Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Have No Shame!

This was so ridiculous that I couldn't wait to post (despite the fact that I have many other things that I need to be working on). I hope fellow pony collectors can appreciate the things I will do for ponies.

Earlier today, my husband decided to clean out our basement and while he was cleaning, we ended up with a huge pile of furniture and random household items that we neither have the space for or the need to keep. So, we loaded them up in our vehicles to drop off at the local Goodwill. Once there, we helped the workers unload. While I was carrying a chair across the lot, I happened to spot some My Little Ponies peering out of one of their gigantic cardboard bins. Immediately, I rush over to my husband and have the following conversation while carting boxes of junk to the donation bins:

Me: (trying unsuccessfully to talk in a whisper) Oh my God, they have ponies! I saw ponies! There are G1 My Little Ponies in that box over there!
Matt: (unenthusiastically) really?
Me: (talking really fast) Yes! And I bet they won't let me buy them. Do you think they'll let me buy them? Don't they have a rule that you can't request things from the donation area to be put on the shelf? I'm going to ask them. They better let me buy them. It would be a tragedy to not let me buy them.
Matt: I don't think they'll let you buy them.
Me: They HAVE to let me buy them.

At this point, we have unloaded both vehicles and one of the workers is writing up our receipts. I ask him if there is any way a person could purchase something from the donation area and he points me to "Jeff" who is in charge. Jeff seems like he's an easy going man so I walk up to him(in my mind I think I'm walking, but I'm actually speed walking due to my pony-induced adrenaline) and ask him very politely if it is possible to purchase something from one of the bins. Jeff asks me what exactly I am wanting and I point to the ponies in the bin. Matt gets in his car at this point (he later tells me that he couldn't stand there with a straight face while his wife begs a stranger for ponies. He thought it was hysterical). Jeff and I then have the following conversation:

Jeff: I'm sorry, but I can't sell them to you.
Me: What do you mean? Can't you just put a price on them, put them on the shelf and
then I can purchase them?
Jeff: Everything normally has to be processed before it goes on the floor, but these won't be going on the floor.
Me: Where will they be going?
Jeff: They will be processed and then sent to be incinerated because of the lead. We can't sell toys that might have lead in them.

Jeff starts picking through the ponies and I spot a Mimic! This understandably raises the stakes.

Me: Jeff, you're breaking my heart here!
Jeff: We can't sell them.
Me: What if I promise you I won't stick them in my mouth? (Yes, ladies and gentlemen I actually said this... don't judge me. The idea of Mimic being sent to her end as a glob of melted plastic was too much.)
Jeff: Listen, it will take an hour to process them and then I'll put them on the floor at 6:15. You have to be here in an hour. I'll have them pulled off the floor at 6:20 because of the lead.
Me: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I'll be here. I promise I'll come back in an hour.

About 5:45, Matt and I arrive back at the store (I wasn't taking any chances). I make a quick look at their pitiful toy section and then find some books that the children in my class will enjoy and put them in my cart and I find two white turtlenecks that I can use for costumes for the children's show I'm directing. By 6:00 I am posted by the swinging metal doors that lead to the back room determined to snatch up the ponies as soon as they come through the door. I get restless from waiting and roll my cart back an aisle or two so I can glance down the knickknack aisle with all the coffee mugs and ceramic figurines while still having a clear view of the swinging metal doors. I spot a lady holding a brightly colored bag in each hand and she's tossing another one into her cart. Suddenly, I realize that the bags are filled with ponies...MY ponies! I rush up to her and ask her if she's restocking. Surely, this is a Goodwill employee. They must have an alternate route to the back room and she slipped by me while I was pretending to look at the children's clothes so as not to appear like a desperate person waiting for new items to come through the swinging metal doors.
She shakes her head and tells me that she's buying them. Now, this is where it gets (even more) ridiculous. I am a very logical, rational, calm person, but when ponies are involved all these qualities tend to melt away and I find myself attempting to explain to this woman that Jeff promised that he'd put the ponies out at exactly 6:15and that I'd seen them in the back and that they weren't going to sell them because of the lead, but that he said he'd put them on the shelf at 6:15, but if I didn't get them by 6:20 they would be destroyed.
After telling my tale of woe (which there was no possible way she could have followed) she reaches into her cart and hands me one of the bags. I thank her and try to make small talk. She mentions that she often looks for toys for her daughter's preschool and for Star Wars toys for her son. I tell myself that by having a conversation with this woman, she won't think of me as a crazed thrift store lunatic, but secretly I hope I'm wearing her down. It works. She hands me another bag loaded with ponies. I thank her again and turn to leave. After all, I now have two bags of ponies (one of which contains a Mimic). I should be satisfied. I have the majority. I have two thirds of all the available ponies, but as I roll my cart toward the checkout, I wonder if I could somehow bargain for the other bag. Yes, that's it! I'll offer her new ponies in exchange for the bag of G1s. I have lots of extras still in their boxes at home. I share my brilliant idea with Matt who suggests that I not only offer G3 ponies, but also add a few of his Episode I Star Wars figures into the mix.
I rush back over to the woman, who hands me the final bag before I even open my mouth because she says she really shouldn't buy them anyway since they are trying to sell their house and they don't need anymore clutter. We get to talking again and find out we have quite a bit in common (aside from the crazy pony collecting) and Matt and I offer to bring over some G3 items and some Star Wars items for her children. She quickly scribbles down her address and phone number for us and we share our goodbyes.
When I get out to the car, I am floored with excitement over my new acquisitions. I ended up with 25 ponies for $7.50! I turn to Matt and start laughing and declare that it is official, I have no shame and there is no end to the things I'll do for ponies.

By the way, we did drop off bags of brand new G3 ponies and MOC Episode I Star Wars toys for the woman's children. It was like Christmas. They were so excited to have so many new toys randomly show up at their house for them to open.
Hopefully, they didn't add too much clutter.

3 comments:

Jen said...

Summer can I just say that I Love you! lol
You kick ass.

-Jen (WF)

Laura said...

That is a wonderful story!!!

eddie said...

That was really sweet of you to exchange some nice, new toys for... Mimic! and... Seashell (he's common, i know, but i want him...)!
But it scares me to think that all the old G1 ponies headed to the thrift store could just be incinerated, because of lead laws, and because of stores only considering the date in which the toy was made and not what it's made from. It's really crazy now. I grew up with lead in my toys probably, and i turned out... fine... i think?