i was clicking through my flickr friends recent uploads the other day when i came across this most amazing story. and let me tell you, i have not laughed so hard in i don't know how long. we're talking about that kind of laugh where you're laughing so hard, you're just teetering on your emotions ever so, and you might just start to actually weep. that was me. i honestly could see myself in this story, which is told so brilliantly, with so many great lines- i could picture the scene perfectly. so i emailed miss *eartha kitsch* and asked her if she would be ok if i shared it with you guys. and she said yes! so here you go. if you are a thrifter, you will really enjoy this- and if you are not, you will become one. as i always say to henry, you never know what might be waiting for you.
so, without further ado, i present to you, *eartha kitsch*'s THAT'S THE STUFF RIGHT THERE!
So, this is going to be a ridiculously long story because I am excited......but if you have time, listen to this - I got out of the house today! (Thank heavens) I hadn't been out of the house for 11 days, not counting my trip to the E.R.. I know that you all got to hear me rant about how I was missing all the good Christmas goodies at the thrift stores. I was completely and totally spazzing out! So, Mister promised he would take me out today. And thrifting even! I know, right? It's a Christmas miracle! I kid you not - I couldn't sleep last night as I concocted my plan of attack: which sections to hit first...how to get it all in before Mister gets really antsy and asks to leave...
Then, all night long, I dreamed about Christmas kitsch! It was maddening! But listen to this, you all were there too! Yes, you! And you! And you! Flickr friends kept showing up in my dream and showing me cool vintage Christmas items that they had found. I tossed and turned all night in fits of jealousy and frustration. Yes, I'm a real jealous girl in my dream state. I woke up so sad because I hadn't come out of my dreams with anything good. No swag from the Sandman. Oh, NyQuil.....where is your balm?
So, I sprang out of bed this morning as if my gown were on fire. We were at Goodwill with the first crowd of shoppers. I limped over to where the huge bin of outcast Christmas ornaments are, picturing little people made of gold painted pine cones and grimy pom-pom creatures who needed me to rescue them. That's where I always find the best things! Once I got there, I realized that the bin was now filled to the brim with Happy Meal toys. Happy Meal toys! Oh, I wanted to cry! So, I made the long haul to the back of the store where the knick-knack shelves are. I lurched up and down the aisles, sweating, eyes darting from one item to the next, as slow as an impaired tortoise. I was finding nothing. Nothing!
The Christmas shelves had been downsized and now were mostly stupid wicker baskets. (I'd like to take this time to put a pox on stupid wicker baskets!) Even the general knick-knack shelves had been scraped clean, no doubt by people looking for cheap presents for their friends and family. (Damn you, George Bush! People should be in the malls!) I was at the edge of tears because I had looked forward to the things that I knew I would find. About that time, Mister came up to me and asked me why I looked so sad. I eeked out, "There... is... nothing " and cast my eyes downward towards the dirty floor and my crooked foot. He then said, "Didn't you see that pile of light-up deer over there?" My ears started ringing and the room started spinning. I clutched the shelf of crockery soup mugs to steady myself. I thought he must be kidding and I asked him to repeat himself. He said, "Didn't you see them? Follow me..." I swear, it was then that I forgot my foot injury and began to run. Like a marathon "throw a cup of water in my face as I go by" runner.
He took me to the furniture section and there they were, right between the dirty wicker laundry hamper and the brass floor lamp, right behind the wooden tater bin - an honest to god PILE of light up deer, stacked like gorgeous cord wood! My heart started beating like a rabbit being chased. I have always loved these deer and have wanted them for as long as I could remember. I looked around at the other shoppers, wondering who would leap in and take this dream away from me. Only an elderly lady seemed to notice my new obsession. She asked me if was going to get them and I said, "Oh yes! I have wanted these deer my ENTIRE LIFE!" She smiled at me and said that she was very happy for me. I wanted to kiss her on the mouth but didn't. I turned my attention back to the deer and asked Mister, "Can we? Oh, can we?"
He then told me to pick out the one that I wanted. I then placed myself between him and the reindeer as if they were my new allies. I can't remember exactly the conversation that occurred next but my end went something like, " ONE?? But...but...please!..." and "My entire life!! The deer!! But..but..." and " They have to be together, they pull Santa's sleigh!!" and " I swear to God! This can be my entire Christmas!!"
He then agreed and said that we shouldn't take Rudolph because his nose was cracked. I'm pretty sure my eyes rolled straight out of my head as I told him, "That's Rudolph! He has the nose that lights up and he GUIDES THE SLEIGH!" (as if he'd never heard the story) (as if the future of every gift expecting tot was hanging in the balance). He then agreed to let me have all five of them and I started doing a jagged, clumsy jig and tried to hold them against my bosom all at once. The reindeer and I were engaged in a sort of football field style huddle and no sucker was going to separate me from my beautiful glowing destiny! Mister and I had a brief conversation about him getting a shopping cart but I then reasoned that I was crippled and while he was gone, somebody would surely take them away from the white-knuckled grasp that I now had on the whole pile of them.
Hoping to calm me, Mister grabbed a couple of the deer and we started walking up to the front of the store with reindeer perched all over us. Me lumbering and limping and giggling like a fool. Him behind me dragging cracked nosed Rudolph and the one that will be known as "Prancer". As we walked up to the counter, the intercom came on and the voice called my name and asked me to come up to the front! It was crazy! I know that it was someone else by the same name that they wanted but while I lurched forward with those deer, them calling me to the front, I felt like I'd won the Showcase Showdown! I squealed, "I'm coming! WITH THE DEER!" to nobody in particular. A couple of ladies surveying the once red but now pinkish red Christmas turtlenecks stopped to look at me but only momentarily.
As Mister paid for the deer (squeal!), we discussed how we probably wouldn't have time to put them up this Christmas. I then said that I was going to light them all up and surround our living room couch with them. The cashier gave me quite the look and asked us, "Y'all have children?" We said that we didn't. Her look grew even more intense as she smiled at us with a nervous pity. Mister took the deer out to the car on his own and told me to go back to shopping (squeal!). As I made my way to the back of the store, I passed the little old lady who had congratulated me on the deer before. She said to me, "Honey, you're SO happy, aren't you?" I blurted out, "I am!! I've wanted them my entire life! MY ENTIRE LIFE!" She smiled again and told me that she recently got a large snowman there that had swirling lights all over it. I smiled back at her (secretly wishing that she would adopt me as her granddaughter) and told her that we were, "lucky....so very lucky!" She agreed and we parted.
I began to look over the glassware and as Freddy Fender faded out, the store stereo started playing Doris Day singing a Christmas carol. Doris! And yeah, I started to cry. It was absolutely perfect. The absolutely perfect day.