When it comes to clothing, the Megows stick to the F.A.R.T. system. It’s actually a pretty good system. Mostly though, I made it up about 30 minutes ago, so I could write the word fart a bunch…. Fart.
Wanna know why I like the flea market? Because it’s freaking sweet. Sometimes on Saturdays we go and just walk around. There’s two types of flea market vendors. The permanent fixtures. Some of them include the guy who sells CD’s of the latest musical hits from Mexico, the guy who is selling hand stamped leather belts, the farmer selling produce, and that one lady who is always selling laptops and tv’s from 2002 with a constant loop of “Spice World”
“Tell me what you want. What you really really want.”
Wait, let me guess, this 27 inch Apex Television with a built in VCR that weighs 83 lbs.
But my favorite type of permanent vendor are the ones who sell discount and knockoff brand stuff from China. A lot of people knock these guys, but honestly, I love walking around their little stands. It’s wear we find all of Olive’s glitter hats for only $4 bucks a piece. If you know any other store where I can buy a glitter hat, a plunger, Batman underwear for Titus, a self cleaning fish tank, a laser pointer, and a bamboo back scratcher for $17 bucks, let me know because I will amend my acronym to add it to my list.
This girl WILL NOT leave the house without a princess hat.
The other type is the weekly people. I love these people. It’s like a garage sale, but more flea market style. Don’t get me wrong, I love some garage sales. However, for the most part things are organized and generally make sense at garage sales. I love going to the flea market ones, because I have literally walked up to a man who got in the back of his truck and kicked everything out of the bed onto a quilt, then sat there with his ferret yelling at people to “name a price”. I love that kind of stuff. I’ve gotten a lot of fun clothes from those things. Granted flea market stuff might need to be washed, but if you look you might be able to find some good stuff. Plus Titus seems to always make a friend by doing some sort of power ranger move and people give him little junk trinkets for free. If you can’t do power ranger moves and have to actually spend real money, the secret is to go with all $1’s. So you can haggle down to the dollar without feeling like a jerk talking a man down from $7 to $3 and paying with a twenty dollar bill.
Our attic is the vortex of all mystery. Who knows what the heck is up there. Although, you might not be able to tell, I’m not actually as organized as I seem ;) Seriously though, I have no clue what’s up there. However, this is about the time of year where it’s not 3274 degrees up in the attic, so I usually go rummaging around. The attic is fun because it's like a free store full of junk you threw up there because your family was coming into town last year and you didn't want your house to look like an episode of Hoarders. Last fall, I found all sorts of clothes I never even knew we had. Just big ole’ bags filled with clothes and stuff. I’ll probably head up there in a few weeks, estimate what sizes are in what bag, put the bags in the rooms I’m guessing they go in, and forget about unpacking them until Neela comes out wearing a 2T zebra stripe spaghetti strap top with a pair of camouflage cargo shorts:
"Crap. I gotta do those clothes... Hey Neela… Well, I guess that’s fine. Dig around in the bag and see if you can find a sweatshirt… No you can’t wear that blue Olaf from Frozen sweatshirt covered in snowflakes; it’s fall not winter… Yes Neela… Ok…. Yes, you are right. Olaf does have a carrot for a nose… Yes, carrots are orange and orange is a fall color… Fine, just wear it; you look great. Now, go find your valentines day socks and put your boots on.”
The nice thing about having so many kids so close in age is they can pass down clothes. Another plus is Olive (age 3) is so big, she can share clothes with her 7 year old sister. I mean when people see her, they don’t believe that this is “baby Olive”. For real, she seems to be head and shoulders above kids in her preschool class. So if I find a bag of 5-6 shirts and pants, Olive can fit them as well as the big girls. The attic is like a sweaty treasure hunt where the treasure is a bag of clothes and 3 copies of the book “What to expect when you’re expecting.”
