Indeed, the opening of a new Goodwill adjacent to the laundromat is such cause for celebration that I got permission to telecommute so I could attend the actual grand opening at 9 a.m. last Friday.
There was a dancing Goodwill mascot. Show of hands: who even knew that Goodwill had a dancing foam mascot?
At 8:40. the line to get in stretched all the way around the building. The first 150 shoppers were promised $5 gift cards. I figured there was no way I was in the first 150, but on the other hand, I had nothing much better to do at this point, so I'd go get in line.
|I got a gift card I got a gift card I got a gift card!|
Here's where everybody not from Minnesota is going "whuh? what-where-how-when-why?" and anybody from Minnesota is going "booyah!" Dayton's was the last survivor among the regional department store chains. It was bought by Macy's about a decade ago, but before that dark day, it had a warehouse up in the industrial area where Minneapolis converges with Roseville, and in the parking lot of that warehouse, it had periodic tent sales with deeply discounted furniture and Oriental rugs and other marvelous things. I don't think I ever bought anything, but that wasn't really the point of going: Dayton's tent sales were like the State Fair in being spectacle on their own terms.
Not only was I standing in line with a fellow refugee from the Minnesota winter, but she'd grown up in one of the neighborhoods I used to live in.
At 8:57, the smirking gentlemen in suits had mercy on us all and opened the doors.
Staff flung themselves across the warehouse-side entrance so nobody in line would make a break for it into the sorting area.
|Candid shot of Goodwill warehouse.|
|Crowd-surfing did not take place while I was there,|
most likely because the surfer would get dibs on the good stuff.
Upon reaching the Wall o' Toys, I determined the location of the section with Neglected Fashion Doll baggies, planted myself with my weight firmly distributed on the balls of my feet (feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent -- the best stance for repelling oncoming shopping carts), and proceeded to go through the stock at a swift and steady pace, getting a firm grip on anything that might reward closer examination.
This Goodwill had gotten smart (they thought) and put articulated and non-articulated dolls in bags together, rather than putting two similar dolls in the bag.
It had also marked the two-packs up to $3.99, instead of the usual $2.99.
I passed up a couple of articulated blond Barbies because yes, articulation, but I don't have anybody who needs that skin tone, and the face-ups were unexciting. I passed up a Winx Club Bloom with articulated knees and ankles because Winx just don't excite me either.
Then I got to the hidden Monster High section at the back of a peg.
Monster High dolls were a whopping $4.99 each, which is high for a Goodwill baggie but less than the $7 that the lady at the Park 'n' Swap charges. And I have a gift certificate, which means I can get two for $5, or essentially $2.50 each, because of course, confronted with this choice, I'm not going to just get one doll for free because who does that?
|It's all right, Skelita! We're safe now. Soon, our hair will be boil-washed.|
Poor Skelita was wearing somebody else's dress, so she needed something of her own. My first effort at a dress really isn't it, but at least she looks annoyed rather than pathetic.
|I think the little purple one likes me.|
Skelita gets pulled into a discussion with D'Laura and Briony over which teen retailer has the best styles.
|We need to take you to Paradise Valley Mall, Skel. That has ALL the cool stores.|
|Let's try something more like a pony tail, 'kay?|
|I don't know, Frankie. I think she's Basque.|