So here we are on the dawn of a new week, your text messages for the next few days will be more about conference calls than cocktails and at 6am you will now be saying ‘get up!’ not ‘good night’. Aaah, you’ve gotta love the weekends and I do hope that you did not let your Sunday ruin your Monday. I most certainly didn’t.
I gots to be telling you, there are fewer places I love more in the world than the Alameda Flea Market. So I was delighted when my two soul sistas agreed to indulge my penchant for a good deal and drive my car-less ass out there. It’s not just that I love a good bargain – which as you all know I do, in fact, I did have a friend of mine recently compare me to William Shatner as the Priceline ‘Negotiator’ – “yes”, as SJP in Sex & The City 2 would say, “but with cocktails…!”. I digress. Indeed, I do love the notion of buying treasures for tricks but the thing that struck me most while perusing through this amazing market yesterday was, in fact, the people. Yes, the people at the Alameda Flea Market are a truly wonderful group. They are, dare I say, kind. They are considerate. Random other shoppers have a genuine interest in knowing which bargains you’ve discovered and if you wouldn’t mind pointing them in the right direction. Sellers truly take pity on sob stories like myself and gladly knock a couple of zeros off their original asking price. We had one very kind gentleman take pity on us three princesses – after spending all our money and indulging on way too many wares we were trundling back towards the car park with trolleys piled high, laden down with goods and carrying a new kitchen table between two of us - had they seen us coming towards the Mexican border, they would never have let us through – yes, this kind soul stopped us to ask how we were planning on transporting all of this stuff home? Hmm, we hadn’t really thought about this. We were so high off our bargain buys we had neglected to think too far into the future and were completely avoiding the fact that we ultimately knew this was never all going to fit into the car. Now not only did this lovely man offer to take the table off our hands and deliver it safely to my apartment later in the day, as he wasn’t finished shopping yet he also told us where the key was hidden to his truck and gave us directions so we could rid ourselves of this cumbersome burden straight away. What a star. Delighted with ourselves we set off to drop off the table but oh boy, was that a big car park. While the lovely Mike was indeed helping us a bunch by letting us deposit this in his truck, we still had a long way to go before actually getting there. But why were we so concerned? No sooner had we come to this realization ourselves did a knight in shining armor come to our rescue. Literally. And what’s more, this guy was H-O-T HOT - he offered to drive us in his truck to wherever it was we were going. “Your place”, is what I wanted to say but I settled for car park zone ‘BB’. Now let me ask you this – do you think we’d have seen such benevolence at Barney’s?? Have you ever born witness to such kindness of spirit at Saks?? Me thinks not.
I believe this friendly atmosphere is indicative of a number of kindred spirits coming together in a common place with a common goal in mind – to get a good deal. It doesn’t matter whether you spend a hundred dollars or a thousand there are simply only two types of people that spend their Sunday afternoon at a flea market – those who can’t afford anything else and those who can but still love a bargain! From the moment you walk into a store in the city you are being judged. The sales assistant is trying to figure out if it’s going to be worth her while waiting on you and the other shoppers are assessing whether you look like you can afford more or less than them. I do it. I size up other people and if I like what they are wearing I am similarly interested in which items they are looking at (I also have NO problem elbowing them out of the way in order to find my size). For most women, shopping is a kind of sport – like football. We enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death and the bliss of the buy. When you combine this with the added element of getting to negotiate your price (come on, you know how much we love to argue) the result is pure, unadultered ecstasy.
Good things come to those who wait and yes, every month I am waiting and anticipating the Alameda Flea Market which takes place only on the first Sunday of every month. However, I am VERY excited to hear that the folks who bring us this flea fantasy have just taken a year-long lease at Candlestick Park and so every third Sunday the Alameda Flea Market will be taking place in our city! I’m telling you sisters, the best things in life are flea……;)
WHERE TO GO?? Alameda Flea Market