Olive, you gotta slow down with those Gummi-Vitamins.Ross
So if the Megows are feeling ultra fancy, we get all fancied up and head to Ross. Mostly, I like Ross for getting work clothes, belts, jackets, etc. I can normally find some really good deals. My kids like it because they have toys there. I’ve trained my kids to enjoy window toy shopping. They think it’s fun to just walk around and look at toys and pick out things for the next holiday. “Dad, I know I just had my birthday and it’s not even Easter, but can I please get this pack of cat stickers for Christmas?” Off topic, sometimes on occasional Friday nights, our big treat is just to walk around Toys R Us and just browse. The kids know they aren’t getting anything, but they love it. I kinda view it like looking at the Sears Christmas catalog as a kid. I kept that thing year round by the toilet. Nothing better than being a 7 year old pooping and reading the description of a cyborg action figure that comes with a ride able dinosaur. Mostly, the main reason I like Ross is because they sell super delicious black licorice at the checkout. I’ll pay a few extra bucks for some dress socks I’m never going to wear (I don’t do socks) just to have an excuse to buy some gourmet black licorice that’s about to expire in 2 weeks.
They really do just like window shopping and taking pictures of toys.
Ok honestly, this is where we get most of the clothes. I just wanted to type fart a lot and had to think of some elaborate scheme to do it. Thrift stores are the lifeblood of the Megow wardrobe. And no, Goodwill is not a thrift store. I love the GW as much as the next person, but you think I’m paying four bucks for a shirt. Girl, you crazy.
The real thrift stores are the ones that have the clothes hanging on rusty racks and cracked concrete floors with a pile of random wooden crutches lying in the aisle. No color or size sorted things here. Just rows and rows of sweaters with shoulder pads mixed in the a bunch of 1994 Winter Olympics shirts. That’s the fun. Get your hands dirty and look. There’s a few around town, but our family has our absolute favorite. Last summer, I needed play clothes for the kids. I went in with 15 bucks and came out with each kid about 3 outfits of nice, name brand stuff. And no, I will never reveal my favorite store. I’ve gotten some legit jackpot finds there. I can’t afford for the secret to spill into the hands of the college kids. I have a weird passion for thrift store shopping. Mostly because the stuff is always rotating and I guarantee I can find pretty much anything about 97% off the store price if I really need it. For example, I needed a new iron and ironing board. I got both for $4. The iron was almost brand new and the ironing board was good too. Granted the ironing board legs were covered in Dora the Explorer stickers. I just love the feeling of being able to walk in with 50 cents and walk out with 2 new cool tshirts.
So I just realized, I haven’t really told one story this entire post. Well for those still reading, I’m about to spill one of my biggest secrets. I view my style as “hip nerdy grandpa”. That means I’m not super fashionable, but I like to think I’m hip. Part of my hipness is my cut off shorts. When I’m not working wearing my knit ties and cuffed up sleeves (my stable for professional dress), I’m wearing my cut offs.
Living the dream. Hiking in the mountains barefoot with my cut-off shorts.
I started wearing cut offs in high school and it just kind of stuck. However, I feel my palate has refined over the years as to what type of short I wear. Nowadays, I like good cotton or denim“ish” shorts. Honestly, I can’t stand big baggy shorts. One, I’m scrawny and they make my legs look like toothpicks dangling out of rigatoni noodles. Two, my dad loves to tell me when I was born the Dr. gave me a large dose of “Noassatall”. Big baggy shorts fall off my butt constantly. Even with a belt, they seem to slip off. So I like a little more close fitting and narrower short. They sell them in stores, but they are in style now and ultra expensive. So Ole’ Seth found a work around. One day I was just browsing some thrift store looking for some pants to cut off into shorts, when I found a super awesome pair. I tried them on and they fit, but the pockets were super funky. I took them off and looked at the tag, “Size 12”. Crap. These are women’s pants. Well they fit. Screw it. So I bought them, cut them off, and wore them. Now, it’s pretty much the only way I buy shorts. I think I’m secure enough in my masculinity to not really be embarrassed browsing a thrift store shelf next to an older lady and asking “have you seen any size 12 grey pants?” Besides, the pockets being TINY (I know why women use purses), there's not too much difference. I can usually find some normal looking stuff and I can buy them for a quarter a piece. I’ve only told a few people who each proceeded to kind of faint from laughing. So there you go world, that’s my secret. My cut-offs were once probably originally purchased in 1992 by a 52 year old women who bought these stretchy, brown denim pants at Kmart right after she finished watching Phil Donahue at her friend Barbara’s house.