The Grandeur of Goodwill

According to a few of my online pals, who are forced to read my daily rambles about my pantry and my laundry and the pain in my bathroom, I am officially nesting. They might be right, although I’ve noticed that this so-called nesting has not yet driven me to scrub the cheese-crusted baking sheet that has been sitting on my stove for three days.

Still, there is no denying that i have been feeling very inspired to decorate my home and carch up on some projects that I’ve been putting for oh, say, my entire life. My husband has been very supportive of my efforts, especially when they involve me, the coat closet, and a bunch of trash bags. He was slightly less enchanted by my sudden urge to install new vertical blinds over our sliding glass door, recognizing that this is likely the kind of project that endangers our marital bliss, but I’m sure he’ll come to see my point of view. I can be very annoying persuasive.

One of the results in my sudden interest in home decorating is that I have been stalking blogs like Nesting Place and Joys of Home. While my house will never be as amazing as theirs, I have learned some important lessons. One of these is that if you have patience, you can find some fabulous decor for your home at thrift stores.

Actually, I already knew this. I grew up being dragged to garage sales and resale shops by a mom who knew her stuff. Goodwill is to my children what the mall is to normal people’s kids– the place where we go to buy new clothes. Seriously, at the rate they go through clothes, they’re lucky I don’t just cut head and armholes in old pillow cases for them, tie a rope around their waists, and call it a day.

Last Thursday found me and the munchkins headed out on a shopping trip of epic proportions– Home Depot for paint, Michael’s for floral stems and a sheet of really cute butterfly paper, the Dollar Tree for floral foam, and Goodwill.

I have been noticing lately that our local Goodwill has been showing signs of an inflated ego. Gone are the days of $.25 t-shirts and “everything’s $1” bric-a-brac. Right now my Goodwill has a dresser marked $239.99. For a dresser. At Goodwill. They also refused my old couch when we attempted to donate it last fall. Apparently it wasn’t up to their “standards.” Luckily, denim maternity overalls still do meet their standards, so if you know anyone who needs about 40 pairs, let me know, I can totally hook them up.

Anyway, Thursday I was on a quest for a picture frame, but before we even made it in the door my darling younger son had announced that he needed to go potty really bad. Oh, goodie. Nothing says fun like a bathroom trip at the Goodwill. Still, when nature calls, you answer, especially when nature is calling your four-year-old boy with notoriously poor bladder control. So our first stop (after I ogled the $240 dresser) was the bathroom.

Immediately upon entry into the bathroom, I noticed a change. (Yes, I have used the Goodwill bathroom before, on occasion. There are very few public restrooms in our town that I haven’t used. I’ve been potty-training one boy or the other for the last 3 1/2 years now.) The Goodwill bathroom has always been one of those bathrooms where you are tempted to tell your son to just pee in the floor drain to avoid having to come anywhere near the toilet. The kind of bathroom where you are really pretty sure that your child’s hands are cleaner before they wash them. The kind of bathroom where, while you are hovering over the toilet trying not to touch anything, you are constantly telling your son to not touch the cleaning supplies that have been left there (for what, you wonder), to leave the old, black mophead alone, to for goodness sake please just stand in the middle of the room and never touch anything ever again.

Not anymore, my friends.

Goodwill is suffering from delusions of grandeur.

The first indication of this was that the mophead was gone. I was kind of sad about this, because that mophead and I have gotten very comfortable with each other over the years. Not having its unused, dirty self staring balefully at me from the corner of the room as I did my business and reminded my son not to touch it was kind of unnerving.

But the missing mophead was just the tip of the iceberg. Someone, I don’t know who, has apparently decided that the Goodwill bathroom is no longer a bastion of strict functionality. In a fit of “let’s spruce this place up a bit” bathroom-decorating madness, this unknown someone beheaded somebody’s donated bunch of pink roses and put the silk blossoms strategically around the wall to hide the worst of the I-don’t-even-want-to-know-what stains. And someone hung a picture over the toilet.

And even more shockingly, someone had cleaned the sink.

But I think my favorite part was when I noticed that the little water heater in the corner, with the pipes sticking out of it and into huge gaping holes in the wall, had been covered with a remnant of pinkish polyester and topped with a decorative ceramic pitcher.

Oh, to have a camera phone.

My children wanted to drink out of the pitcher but I told them to finish peeing in the floor drain so I could get back to my shopping.

Just kidding.

Because what kind of horrible mother would make her kids pee in the floor drain when there was a perfectly good decorative ceramic pitcher right there on the water heater?


7 thoughts on “The Grandeur of Goodwill

  1. I know about Goodwill nowdays. They won’t take a couch with one small tear down on the bottom by the foot!! Unbelieveable. Public restrooms — enough said!!! Loved your take on it.

  2. Hurry for Schnooky! She’s getting down with her bad cleaning self!!! You should see what she did to our kitchen yesterday! Those counters were clean enough to eat off! Um….

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