What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Day I Felt Like a Crook

When I went to the Flea market today to pick up by big check (not), I noticed a new booth right behind mine.  Better have a looksie, I always say!
The first thing I spotted was this Redman basket.   I thought it was missing the lid, but there aren't any screw holes where the lid would go, so I am thinking it just might be a Market Basket.  It is a very large basket, has a different pattern in the weave than any of the other baskets that I own and it unique since it doesn't have the lid.  So, you know I needed that basket!  But, what would the price be?  You never know at that Flea Market - sometimes it's high, sometimes it's not.  The lucky price on this one was $6.00, so now it is mine!

Since the basket was inexpensive, that probably meant the entire booth would be priced low, so I look a closer look.  I found this set of old teddy bears for....wait for it.....One dollar.  They are jointed bears, stuffed with sawdust and they have glass eyes.  I know they are old, but I don't know how old.  It's research time!

I spotted some baggies hanging on a peg with what looked like vintage store signs in them, so I took them down to have closer look.  Each bag had between 5-10 vintage embossed signs in them and each bag was priced at $1.00.  That is a steal!  I bought all six bags and ended up with over 40 signs.  I love old store signage, even though I really have no practical application for them!  But, at that price, I had to scoop them up.

I left the Flea Market with a good feeling having found such fun things at great prices and headed across the street to the Thrift Store.  My good feeling would not last long. :(
The first thing I found was this old basket purse (with those bears still hanging on) for $1.29.

I am not supposed to buy tins.  I haven't ever shown my tin collection on the blog.  But, I have a lot of tins.  Hundreds.  Maybe three hundred.  And they are in my bathroom!  (Figure that one out!)  Anyway, I started collecting tins years ago to fill some weird shelves in the bathroom and I quickly filled them up, so I am not supposed to buy any more.  But, my self-imposed rules are easily broken.

How could I resist this seriously sweet Boudoirs Biscuit tin for 75¢?  I love tins that used to hold actual items - not just the retro collectible tins. 

And this tin, also 75¢, was a no brainer - pink, stripes, chocolate, GODIVA?  Yes, please!  A real Godiva Chocolate tin from Belgium.  Mmmmm...mmmmm.

Now, it is about to get ugly.

I walked by the lamps - and I never look at lamps because I have all the lamps I need.  But, there sitting on the floor is a lamp made out of a basket - a lidded Longaberger to be exact.  Now I have said in the past, I am not a Longaberger basket collector.  But, I do love well made baskets and puck them up to use whenever I see them.  This was an awesome lamp - nice basket, lid fit tightly, lamp was tightly installed and the shade even matched.  Score!  It would look perfect on my Picnic Basket stack side table in the living room.  This thrift is priced really reasonable and certain color tags are a percent off everyday, so I excitedly looked for the tag.  It wasn't priced, but to me, that meant the tag probably popped off since it was on wood.  Tags never stay stuck on wood. 

A lady that works there happened to walk by, so I said, "Excuse, me.  This lamp isn't marked.  Do you have any idea??"  "Oh, I will have to take that to the back."  "Okay, thanks.  I'll wait here," I said.  That is when her eyes got all big and said "YOU CAN'T BUY IT!  We do not let people that (insert air quotes) "FIND" items without tags buy them - ever!"  And she stormed off with my beautiful basket lamp never to be seen again.  She really knocked the wind out my sails.  She made me feel like a crook!  And, it really embarrassed me. 

I kept walking around looking at things, thinking maybe the lamp would reapear from the back and I would make The Bean go get it, but it never did.  (But, I bet I go back tomorrow, just to see......)

When I checked out, the lady said, "Are you doing okay, today?"  So, I decided to say something about it.  I told her that I found a lamp sitting on the shelf without a price and it was taken from me and I was told I couldn't buy it.  She looked at me long and hard and said, "Ohhhhh, you think we are going to bend the rules just once just for you?"  Well crap, put down twice in ten minutes.  Niiiiiiice.  She went on to tell me about all the dishonest people in the world and how it is so easy to take a price tag off and ask for a better price.  That pissed me off because I felt like she was implying that I did it.  She is free to think it, but she shouldn't imply it to my face.  And, actually, LADY, if I wanted a better price, I would have gone over to the ORANGE TAG section where everything is a quarter today and did an old tag switcharoo.  Or find a green tag that is 75% off today or a blue tag that is 25% off today or just any random f*ing tag that is the price I want to pay.  Or stuff it under my blouse. Or just run out the door with it.  But, did I do any of those things?   No.  I would NEVER do those things because I AM AN HONEST PERSON.

I realize that some thrifts have the policy about not selling things without a tag.  That is their right and I understand it.  But, I have taken things to the register at every thrift I have ever shopped at without a price on it and been told a price every.single.time.  And, not ONCE did I ever take a tag off.  EVER!!!!

