The Will of the Good Value Village

13 04 2008

I know that some people tend to avoid places like Value Village and Goodwill in favor of places like Nordstrom or…. JC Penny?

Then there are other people who, regardless of their habits of either visiting or not visiting thrift stores, are prone to deny any connection with them.

My thoughts, however, are not between the strengths or weaknesses of either type of place to spend money, but between Value Village and Goodwill themselves.
To be frank; I don’t like Value Village at all. Not to offend anyone, but a lingering sense of failure and depression tends to haunt me for a time after shopping there. They sell $350 sofas and $2 TVs. Computer keyboards that look like they’ve been carefully dipped in coconut oil, 50-year-old Singer sewing machines built conveniently into tables, a rusty hunting knife, and a myriad of golden candlesticks, none of which are clean or look the same. Racks and racks of funny-smelling identical black slacks, floppy straw hats, your grandmother’s brown drinking glasses from the 70s, a rotary-dial telephone without a cord (technology trying to get ahead of itself there), and a young man lugging a plywood bedside table out the door. A policeman flipping through a fashion magazine from 1999 and a girl at the checkout counter trying to have fun.

Goodwill is a treasure chest. Flipping through the T-shirts, hoping for something interesting, happiness can be bought for a $1.35. The air smells like old detergent, and the linoleum is unremarkable. The Hawaiian shirts hang next to the dress shirts and there’s a circular rack set aside for the more expensive materials like leather or suede. You won’t sit in those lawn chairs, the cushions on the sofas are questionable, but you like perusing the book shelf without actually buying anything. A couple of books you recognize, one a fond memory from your childhood. Stereos and toasters sit amongst their own unplugged wires, you have to assume they work. After all, who would donate a broken toaster to Goodwill. There’s always that sense of… how can I say it… good will? about the place.

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3 responses

13 04 2008
Matt

so true.. i like the tee shirts 🙂

13 04 2008
Aj

Epic.

13 04 2008
Amy

I guffawed at “technology trying to get ahead of itself there”. I sense a good blog. I will be keeping track.

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