Our marriage survived the Goodwill debacle.

This morning Jim and I left home with a laundry list of errands to run.  First, a doctor’s visit.  Next, Goodwill to donate all the fat lady clothes I’ve purged from my closet. This old girl has lost thirty pounds of blubber, so gone are the maternity dresses.  Following Goodwill, we went to  Grillsmith Restaurant for chicken caesar salad (Jim) and half a yummy burger with blue cheese, no roll, side of spinach (me).  Then we headed to Publix, the grocery store, to load up on low carb foods.  We also had intended to stop by the tailor with my two new pencil skirts and Calvin Klein dress.  They needed to be shortened.  But we never got around to doing that errand.

Following our Publix shopping, Jim popped the hatchback of his SUV and began to load our groceries.  I didn’t see my new skirts and dress.  I commented, “I don’t see my new clothes”  Jim, “What new clothes?”  Me, panic rising, “My new skirts and the leopard print dress.  Plus my Via Spiga shoes.  I was going to wear them when the tailor pinned my dress!”

It turned out Jim had given all the clothing in the back of the car to the Goodwill.  I was aghast.  When we were sitting at Goodwill drop off I turned from the passenger seat and, over my shoulder, said “Only give away the things in the plastic bags. The others are for the tailor.” Jim nodded.  I thought he got the message.

There in Publix parking lot I went from zero to sixty on the pissed off scale.   I reminded him that I had TOLD him, right then and there at Goodwill, NOT to give away the unbagged things.

Jim did his own zero to sixty anger acceleration and asked, with an edge, “Why didn’t you put the things you wanted to have tailored in your foot well?”

“Because I truly believed you would pay attention when I asked you not to give them away!”

Groceries were loaded, doors were slammed, the car was pointed back from whence we came.  I called Goodwill and talked to the manager of “Intake.”  He welcomed us to come by and pick up the shoes, skirts, dress.  We had dropped them off at noon, it was now about 3 p.m.

We pulled into the parking lot, walked to intake and I fully expected to see my items still at the top of a small pile of donations.  Who knew that literally hundreds of things had been donated following our noon visit.  Huge rolling bins were overflowing with tee shirts, prom dresses, blue jeans, wedding gowns, dress shirts on hangers, sports coats, faux mink jackets (in Florida?), padded bras, used knee-high stockings.

Yet another giant rolling bin was piled high with shoes.  High heels, children’s flip-flops, Crocs, running shoes, loafers, snow boots (again, in Florida?).  Each pair of shoes was held together with a rubber band.  Or supposed to be. I soon learned the matching shoes occasionally become separated.

Michael, the intake guy, told me to fill out a small form with an exact description of accidentally donated items.  Mine read:

  1. Dark Blue denim Jag brand jeans skirt.
  2. Black pencil skirt
  3. Leopard print Calvin Klein dress with price tags still attached.
  4. Pair of size 7 Via Spiga black kitten heels.

Then we were invited in to begin looking for my new clothing.  We spent over an hour digging through other people’s cast-offs.  Shirts that smelled like sweat and cigarette smoke.  Heavily perfumed women’s blouses with make-up on the collars.  Pants covered in pet fur.  Together Jim and I tackled the first couple of clothing bins together, tossing items we had looked through into a third empty bin.

I became even more frustrated and angry as the minutes ticked by.  I knew I was supposed to be holding positive thoughts, manifesting my two skirts, one dress, and black shoes with my mind.  But that’s not so easy when royally honked off.

To put a bit of distance between us,  I moved on to the shoe bin.  I began digging through a four-foot high, four-foot deep, three-foot wide bin of smelly shoes.  That container had been filled from bottom to top in the three hours since we had visited. I know this because there, at the very bottom of the bin, separated from one another, were my Via Spiga black kitten heels.  I was bent so far into that box I could barely reach the bottom.  I was wearing a dress and didn’t give a rat’s ass if my butt showed. I wanted my shoes, dammit.

Jim went to work on an even larger cardboard container parked on a huge rolling dolly.  It was about five feet tall, wide and deep.  I helped him until I got to the point I couldn’t reach anything.  By then there were still about two feet of clothing left at the bottom.

Ultimately we were joined in our search by three Goodwill employees. A young brunette bearded man, a round woman named Sheila, and a nice young lady who called everyone “hon”.  Each time they yanked a denim skirt from a pile they held it up for me to see.  Any animal print was waved in my direction.

At one point, after finding the heels, I considered calling off the search.  But I have a really hard time finding things that fit.  Yes, I’ve lost weight and now weigh less than I did twelve years ago when we got married.  However, things have shifted in those twelve happy (until the Goodwill fiasco) years. I no longer have a waist.  It’s glorious when I find something that doesn’t cut me in two at the middle.  I had worked hard shopping for my Jag jean skirt, black pencil skirt and Calvin Klein dress.  The dress was earmarked as a possible outfit for friend Karen’s daughter’s September wedding.

Our three helpers gamely searched several bins, then the young guy remembered another container of clothing donated today.  It had been rolled into a different section.  He fetched it and began to dig.  Lo and behold!  He pulled my animal print dress into the light.  “Is this is?” he asked.

I literally hopped up and down, cheering! “Yes!  And yay you!”  With that Sheila and “Hon” were at his side, yanking out a few more items.   And sure enough, there were my two skirts!  I thanked those nice people profusely, and clutching my new found clothing to my chest I headed straight to the car, where the items were promptly dropped into my footwell.

This week my clothes will be tailored.  Right after being fumigated.

My new clothes were accidentally donated to Goodwill, and that’s good because I was able to use the experience for my blog!