Last Saturday, in an attempt to kill time and do something ‘different’, I took the men in my life to Value Village. Secretly, I was hoping to find a pair of vintage lamps, or some Cathrineholm enamelware, to brighten my newly white (Snow Leopard!) living room.
‘Let’s go,’ I called to the men-folk and they all – finally – made their way to the front door, so we could leave. The professor came running down the stairs, in fifth place, as usual. ‘Ready!’ he announced. He was wearing a very old t-shirt One that I’d likely picked up in a Target clearance rack five or six years ago. It had been washed into faded oblivion. What was once an Olympic sports shirt is now a crinkly blue shirt with ‘something’ on the front. It is an ‘at-home’ shirt more than an ‘out-and-about’ shirt, and I’ve tried – several times – to get rid of it. Unsuccessfully.
‘Do you want to change shirts?’ I asked-suggested.
He sighed, went back upstairs and returned wearing a new shirt. And we all piled into the car-van. After an emergency coffee-run, we arrived at the mecca of ‘gently used [vintage] clothing, accessories and collectibles.’
We browsed in the housewares section, where a thin young man was pushing a cart, wearing what looked like a kente cloth mumu. He was Caucasian, sporting a straggly little moustache, which made the ‘look’ that much more…odd. The professor looked around in superior-astonishment. ‘You made me change my shirt, to come here?’
There was no mid-century enamelware. No perfectly bright vintage lamps. Just the same old boxy, brassy things with dirty shades that you can find in any thrift store. But we came across a small Incredibles suitcase, that was perfect for the Hen. He and the Gort had started packing ‘for America’ early that morning and he’d stuffed his worldly goods into a toy basket. Because he didn’t have a suitcase.
The three year old was delighted with his find, pushing it all over the store, causing his older brother much unhappiness.. because he hadn’t gotten a new suitcase. ‘But you have a suitcase,’ we tried to explain. Gently at first. Impatiently after ten minutes of explaining.
I looked at the boys’ jacket section. ‘What about this,’ I held up a small tweed-plaid sportcoat. With velour sleeves and collar. For $5. ‘It could be a detective coat,’ the professor opined excitedly.
Which was all the Gort needed to claim it as his.