The letter of the law

There is a painting I want at the local Salvation Army thrift store. It’s just some anonymous artist’s work, painted in acrylic on canvas board. I think it’s riveting. The colors are rich, the subject simple: lavender, white and red flowers in a vase. The background is a deep, cobalt blue and applied in bold strokes. All I could do was stand there, picturing it on one of the red kitchen walls.

It’s still at the store, but not by my choice. I tried to buy it Monday when I bought some vinyl-coated metal storage shelves for the cabinets. They have this Set-In-Stone-Policy about not selling anything that’s not priced. Of course, the painting (and pair of jeans) wasn’t tagged.


I tried appealing to them, pointing out that I could have just been dishonest and taken the sticker off some other item in that department. They just repeated their mantra, “we can’t change the rules”.

“Procedure is,” said one lady, “we send it back to the warehouse to be priced. We could get in big trouble if our bosses find out we’ve sold anything without a price tag.” The clerks don’t like the rule, but they just plain won’t bend. The painting was put behind the counter with the other stuff destined for the warehouse.

*Sigh* I phoned the store this afternoon and inquired about the painting. The girl said it would “probably” go back in the warehouse this afternoon, but there was no telling when it would be priced and put back out on the floor. Evidently this is some monumental bit of choreography, placing thrift store items out on the sales floor. It “might” be back out on the floor “some time this week”.

I was nice, but insistent. I said I’d buy the painting in a heartbeat, and I didn’t want to miss out on it because I didn’t know when it would be back out for sale.

There was a pause, and I could picture her looking at the painting. “Ohhhh, I don’t think you have any reason to worry about that”, she said. Art appreciation is highly subjective — do I hear an amen, fellow artists?

In the end, she said she’d make sure it was brought to the warehouse and priced, and that it would be out on display when the store opened tomorrow. “If you get here in the morning, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get it”, she said. (Morning. That’s the thing that happens when the sun first comes up for the day, right? Since we’re a second-shift household, “morning” is not something I do.)

Thank God for my mom, who does know what a morning is, and likes to shop there on Wednesday’s, anyway, because it’s half-off day on certain color tags. She’s going to go sometime in the morning and get it for me.

Moms are the greatest, aren’t they? I hope it’s not marked with some completely outrageous price because they know someone really wants it. I told mom I’d pay up to $12 for it.

I hope to be able to post a picture of it tomorrow for you all!

Update: Be sure to read this entry!

3 thoughts on “The letter of the law

  1. I hope you get it too! We don’t have a Salvation Army in Winchester, but we do have a Goodwill that I have never been in. I have heard that I really should visit!

  2. No Sally Anne! oh what do you do for excitement? We have 3 Goodwills, 1 Sally Anne, 1 St. Vincent de Paul and 1 Habitat ReStore. All just 30 short miles away!

    Pretty snazzy pic, Kimberly – saw it on Night Owls. 🙂

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