A great adulthood feature is exploring the wonderful world of wholesale stores. My mother was a huge fan of these stores. She was. She had all the record albums and I believe she was president of the fan club in 1962. These places are so exclusive, also. A membership is required like it’s some kind of fitness center, that if you don’t go at least four times a week, you feel that you’re not getting your money’s worth.
My mother took this personally. She would hit the store three times a week. She would come home with 112 rolls of toilet paper, 75 tubes of toothpaste, 87 rolls of paper towels, and 44 bags of potato chips, each time. All in which she paid only $26.99 for.
I think she missed the point of Hillary Clinton’s book, ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.’ Because we’ve never had 500 people stay with us, or however many people constitute as a village. But my mother was prepared. This is her belief of why the towels always seemed to disappear. Like the villagers thought that our house was some sort of Holiday Inn, and they were stealing them as they checked out. I now blame Jose for my missing Debbie Gibson poster.
My mother still has toilet paper she bought during the Carter administration. That’s how much she purchased. That’s something new we should see, commemorative toilet paper. Have the faces of world leaders and politicians on the rolls. The majority, whether democratic or republican, are full of crap anyway.
Another outlet my mother was attuned to was second hand stores, especially toy stores. My father wanted the entire family to go on vacation to Atlantic City, to visit the Trump Casino and Hotel. That’s what he said. Come to find out that New Jersey is the home of strip and outlet malls. I have a son, a nephew, and niece, and apparently he wanted to buy toys for the kids, which is okay.
But some of the toys, being at a second hand store just weren’t believable enough for me. They were always marked down a huge discount, because of some sort of defect. Like this cool railroad kit. This was called the Underground Railroad kit. Evidently, you couldn’t see anything, but if you listened closely to the floor, you could hear some mumbling and footsteps.
He also bought this slinky for my son. I later found out that it wasn’t an official slinky, but a spring removed from an old mattress.
I knew it was bad when I found a baseball card of Jackie Robinson. Instead of number 42 himself, it was a picture of a white woman named Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier by finally throwing away her old black and white unit for a 27-inch color. It was a piece of cardboard paper with a photograph of her at a Zeglin’s, and the purchase price and extended warranty information on the back, that constituted as stats. What a rip-off. I ended up selling the card to an Iranian kid who loved baseball, but due to his home condition, couldn’t get access of a television to discover who the real Jackie Robinson was. He was amazed to see that this white woman caused so much controversy. If I’m not mistaken, I think this kid is serving some time in a mental ward. I take no blame for this.
What eventually forced me to abandon the idea of second hand stores was when I spotted a Magic 8 Ball. This did it. I picked it up and on the box it clearly read, ‘The Magic 8 Ball,’ slightly imperfect. I asked it a question and shook it up. I asked, “Am I going to win the lottery?” The 8 ball replied, ‘I’m not sure, what do you think?’ Talk about defective.
Another thing I noticed in department stores is the vast selection of Barbie dolls. There are a million of these things. Second hand stores feed off the popularity of Barbie and Ken dolls. Unfortunately, the only ones carried in these places are the deficient ones. So some of the names aren’t familiar to the average person. Like the ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Barbie, Barbie.’ If you look at this doll hard enough, some key features are altered. I’ve never seen a Barbie doll with one eyebrow that stretches across her face.
But I guess this is what people go through when they reach the scary, yet fulfilling world of adulthood, where you must save money.