The flea market was a total bust.
I’m so disappointed too! We drove at least forty-five minutes to get there, but we got “rocking star parking” (as Grace calls it) once we arrived. A dollar apiece for the adults got us in the gate, where we looked around ourselves in amazement. And it wasn’t the good kind, either.
The flea market I had visited outside San Francisco last month was awesome. Not only was it huge, but most of the items for sale were fairly good quality. There were all sorts of vintage and antique items covering the price spectrum from dirt cheap to mortgage-your-firstborn-child.
And now that I think about it, I realize the one in California was an antiques fair and flea market, and most of the items were supposed to be at least twenty-five years old, though that rule wasn’t always observed. Today’s flea market was… a flea market.
As we looked around at the outdoor booths, Kurt made the comment that it was as if the vendors had transported the contents of their garages to the flea market to try to make a buck. There was so much stuff there that was, for lack of a better word, junk. Even the books, though they were few and far between, were all of the sort to be rejected by most used bookstores. Kurt found me one cookbook, all on making congealed salads. I left it on the table. I don’t see myself ever making congealed salads. It was hard enough growing up in a house where my mom would put fruit in the Jell-O. FRUIT! In my Jell-O!! Yuck.
At least while we were outside, we were able to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was sunny and warm, almost 60º! Spring is certainly on its way.
We finally decided to wander inside. The quality of the booths didn’t improve; they may actually have been worse. I saw so much crap being sold, things that the vendors had bought on deep discount somewhere and then decided to resell. Fake purses, fake bling, expired cosmetics, rip-off accessories… you name it, they had it. It was just aisle after aisle after aisle of junk.
I’m not an uppity person. I don’t need name brand anything. But I do want quality if I’m going to pay for something. That’s why I enjoy going to thrift stores, where I can find a quality item for not much money. I don’t want to buy something just because it’s a dollar or two at a flea market. I can get a much better deal at the thrift store.
The saddest part of the entire afternoon was that there were no real photo opportunities. I didn’t feel right hauling out my nice camera anyhow in that environment. I’m not sure I would have made it out of the vending area with it if I had.
The people there afforded such an awesome people-watching opportunity, though. It’s amazing what some people wear when they leave their houses! I saw one woman dressed to the nines, like she was going to the club — high heels and everything. It looked really out of place at the flea market. Other folks looked like they had just rolled out of bed, wearing the same clothes they’d worn the day before. I felt kind of bad for this one girl. She was wearing a cute black and white full skirt, and you could tell she was trying to look nice for her boyfriend — only she had kind of forgotten to work on the area above the neck. She hadn’t even bothered to brush her hair, let alone try to do something with it. I’m the last person in the world to criticize someone’s lack of hair styling abilities, since I have none of my own, but at least I brush mine.
Oh. And everyone at the flea market must have had beans for dinner last night. I walked through so many odiferous gas exhalations it was insane. A few of them almost knocked me off my feet!
So we decided the flea market wasn’t our cup of tea, and it was off to the mall instead, which is sort of funny when you realize we’d just been to a different mall the day before. This time I hadn’t planned on buying anything, except lunch. I even managed to browse through both Christopher & Banks and Hot Topic, two of my favorite stores (and yes, I do realize how contradictory that sounds), without even wanting something. There was a really cute denim jacket at Christopher & Banks, but it was just a wee bit too tight across my extremely ample bosom.
But then I hit the motherlode. Clearance racks at Old Navy! I found so many rompers, onesies and pants for Mary Ellen for $2 or $4, and I even managed to pick up a few shirts and a pair of pants for Grace too. I even decided on somewhat matching fleece jackets for the girls for next winter. Grace’s is blue and green and white, while ME’s is pink and orange and white. They’ll look so cute when the weather gets chilly again.
I guess I should have checked the racks for something for myself, but I forgot. As usual. It’s just so fun to shop for kids’ clothes. I got such great deals that even the cashier pointed it out.
So the day wasn’t a total bust. Next time I visit a flea market, though, I’ll have much lower expectations, even if it is marketed as “New England’s Finest.”