But women all around me seemed to be girding their loins before attempting that daunting and exhausting sport of motherhood: kids consignment sale-ing. Apparently, it's a rite of passage among moms down here in the deep South.
First, I was told, there is the parking lot. No matter how early one gets there, one never seems to arrive early enough to park close to the entrance. Acres of baking tarmac must be crossed, while dodging the reversing cars of those who have already been, done, and conquered and are now in a hurry to return home.
Secondly, there's all the STUFF. Miles of racks and bins and tables all waiting to be sorted through. Overwhelming seemed an understatement.
Then, I heard, there are the check out lines. Up to two hours long. WWWWHHHAAATTT???!! For second hand clothes? What was everybody thinking (when I picked up an adorable pair of GAP pants for $1, with the tags still attached, I understood a little more).
So, yesterday, loins appropriately girded, my sister and I headed out to brave the cars, crowds and crazies.
And despite my trepidation (which only increased when we pulled in and saw all the police cars!) it was a pleasingly easy experience. We got a parking really close by. Upon entering the building we discovered that yes, it was pretty crowded, but the only crazies I ran into were women who brought their kids! I guess one has to do this when trying to measure accurately for next season's clothes. Or when you can't get a babysitter, which I totally understand. But I don't think I'd be brave enough to go if I had to drag along the kiddos. There was this one girl who had SIX children with her, two of whom were 5 month old twins! I couldn't even imagine what utter torture she was enduring. Poor thing.
Everyone was very polite and nice to one another...no grabbing involved. And, miracle of miracles, the line only took us 40 minutes! Incredible. All in all, I was glad to have had such a mild baptism into the wonderful world of consignment sale-ing. I feel well and truly grown up and motherly now that I've participated :)
- Take a ribbon upon which you mark your child's measurements (neck to waist, neck to ankle, waist, waist to ankle etc.) Fabulous tip!
- Take a laundry basket, suitcase or something on wheels to dump all your top picks in (I even saw one lady with a Radio Flyer wagon in which her child was riding amidst mounds of clothes. Great idea!)
- Take cash, as you often get to go through the cash only line then, which is shorter
- SNACKS...once there, you're in it for the long haul!