Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 21, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 21, 2004 – I like nothing better than a half hour to kill in a good dollar store. There have been discount stores for as long as I can remember. They existed long before Wal Mart invaded the world and set up shop in every available mall. Towers and Zellers have enjoyed a share of the consumers’ dollars for a long time, and while they’re not as up-market as the higher end department stores, their wares are varied and interesting.
Any of the chains are a good bet for household products and personal items, but it’s just not the same as hunting for a cracking good bargain at a great dollar store. There are a number of them close to where I live and an excellent one on the Danforth near Broadview. This was where I spent my free twenty minutes this afternoon. I had to run a few errands on the Danforth and the dollar store just happened to be close to my last stop.
I needed to buy dish clothes for the kitchen and at fifty cents, it sure beats the $1.99 each at the grocery store. It’s not possible for me to leave a dollar store with just one item. A good perusal of their wares is essential for one’s peace of mind. An exceptional dollar store has a certain air of topsy-turvydom. The merchandise is stacked on every shelf and in open boxes in front of the displays.
A first glance reveals the usual items, but a second, closer look uncovers the bargains. The product mix in most dollar store is fairly consistent. Linens, household cleaning products, floor mats, candles, glassware, mugs, tea pots, plates and cookware, aluminum roasting pans, pantyhose, socks, gum, chocolate bars and candies, air fresheners, paper towels, small padlocks, umbrellas and various and sundry other items.
I wasn’t looking for anything in particular today, just wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles, when what did I see – but an amazing navy blue pasta bowl with matching serving dishes. Each bowl has a different, brightly coloured rooster on it and they are absolutely lovely. I can’t imagine how much these would cost at a boutique retail store – but they definitely wouldn’t be a dollar store bargain. These could be Pier One, Caban or Pottery Barn products and buying them for a pittance is such fun.
I love to prowl the dollar stores at holiday time looking for funky seasonal decorations, Christmas plates and silly party favours. Sometimes you pop in for a visit and there’s nothing there worth picking up, even though it’s just a dollar, but other times it’s an absolute bonanza.
If you have a snobby bone in your body and have never experienced the diversion of a dollar store – then lighten up – or if that’s not possible, then put on a clever disguise and spend half an hour at one far removed from your usual neighbourhood haunts. If you have an open mind – once you’ve had your first visit to this uncharted territory – you’ll go back from time to time to poke about.
Dollar stores are a source of ongoing merriment, so visit one at the first opportunity and ” no” you don’t have to tell anyone where you got that great deal. I, on the other hand, can’t wait to reveal the source of my brilliant bargains!