The Three Senses of Goodwill

There is a lot of stupid in this world. When it upsets or overwhelms me– or, when my own multitudinous incompetency renders me useless for all else aside from commerce– I shop.

Consuming is a quintessentially American endeavor– which is very poignant and metaphorical and I’m sure has oodles to do with filling voids with things and stuff and sadness and whatever– but, really, I just love to buy pretty dresses when I’m frowning, and I don’t care to psychoanalyze that impulse. Sympathetic, apathetic, regular pathetic; I am a girl and when I feel bad feelings, I buy new things to feel good feelings, instead. Because eyes are easier to exercise than brain cells.

Especially when I’m working them out on the racks at Goodwill.

The sights are wonderful, yes; but the smells, and the touch of the sequinned jock straps and rubber tube tops… it’s all three, together, which make up the trifecta of sensual shopping at Goodwill.And! It’s all for a good cause! Lest we forget, I documented it this morning when I trekked into the Goodwill in Gilroy, CA. Here is an actual (poorly captured) picture of how your Goodwill purchase is helping the community, hung above the register next to a plaque that said something in Spanish about ayudar comunidad or something:

How could I not splurge on some pre-sweated-in babydoll dresses, with the knowledge that my purchase goes directly toward converting every piece of technology in Silicon Valley back to 1992?

No need to mention that this gorgeous relic was displayed using bag clips. Or that the computers depicted in it are running what looks like some sort of DOS.A most excellent motivator for donation, indeed.

Sidenote: The glittering personality of the staff only served to further affirm my faith in this branch in league of the army of salvation. The lady behind the counter may have actually been a robot. Or mentally disabled, and I’m going to hell.

But this girl had never had fun in her life, and that statement comes with a Maytag guarantee. When I asked her if they washed the used underwear before putting it on the rack, she blinked.

“I-don’t-know-but-I-can-ask-the-manager-that-for-you-ma’am.” She blinked again. Then I felt uncomfortable and realized not everyone is as irreverently awful as I am.

But getting back the the Three Senses, here’s a minor digression:

Body piercings smell awful, no matter how clean you are. Stretched earlobes, in particular, smell like cheese. Cheese which has aged past it’s prime, and then been pickled. In a very dehydrated baby’s urine. In the sun of the Death Valley desert, for at least a week but not more than three.

Here is the point of this digression:

The shoes at this Goodwill smelled like what I just described. And I didn’t even stick my face in them. Which I feel is important to mention outright, since I’m clearly a little “off” and wouldn’t surprise myself nor, probably, my readership if I were sticking my face in thrift store shoes. I mean, if they didn’t start plucking the hairs out of my nasal cavities from twelve feet away, I might have sniffed them. But they were on the offensive. They didn’t want to be purchased. They wanted to fight your face. And win. And they did. My face? Defeated by thrift stink.

And of course, the touch. Sense #3. Nothing compares to the feel of a tee-shirt, stiff and crunchy with yellow pit stains, or a gold lamé mini skirt, too slippery to hold onto and God only knows how it stays on a human body (black magic), or– the most tantalizing of the touches I touched during my touch-fest at the thrift store this morning– the pants with sticky pockets. Yes. The pockets. Were filled. With sticky. What kind of sticky?

I don’t know.

I didn’t ask the sticky what it was. It was calling me out, and I was defeated by it. So I left it on the rack, to terrify another thrifter, another day.

2 thoughts on “The Three Senses of Goodwill

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