(I think I am going to have a stroke it I keep typing this!  It was the attitude that really got to me.  And, this is a Volunteer Run CHURCH thrift, so the attitude and niceness could use a little work.  Uh, make that a LOT of work.

Okay, so now I feel better for venting it out.  And, I know that you guys don't think I am a crook because I have had such a wonderful response to the Joplin relief post.  My sweet loyal lovely caring readers have contributed $300.00 to help buy things to donate to a family.  I have cried more than once when I opened an envelope or received a PayPal "You've Got Money" email.  I heart is touched and I will do my best to make everyone proud.  That money will do a LOT for a family.  I will do different post about that.  Just wanted to say that because I have had a warm fuzzy feeling for a week.  And, those crabby ladies will NOT take that from me.  They can take their basket lamp away from me, but not my warm fuzzies! :)


  1. I would have told them they needed to make sure their things were tagged if they planned on EVER selling them

  2. I am such a hateful b*tch that I might well have asked to speak to someone in charge and informed them that up until this point, I had shopped at their store quite a bit, but would never cross their doorstep again. I would happily take my thrifting money someplace else...and I would also promise to spread the word that they treat their good cusotmers like crooks.

  3. I LOVE the old store signs! Very cool. Those are the kind of thing that make my heart race!

    It is highly offensive to have your integrity questioned, especially over something worth a few bucks.

    I might be tempted to write a letter to the pastor of the church that runs that thrift, letting him know how the volunteers are treating customers. It doesn't have to be a screed, just a polite letter letting him know of your experience, since I'm sure the LAST thing he wants is the community associating his church with the RUDE (and dare I say, un-Christian) folks running the thrift store. Especially since most church thrifts are there to make money to fund the church's charitable works. It would be unfortunate for the church's charitable efforts to be negatively affected by the accusatory attitudes of the volunteers.

    At most of my local (chain) thrifts, they do have the policy that they won't sell an untagged item. Stinks, but once again, the dishonest people have ruined it for us honest folks.

  4. Bah to them old biddies! I hate it when I try to be a good shopper and ask about a price on an item not priced...I don't take off tags but other do! OK....venting done. I love your market basket find and those bears are very cute. Of course I still want you to have the lamp! OK, I guess I'm still venting.

    So glad people are responding to help the tornado victims. For me it felt good to donate and to KNOW it all going to help someone. These big organizations have such high payrolls sometimes I wonder. Oh enough of my gripping today. hugs, Linda

  5. Those ladies need a serious "come to Jesus" meeting. How dare they treat my friend that way. You are too kindhearted to let them "have it" like I would have.

    I like Heidi's idea of contacting the pastor. It might not solve the problem, but at least you will have made an attempt.I had to contact the "manager" of our charity thrift about volunteer rudeness and I haven't experienced it since!!!!

  6. I'm trying REALLY hard to keep off my soapbox here. I would without doubt have asked for the manager and reported that 'person'. What an unchristian, uncharitable thing to say to anyone, besides one that spend their hard earned money in their Thrift shop. After you've cooled down I'd be back and see the manager anyway!

    By the way, I love your purchases, especially the teddies :o)

    Best wishes

    Rose H

  7. I agree with Pixie. I'd have lost my mind and given them the what-for.

    "If it weren't for people like me, who buy this stuff, you wouldn't have a job, so quit treating me like a crook!" Jerkoffs!

  8. LOVE the price tags! 9¢? 5¢? Awesome:)
    Hateful old bats!I get that they have a policy, but I don't get them treating you like a felon:( Making a call to their supervisor just might change their attitude!

  9. My friend had that happen for an old tiny basket and tablecloth that she found at a thrift. They both had a price on them when she picked them up, but they weren't stuck on very well, and we were unaware of their rule since it was a thrift that we had never visited before.
    They were just as rude to her too. I can understand rules, but not rude!

  10. I would have said what a lovely christian thing to say and think about me. I will pray for you.
    I bet that would have gotten a reaction.

  11. This same exact thing happened to me at a Church bazaar, which I have always loved. It was put on by one of our local churches in Gloucester, Virginia. I loved their items so much that I spent $300 on Christmas gifts. Two ladies were helping me check out so I would not hold up the line, but when I got to the front of the line, an older lady LOUDLY accused me of trying to steal the items. She would not listen to the fact that the ladies behind me had the list of items. Then, when she got the list, she made them unwrap EACH ITEM to check it off (the total was corrent). All of us, including my mom, were mortified. It did not phase the "Meanest Woman on Earth." Needless to say, I will NEVER go back to that bazaar.

    However, I would go back to that thrift store and buy that lamp at the sticker price. Then I would, politely, ask to see the person in charge and explain my embarassment from yesterday. A bazaar you can ignore, a thrift store, not so much!

    Good luck!


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