Another Thrifty Day at the Thrift Store

I admit it. The Saver’s Thrift Store in Dublin calls me and every other over-55 senior in the tri-valley on Tuesdays. Why? The 30% senior discount off of everything. That’s why.

My massage and chiropractor appointment messed up exercise class for me, so afterward, I swung through CVS to get Sis’s meds that they’d sent to the wrong store, then headed down the boulevard that links my town to towns south. I pulled into the lot of Saver’sat 10:45 or so, skipping the long line of cars waiting to donate. My car was filled with donations, but I would do it after shopping.

Saver’s is so big, it’s like a warehouse. Lots of gray-headed men and blond-headed women were hovering in every aisle. I skipped the garden row and went straight for the back wall where I found some silver-plated cutlery on the cheap. You can never have too many teaspoons, right?

Then I breezed through the dishes, picked up a few, took a closer look, and put them back. Then I picked up a girl’s red gingham dress that is destined to become a pioneer dress, size 8. I grabbed a couple of dust ruffles (for pioneer clothes) and then headed over to the frame and furniture department. Much to my surprise, there was an antique walnut coat tree in good shape for only $35.00. Plus it was senior day, so that meant a discount of $10.50.  I stood there waiting for a worker bee to come by so I could get him to mark it as sold. Another worker bee told me to go up front and ask to pay for it, but I knew not to leave it, not even for a minute. Eventually the regular blond dude with the Campbell’s Kids face walked by, and I waved him down.

“I’d like to buy this coat tree,” I said.

“What’s a coat tree?” he asked.

Later, as I write this, I realize I should’ve called it a hall tree. Either way, I had to explain the hat hooks and the metal pieces at the bottom for wet umbrellas.

“I used to have an antique store,”  I said.

“Oh, got it.”

I also saw two nice-looking antique side chairs for a dining room, but I knew my little Chevy Trax wouldn’t be able to handle them plus the coat tree (hall tree).

I paid up front, went out to the parking lot and rearranged my entire car in order to put down the back seats to make room.  Then I got in the donation line and emptied out the back of four garbage bags.  Still, I wasn’t sure if the hall tree was going to fit.

But it did. When the young strong guy brought it out to my car, he slid it in over a flattened cardboard box, while I guided it from the front passenger seat.

I drove home, feeling like I’d just robbed a bank. $24.50 for an antique hall tree is ridiculous, but the Saver’s people price furniture low to get it out of there because so many people donate, and they want quick turnover.

As the day went on, after visiting Sis, doing some yard work, walking two dogs, and eating lunch, I decided to go back to see if either or both of those cool chairs were still there.

The crowd was different, younger with more tattoos, plus a group of teen girls. When I was that age, shopping at thrift stores was not cool. People thought it was gross. I’m happy to see that young people embrace reducing, re-using, and recycling — to save the Earth, so they’ll have somewhere to grow old.

I found the quarter-sawn oak chair with the high back and the perfectly-intact caned seat. It was marked $17.99, but after the discount, it would only be $12.60.  I put it in my cart, and discovered a note on the bottom that said it had been re-stored and re-glued in 1987. It was somebody’s family heirloom, and it matched my kitchen table, also quarter-sawn oak, also an antique.  The other chair was gone.

Wow! Two antique furniture scores in one day! Plus a blog post. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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