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Not Exactly Armani

One of my first stops on my busy day Saturday was the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Ilion or, as I like to call it, Salvation Armani (full disclosure: I did not think of that myself; I stole it from a lady who wears thrift store finds with as much panache as if they were Armani). I wanted two more skirts and possibly a blouse for my character (I believe I’ve mentioned I’m in a play).

I play a crazy old lady. I wore one of my own skirts for rehearsal and some people in the cast declared it perfect for my character. Cue jokes about my wardrobe and crazy old ladies, but you won’t make me laugh. I know it was type casting. The skirt is a colorful, voluminous affair. I hoped to find a couple more that were similar. I had flowers in mind, but anything big and bright would do.

I walked down the skirt aisle, at first seeing nothing then throwing several possibilities over my arm. The first one was black and white checks. I wasn’t in love with it but thought at least the shape looked OK. Guess which was the only one that fit me.

Actually, that’s not true. A few of them fit OK but seemed wrong for one reason or another. Additionally, I wanted to purchase something I would be likely to wear myself, in case it didn’t work out for the play. The black and white checks were growing on me. And the skirt had pockets, one of my favorite features.

I also went through the jumpers and dresses. One dress I tried on might have worked, but no way on earth would I have worn it in real life. I put it back on the rack. I thought, two skirts would be all right. I could wear the same thing in Acts I and III. People often repeat outfits in real life. Hell, I wear the same skanky BDU pants to work every day (and you needn’t say TMI; how can it be too much information when EVERYBODY already knows).

A search for props was fruitless, but I quite by accident found a book about Queen Elizabeth I. Score! I love that period of history. I quickly glanced through the other books but with no further luck.

At the checkout I paid with my bank card, chattily telling the clerk I needed my cash for the laundromat. This led to a conversation about laundry in which another customer told me that bleaching my whites would eventually cause them to yellow.

“Use Oxyclean,” she advised. “Or baking soda.”

“Baking soda is a miracle drug,” I said.

“I clean everything with it,” the clerk volunteered.

“I brush my teeth with it,” I shared.

“That’s right! You can brush your teeth with it.”

We parted friends. This is how I like to shop.

The Salvation Army Thrift Store is located at 164 W. Main St., Ilion, NY. Phone number is 315-894-9028.

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