I am a big supporter of Upper East Thrift Stores. Its one of my hobbies. The best thrift stores in New York City are within a 3 block radius of my apartment. No joke. I try to keep it a secret. It pains me to see young or hip people in my thrift stores. No hip people live on the Upper East, and those considered “cool” would not shop thrift. (Lucky for me, they donate.) So its just me, the old ladies, and the bookworms.
For example, last week I actually met a woman at Council Thrift (my fave shop because the old ladies always make me feel like a beauty queen) who is headed down to the national scrabble competition in New Orleans. Cool, right?

There are other times, however, when thrifting can get down-right nasty. Here’s my story.

Last night I finally won a month-long battle that I have been having with an uptight cashier at Spence Chapin Thrift Store. I had found the perfect fancy dress.
Being a firm believer that every girl should have a princess dress, just in case Prince Charming trots over on a horse, demanding you accompany him to a ball (duh). I needed this dress. The price tag? $150.00. That’s expensive for thrift. Heck – that’s expensive for ME. It looked fabulous on. I contemplated buying it. My wallet said “NO”. So I bargained with the uptight cashier (UC).
“This dress is Nanette Lepore (fancy brand – but it ain’t no Chanel). There is no bargaining the marked price.” I didn't get it.
The next week I dropped in to try the dress again. It was still there. And marked down to 50%! So I contemplated buying it. The UC recognized my face, raised his eyebrows looking over his horned rims – “the price on the dress remains the same. There is no bargaining.” My wallet was still shouting “NO”. I obeyed.
The next week? Same deal. I was officially consumed with lust, and had started a savings just for my princess dress.
I politely asked UC if maybe he had undergone a change of heart. No go. “The dress is Nanette Lepore. I cannot bargain.”
So. Last weekend. Pay day. I marched into the store, ready to purchase at whatever price. I had to have my dress. In trying it on again, I realized that there was a small tear at the waistline (nothing that I couldn’t fix). So I tried bargaining with him again. This time he was absolutely snooty, telling me that maybe I should shop elsewhere. Insane! Out of selfish pride, I let him keep my dress, and left the store. I contemplated hiring my new homeless friend to help steal the dress for me.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was out roaming around. Dreaming about a fancy date, I went to the store to admire my princess dress from afar. To my surprise?? IT WAS HANGING ON A $10 RACK!!!! Oh my! I think I literally SQUEALED! He saw me running for the dress. I picked it up, and proclaimed (to the store) “this is my lucky day!” He knew what was going down. I noticed him shuffling papers – thinking up an excuse as to why I could not have the dress. So I of course plopped the dress down on the counter and said “hello! I would like to buy this dress!” All smiles.
“This dress cannot be sold for ten dollars. It is a Nanette Lepore.”
“We have been having this conversation for 1 month now. I have pointed out the tear at the waistline. The tag should have said ‘as is’ if you did not want it included in the ten dollar sale.” I handed him my credit card.
Silence from his side of the court. Reluctantly taking my card – he then jams the machine. (I got a kick out of that.) I just stood there, reveling in my luck.
When I am happy I really can’t really contain myself, so I burst out - “You know you have just made my day!! You are a STERN fella, but you have officially made my day!”
“well you have to be stern in this business.”
“right. The thrift store business. (???) I just wanted to let you know that you have made my day. THANK YOU!”
Silence from his side of the court. I pick up my umbrella, refused a shopping bag, and walked home not noticing the pooring rain, & gray skies.
I won. I have a fabulous new fancy dress. I am ready for my Prince.