Pocketfuls of Sunshine

We Take Care of Our Own

Posted on: August 29, 2008

Thanks to my cousin, (you know who you are!), I recently attended my first mom to mom resale extravaganza. I call it an extravaganza because, really, there are tables, coat racks and booths everywhere. Each one is filled with teeny, tiny clothing in shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow. And then there’s actually a whole gymnasium filled with “big ticket” items, everything from strollers to swing sets. People roam in any direction they please, and they scoot in to take a closer look at items that are right before your eyes. It’s a mom’s free-for-all.

Now, two years ago, when I was expecting the Bean, I never would have thought to attend one of these gatherings. They can be found every weekend in local schools and churches, but why would I attend a resale? I wanted new pink pajamas and ruffly dresses! I didn’t need used baby clothes! She had plenty in all sizes. Her closet was full!

Then. a year and a half later, I smartened up.

The Bean was growing and, although she is a petite little thing, she would need bigger clothes for yet another summer season. The tiny onesies and sleepers simply wouldn’t work. Bubby had come along, too. And no matter how much you adore the second child, they simply don’t end up with as many clothes as the first. It doesn’t help that he is well on his way to becoming a full-grown man. The boy can eat and it shows.

So I decided to check out a resale. The listing on the Internet said “No strollers allowed.” What was that all about? Wasn’t this a mom friendly event? Begrudgingly, I complied and left with kids with the Husband while my mother and I set out for what I was certain would be a waste of time. We didn’t even think to check our wallets to check our cash supply.

The sale began at 9:00 a.m. We arrived about twenty minutes later, and it had just started to rain. Cars were streaming into the lot and we quickly navigated our way through the puddles to get to the front door. One dollar per person later, we were inside.

“BIG TICKET ITEMS This Way!” It was the first sign we saw. So we headed down the tiny halls of a Lutheran school and were amazed to see a gymnasium full of baby necessities. Swings, strollers, bouncers, exersaucers, car seats, infant carriers, sand boxes, swing sets, vanities, and little couches peppered the floor space. We browsed a bit before realizing that there was a gigantic line forming in staggered fashion around the items. I had to know.

“Excuse me, what are you standing in line for?”

“To buy something. If you want to buy an item, you take the tag off it and stand in line.”

There must have been forty people in that line, each with their little tag in hand inching ever closer to the person ahead. That’s when we realized that everything we had been browsing was already in the process of being purchased. These people had laid claim to their buyings and were well on their way to completing the transaction, which undoubtedly meant that they were seasoned resalers and had been here very early.

We headed out to the main halls, only to be cut off by a man carrying a gigantic, primary colored swingset in pieces out the door. It must have been the find of the day. And he was the token man helping to carry out the heavy items. I don’t remember seeing a single other male in the whole place.

Each table in the hall was packed tightly together, full of clothes, toys, and books. Some were neatly displayed by gender and size. Others were packed together by outfit in large Ziplock bags. And still others were organized by name brand. Gymboree, BabyGap, Janie and Jack. Piles upon piles of clothes awaited.

I paused. How would we go through it all? Where do we start?

By process of elimination. I quickly passed over booths that were poorly organized or disheveled, and I headed to ones with both girl and boy clothing since I was indeed shopping for both kids. My mother and I split up and perused side-by-side booths, scurrying to find anything that still had tags on it. We were surprisingly successful.

It dawned on me, then, that I had no idea how much money was in my wallet. I counted. Thirty bucks. That was more than I typically had in cash. Mom had another twenty or so. We pooled our resources and, two hours later, walked out with bags and bags of clothes. Many were practically new, and a few actually were. The kids were those outfits frequently, and they get many compliments. I have to remember where I got them, and I think, “Ah, the resale!”

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I wished we had more cash on us that day. I could have gone through more booths, but we were ill-prepared and delightfully surprised to find so many great clothes. Once I started rifling through the endless piles, I was also happy that no strollers were allowed. Kids and strollers took up too much room, and this was serious business!

After attending this resale, I am a mom-reformed. I cannot wait until the fall sales begin after Labor Day, and I’ve already added several to the calendar. I plan to hit the ones with the “no stroller” rule since it gives me an hour’s respite from the daily grind and I can do some serious “shopping”. I enjoy the challenge of finding great outfits in new condition for a dollar or two. Speaking of dollars, I also will be heading to the bank to ensure I have enough cash, in singles and fives. And you can bet, my kids will be two of the best-dressed cuties you’ll see this fall!

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3 Responses to "We Take Care of Our Own"

Oh, yeah. I turned up my nose at those things when Baby was first born, but now I’m the one who lines up at the door before it opens! Mom2mom resales ROCK!

Look forward to reading your blogs! And don’t forget……one day YOU will be the one SELLING instead of buying!

It was fun! A little eye-opening, I must admit. I think we will have a better handle on the next one! I was shocked to find Rothchild coats there, like brand new. You had a couple when you were little, with a matching hat, and muff. I love them! (I think you liked them too!)

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