We didn't intend to spend any money beyond the cost of dinner, but...

It started out as the traditional birthday date with our daughter. Hayley got to pick the restaurant, and she chose the Beijing in Minnetonka, having had her first taste of their food the week previous and she LOVED their cream cheese puffs. Since the Beijing is not far from my mother, we invited her to join us (our other children, however, were not invited. They dined on whatever they could scrounge for themselves, which for Paul was a "heptaburger" at Culver's--7 patties. *shudder*).

Dinner was good, and the entertainment was actually very good, because half the restaurant had been rented out for a private wedding reception. Where we sat in the front part of the restaurant gave us an excellent vantage point to hear the toasting going on from the wedding party. Mini golf, Acute Ashley Disorder, a scrapbook, and stalking were some of the main points of the toast I heard from the maid of honor. We kept sneaking looks into the wedding party area to see who was talking and how the bride and groom were taking it. I think Hayley might like to have her reception at a Chinese food restaurant. And I might be ok with that.

After we had finished eating, one of us mentioned needing to use the bathroom, but the mentioner didn't want to walk through the wedding reception to use the facilities.

Mother suggested we go over to Bethesda Thrift Shop and use their bathroom.

And that's when the fun started.

My siblings will know where this is headed. Mother LOVES Bethesda Thrift Shop. She calls me every so often when she is there to ask if a child needs some item that she found. She finds stationary and wrapping paper there.

The store workers know who she is (and this will figure into the story as well).

While certain people were using Bethesda's bathroom, Mom and I wandered over to the dress rack. Hayley needs new dresses and I had been planning a trip to the mall this weekend. I found nothing that I thought Hayley would like. I focused on dating the dresses on the rack by decade and thinking about  my wardrobe of those decades and cringing. Mom found a chair nearby and when Hayley finally joined our little group (Jim was off wandering around the furniture area), Mom started working her magic. I swear there were no cute, Hayley-worthy dresses when I went through the bunch of small sized dresses the first time. But as Mom pointed and directed, we found 9 that Hayley said she liked and wanted to try on.

We moved our little group to the sitting area in front of the fitting rooms and Hayley began to try on the dresses, one by one.

And they all fit. And they all looked so cute on her.

Mom and I laughed and laughed, thinking about what a bargain these dresses were and how cute they looked on Hayley. $6 for a dress!

Then mom insisted on looking for shoes. 4 pairs materialized before us, and Hayley chose two pair--ballet flats and slouchy black velvet boots. Mom also found a pair of dress pants and a shrug.

While we sat and Hayley tried on, one of the store employees approached Mom and said, "Isn't this the second time you've been here this week?" Mom got a little red in the face, but said she likes it so much and finds such great stuff here. They talked for a while, and afterward, Mom said "I like her."

The store began closing proceedings, and I had to literally push Mom over to the cash register because she kept finding things. Jim was already at the register with the dresses and we had the shoes. As we neared the register, the employee who mom talked to quietly slipped me a punch card that had been all punched out. She whispered, "Use it for an extra 30% off." Mom said, "see it pays to be nice to employees."

We ended up with 10 dresses (one of which was a full retail price one, but was so cute we couldn't leave it behind), 2 pairs of shoes, 1 shrug, and one pair of dress pants for $81.60. I don't know why I thought Hayley needs 10 dresses, but for $4-$6 a dress, I could splurge! Two dresses at the mall would have cost me that much!

Here is the haul:
I am still giddy.

One reason I am giddy is because I have a daughter who does not turn up her nose at previously owned clothing. Another reason is because shopping with Hayley can be difficult because she has a very narrow definition of style and none of the stores around here carry much of what she likes. We would have had to traverse the mall several times over to find even one dress that would suit her tastes. But at Bethesda, we found 9 of them in a 4'x6' space. WITH A CHAIR TO SIT ON.


Jenni said…
I didn't see any skulls on any of these, but they look really cute. I can never find anything. Glad you had such good luck. Rozzie is right now, as I type, at Plato's Closet trying to sell some of her "gently used" clothes, in hopes of replacing them with new ones!! Congrats on your new acquisitions. Morgan may need to talk to Hayley on how to get cool Hipster things sent to you in the mail for free. That just sounds like a Morgie thing to do. I hope that you didn't let mom buy any fabric or paper...
Mike said…
Mom has used the old bathroom-is-in use-lets-use-the-one-at-Bethesda excuse at her own home...And, only two trips to Bethesda in one week? Good job mom, way to cut back.
Jen said…
I'm impressed with that haul. Your mom certainly does have a talent for finding stuff because I never can either. Much of the girls' wardrobe is from Grandma's Bethesda finds,