, I was getting a bit annoyed by this point. (My default setting is to be antisocial… I’m working on it. Sort of.) Finally, I said that I was looking for classics, and other books I don’t have.

The man’s eyes lit up, and he said, “I pick the books that get put out, and no one ever wants the classics! If I know that’s what you’re looking for, I can start to put them out.” And then he showed me where a few of them were.

I firmly believe that sometimes people come to me to teach me lessons. This man reminded me to slow down, and instead of being annoyed when people ask me seemingly random questions, to figure out what they’re really asking, then answer.

Often I forget that most people like to be helpful, and I was really doing this man a kindness by letting him help me. He was genuinely enthusiastic about books, and excited to help me find what I wanted.

In a world full of bad news, it’s nice to make a genuine human connection, even if only for a minute. Thanks, Random Goodwill Book Guy.

Yard Sale-ing

Humans aren't the only ones with hoarding issues!

Humans aren’t the only ones with hoarding issues!

The first time I heard this term, I was working for CPS, and one of the foster parents and kids said that this was one of their favorite weekend pastimes.  I heard “yard sailing” and thought, “What is that?”  This particular foster mom was one of those who barely breathed when she talked, so I had no time to ask what she meant.  I eventually figured it out from context clues, but until then, just nodded and smiled.

We recently held our first yard sale.  I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it.  Usually I just give things to Goodwill, but I wanted to see if we could make some extra money, and we definitely did.  I read a little bit online for advice before I did it, but I learned a few things as well.

1.  Start early: We scheduled for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.  6 a.m. to noon would have been better, or even stopping at 11 a.m. would have been fine.  The buyers, the ones who do this on the weekends get there early.  Everyone after 10:30 was mostly browsing.

2.  Wear sunscreen: seriously.  Put it on before you start.  You won’t have time to put it on later.

3.  Don’t bother to sell on Sunday.  No one is going to come, not unless you’re on a very main road.

4.  Be ready to bargain.  No one pays full price for things.  (But since I was going to give it away anyway, all was good.

5.  People might get insulted if you say no.  Someone offered me a price I thought was way too low, and when I said no, she rolled her eyes and got huffy.  The item didn’t sell and is currently on my Goodwill pile, so maybe I would have been better off selling to her, but I didn’t like her attitude.  Which brings me to the next one…

6.  If you’re a buyer, be polite.  I bargained with nice people way more often than with less than nice people.  I had one guy get something that was marked $20 for $10 because he was persistent and polite about it.

7.  Have fun.  After all, if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?

Day 5 of 30 Days of Gratitude


This is my before picture.  Scary, huh?

This is my before picture. Scary, huh?

1. I’m grateful for this very weird burst of organizing gusto I’ve gotten. I’ve wanted to re-organize my office for a long time, and put in my lovely, wonderful, long awaited desk… and that’s as far as I’ve gotten, until today.

2. I’m grateful for whatever force it is that’s allowing me to get rid of things. I don’t throw things away, mostly ever. But I am freecycling, ebaying, and Goodwill-ing.

3. I’m grateful for my book club, which has been exposing me to books I would have otherwise NEVER picked up.

2 Broke Girls

by The TV Guy’s Stepmom

imagesAs the new TV season approaches, I’m reminded that it’s much more fun reviewing shows I like…2 Broke Girls had a promising premise-the daughter of a Bernie Madoff-type finds herself, for the first time ever, living in the real world, working as a waitress in a diner, sleeping on a Murphy bed in the apartment of her new best friend and fellow server, hardscrabble Max .

Daddy’s in prison and the family fortune is gone. The episode where Max and Caroline visited a Goodwill Industries thrift shop, a store they dubbed “the Will,” gave me hope that the focus would be on heiress Caroline being schooled in the ways of the world by Max.

Instead, things went downhill rather quickly-the writers go for the cheapest laughs possible-this brand of gutter humor is inappropriate for network TV, and it’s not funny. The supporting players are crude stereotypes who bring nothing to the party.

The female leads, Kat Denning and Beth Behrs, are engaging; they deserve a better vehicle than this. If 2 Broke Girls finds its way back to what I thought was its original premise, the audience (and the cast) will benefit.