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Antiquing with women

My friend Buttery and I hit the antique festival this weekend. She'd never been before, and I always love taking new people to the festival. It's always hard to explain how big it is to people, and how much stuff there is to find. I call it treasure hunting.

Buttery is in mid-construction of her house. Her house will be in a single 45 foot shipping container, and it'll be done in a few weeks. So we were sort of keeping an eye out for stuff for her house. And we were sort of keeping an eye out for ideas on my kitchen (which is still in conceptual phase). And we were sort of keeping an eye out for something to replace the falling apart potting bench on my back porch. And we were sort of keeping an eye out for a dress to fit the "Stepford Wives" party theme that Buttery is going to in a few weeks. (I'm not going because I'll be in the middle of the MS150 that weekend.) My dad gave me some cash, too, to find primitive duck decoys and/or naked ladies for him.

We generally were successful in our respective quests, though we never found any naked ladies, and I was unimpressed with the decoys that we saw.

Buttery found some old tin pressed ceiling tiles that might work well as the backsplash for her kitchen. They were painted in this nice rusty-red color, and I think she'll go back in October and talk to those guys. I found a beautiful old table from a grain store that would be awesome as a kitchen countertop, though of course, it's just a starting point. Buttery found a dress for $5 that the vendor said his mother made somewhere between 1955 and 1965. It didn't work for her, but it turned out being absolutely perfect for the hostess of the party. I found a floor length lace peignoir and nightgown set that fits me beautifully and makes me feel all feminine and pretty. Buttery found a nightgown for herself in the same place.

At around 6:00, when some of the shops were closing, Buttery tried on a gingham dress that just didn't work out. The lady at the stall asked what we were looking for, and when we explained, she asked if we'd tried the vintage shop in the trailers. Trailers? "Yeah, go down the road, past the red barn, and there are a few antique trailers. Apparently there's a whole trailer full of vintage clothes there. They don't close down til nine." Buttery and I shrugged, hopped in the car and headed down in that direction.

The "trailer" was beautiful. It was a 40 foot Spartan aircraft all aluminum trailer coach, and it was in impeccable condition. When we drove up, a group of six ladies ranging from maybe 25 to 55 were sitting in front of it on orange pleather couches and matching seats over a roll or green astroturf. They waved at us as we drove in, and as soon as we got out of the car, they asked us if we wanted a glass of wine. We knew we'd come to the right place.

Getting the wine, we got a mini tour of the front part of the trailer. It was gorgeous. Beautiful plywood panelling, a spacious and airy front living room that looked quite big. An efficient small kitchenette, that importantly, had the glasses for our wine.

Connie, who seemed to be in charge, told me that she was from the Valley. "Where? My family is from Mercedes." "Really? We're in Mercedes and Wesleco." "Oh, my god. My great-grandmother used to own a general store on Ohio street." And so on and so on... The world is a teeny tiny place.

In the meantime, Buttery explained what sort of dresses she was looking for. 50sish, fits her boobs (Buttery and I have similar boob issues), cute boy at the party that she wants to look good for. And a flurry of activity ensues. A couple of women start hitting the racks, Heather and Cathy, pulling stuff out. They send Buttery to the back half of the trailer (which was equally well maintained as the front) to change in to a few dresses they've already picked out, and while Buttery changes, they hold up dresses for the rest of us to critique and assess before feeding them into the dressing room. Everyone offers opinions and suggestions of the dresses that Buttery comes out wearing. "Too flower child, though she looks good in it." "Doesn't fit the waist." "Needs some accessories, but otherwise perfect."

It was terribly fun. And in the end, Buttery made me try on a dress that looked great, and I ended up getting. She picked up two.

And then the jewelry. I had my eye on a pair of earrings that I'd seen when we'd walked in, but then I inquired about this awesome raven necklace, and I was immediately sold on that. Buttery took a necklace off of one of the ladies and claimed it. We sorted out our purchases, and were offered another glass of wine. Of course, we'll have another glass of wine!

We sat down and chatted and found out more about each other. Connie and Cathy were sisters. And two of the other women--whose names I'm blanking on--were sisters, cousins of Connie and Cathy. Cathy's daughter Heather was also there, along with her cousin, the daughter of Connie and Cahty's other sister. We chatted about being women business owners, working with day laborers (some of the women were farmers, Buttery is in construction), the construction business, the valley, and boys. Another group of people came in to shop at some point, but we just kept on talking. At some point, someone realized that I bought the black and yellow raven necklace, and insisted that I try on these boots. I protested that they wouldn't fit. They encouraged me to try them on. I cried when they fit perfectly. I looked at the price (much less than the price on the site) and was sold.

And I am now the owner of bright yellow cowboy boots.

Right around the time the sun was going down Buttery and I decided to start heading back from the ranch, and we reluctantly put our wine glasses down and headed for the car with our purchases. (Buttery also bought a vintage light fixture and a ring. I bought a few note cards, and we split the cost of a tee shirt that said "Luck had nothing to do with it." ) They told us that they'll be back in October, and the insisted that we come earlier in the week before the wine supply gets too low. We wholeheartedly accepted their invitation.

It was terribly fun, and both of us couldn't stop talking on the way back to the ranch about how much we loved those ladies. It was one of those cheesy women bonding things that just sort of happen without being orchestrated.


( 2 comments — Say something )
Apr. 6th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
That sounds fabulous, and I'm so pleased you and Buttery made such great finds!
Apr. 7th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
Boots to Make Me SMILE!!!!!
( 2 comments — Say something )