It is a shopper’s paradise… the J.Crew Warehouse Sale. They happened once a month until this year and now they randomly pop up with little warning.
Hundreds and hundreds of boxes fill the warehouse…. on tables, under tables, on the floor….. filled to the brim with clothes. Not carefully folded and sorted by size, color or gender. Men’s, women’s, every size imaginable all thrown together.
Shoes may be at the bottom with belts, jewelry, sunglasses, hats, rain coats, wedding dresses, scarves, or purses. Jeans, velvet and sequins all share the same space and you just never know in which box you may find your dream something.
At the door we’re handed a price list and an oversized, white trash bag. We review the list quickly to see if the prices have changed: tops & bottoms: $10, non-cashmere sweaters: $15, shoes: $30, boots: $40, wedding dresses: $50.
Then we systematically plunder box by box for hours.
Everyone has their own system of plundering. My husband empties the entire contents of one box into the box next door and works his way down aisle by aisle. My approach is to dig to the bottom of the box looking for interesting fabric. Anything fascinating is thrown in the big, white trash bag for further review.
In the early years, before the sale was well known, girls would strip down to their undies right there in the warehouse to try on a dress or pants. Eventually signs were installed that asked the girls to please not show us their underwear and the sale has become much more family friendly.
Sometimes we plunder every box and leave a little disappointed that the good stuff was already picked over. Other times there are so many treasures we leave as many beautiful clothes as we take home.
The shoes are segregated to one end of the warehouse – box after lovely box of heels, flats, sandals, and boots. The best outcome is that the pair have been held together with a rubber band; the worst outcome that you discover a shoe more beautiful than your wildest dream only to find it has no mate.
My husband and I have plundered every single box in the warehouse in search of the right or left mate to my dream shoe. When we find it, words fail to express my joy. Other times my husband tells me I must give up – that shoe is nowhere to be found, and I very reluctantly put the one shoe back in the box and say goodbye.
I must say, life can be a lot like the Warehouse Sale. There are oodles of things to explore – sports, jobs, hobbies. Each one has its own price, commitment and attraction, and each of us explore our options using our own unique approach. What we discover can leave us a little disappointed while other discoveries take us down a path that fits so nicely.
Not everyone finds a mate. We search the world over, and maybe we find that one special someone beyond our wildest dreams – only to find it was two right shoes instead of the match we expected. We try out different jobs, careers, hobbies, exercise routines, diets, even places to live – searching for something that fits. We don’t tire of this search because you never know in which box you might find your perfect dream something…. that perfect match.
And, when we find the perfect match, words fail to express our joy.