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Sail away with me

By Keegan Prosser on April 15, 2013 – No Comment

Loud and About Column by Heija Nunn

My love for funky finds and quirky beautiful bargains is no secret. Last month’s issue featured my list of 10 Things To Buy at Goodwill and I have run into several of you there since then.

As part of the prep for her own story on thrift stores, I took Scene Assistant Editor Keegan Prosser on a quick and dirty (in a good way) tour of several Eastside secondhand stores including the since remodeled and all too pretty, Bellevue Goodwill. We tried on Macklemore-approved faux furs, blinged-out shades and size WOW! men’s shoes.

I showed her my favorite corners and lucky spots and before we left the store I introduced her to The One That Got Away.

We’d met the day before when a glint of metal caught my eye from across the store. Intrigued, I sidled in for a closer look so as not to attract the attention of competitive shoppers because there are unspoken rules for successful bargain stalking you know.

Rule 1: Keep your mouth shut and your eyes vacant, and for goodness sake, don’t do a happy dance!

Rule 2: Follow the rumble of carts as they emerge like Santa from the stockroom — but keep that one to yourself.
As for the rest, I’ve already said too much.

I appraised my insta-crush carefully and reached out to turn over the price tag. I snatched my hand away as if I had been slapped by fire – $119.99 for an object of affection at Goodwill? No way! But I was already hooked. Finally, lust overcame me, and I reached up to embrace my new love, lifting it into my arms for a romantic Officer and a Gentleman like triumphant journey to the cash register. I am pretty sure I heard music.

As I stepped back to admire my love in the harsh glare of daylight I thought, to myself, “I dunno, looks a little worse for wear if you ask me.” I looked around for a cheap pair of rose-colored glasses and finding none, managed to tear myself away from my Goodwill crush.

It hurt to walk away, but at the moment it felt like the right thing to do for both us. Until last week.

I stood at my kitchen counter absorbed in online research. I typed in “metal sculpture” and the name of the mid-century designer I thought was responsible for the five-foot hunk of punishingly sharp and noisy metal bits. I quickly discovered that my purchase was either a sad, ruined original or a not horrible, but still fake reproduction.

A few more clicks and scrolls left me feeling like a jealous and jilted lover; my over-sized and only slightly rusty metal sailboat friend hid a secret identity and if I had bothered to look, the signature of a popular designer. I tried to look away, but online auction sites mocked me with current and sold auction prices of up to $2,200 for The One That Got Away.

I keep telling myself that truly valuable things can’t be bought, and that the memories we make are all that we take when we sail into the sunset for last time. And I believe it, I really do.

But I have learned a new lesson, even after all these years of looking for love in all the thrift places; it’s okay to believe in love at first sight – so don’t be surprised if the best goods Sail Away With Me.

Wanna say Hiya to Heija? Follow her on Twitter (@Heija) Friend her on Facebook or relax, sit back, and silently judge her life in the flickering glow of your computer screen at her blog The Worst Mother in the World.