shark boy & sugar fiend
Originally uploaded by bnims.

This is an older post that I never got up from October 5th.

This afternoon I took the boys thrift store shopping downtown Ventura. It’s a favorite afternoon past time of ours. I like it for numerous reasons: I feel like I’m saving money, recycling, basically, being a B- citizen instead of a C+ one. I love the colorful characters and the conversations I overhear. I can sometimes feel creative while I’m shopping. I love the names: The Salvation Army, Humane Society Thrift Store, Goodwill, Retarded Citizens Thrift Store. Compare those to the boring names like Target, Mervyne’s, Macy’s, JC Penny’s ect. Of course there are things I don’t like about thrift stores such as how your hands feel like they are coated with clear chalk afterwards or how the carts always have a sticky wheel or two and rolling over polyester moomoos can be difficult. But then there are the “finds”, such as a complete Jr. Scrabble game (I’m not always so lucky, the Operation Game I bought was missing a bone.) or a fantastic vintage Guccie Sweater. One of my all time favorite dresses came from a thrift store in Florida where I paid a dollar a pound. But, back to this afternoon. We were in the first shop we visited when Noah lazered in on a green Razr scooter. This was it. He didn’t mind the torn handle bar foam or the rust on the bolts. The store was going to out of business so it half off and was only going to be six dollars…what a steal. Before we paid for it, I reminded him we were going to the store across the street, the one with the “good toys’ and if he got the scooter he couldn’t get anything else. He agreed. I said,”Are you sure? Because I don’t want you to start asking for something else over there.” He said he was sure he wanted the scooter. So we paid for it. Speaking of strange characters in thrift stores. The clerk asked me if I had ever seen the Leave It To Beaver movie because Beaver rode the scooter we were buying was in movie. And her son had played Beaver. I asked if he was still an actor, wondering how she ended up working in the thrift store. “No, he is in college now, studying genetics. He wants to cure cancer”, she said. What do you say to that? I told her that was great and left wondering if she was crazy. Across the street at the “good toy store”, the boys began to rummage through piles of abandoned and discarded toys. I heard Noah shreik with joy. I looked over and he held up this crazy looking half shark-half car thing. In case you don’t know, Noah LOVES LOVES LOVES sharks. “A shark car”, he said wide eyed with sheer amazement. I watched him look at it longingly, remember what I had said about not asking, and then slowly set it down back on the shelf. It was the look on his face, that revealed he cared more about pleasing me and keeping his word than getting the incredible shark car, that moved me. When it comes to my kids I’m usually not a hard ass, so of course, I said, “Noey, you can go ahead and get that shark car if you want.” His face glowed as he reached for it. He couldn’t be more content at the moment, but Nathanael was another story. It would be another ten minutes before Nathanael reluctantly decided on a bag army toys. But on the way out, I spotted an Icee maker on a shelf with some vases. I pulled it down and Nathanael’s face lit up, at the thought of sugar I assume. Good, two ecstatic little boys. We paid for our purchases and left. As we walked to our car, I felt like Mrs. Thrift Store America with my adoring little fans trailing after me.