25 July 2008

The sale

At 11:00am I spotted the first signs of a queue forming in front of Habitat. A few people hanging around and peeking through the windows. I gleefully asked one of them if they too were queueing, in case they weren't. They were, and I was quickly shouldered out of their little cigarette circle. I played some Tetris on my phone for a while; when I looked up again, the line was backed up all the way down to Molly Malone. Things didn't get stressful however till people from the surrounding businesses came down around 12 and didn't much like the idea of a queue, so about 100 randomers just stuck around the front. How rude!

Finally, at about 12:15, a man in a suit appeared at the door with keys. Unfortunately, the lock was jammed and he had to go find someone to fix it. He reappeared with a man holding a screwdriver and a smile, as the crowd outside, full of caffeine and an urgency to shop, started pouring into the street. The doors opened and everyone went flying in like some sort of messy air force squadron locked onto their target sideboards and fancy dishes.

I've never participated in the whole "queueing for a sale" thing...well willingly at least. I remember one time when I was 8 or so, before the days of TiVo and downloading movies, my best friend's dad used us as extra arms at a Circuit City sale. "Remember guys, when the doors open, look extra cute and grab as many blank VHS tapes as you possibly can. At 10 cents each we can record all the tv we want."

As I was browsing all the bargains, I suddenly remembered I was all alone and there was no way I could carry everything I wanted to buy, so I had to edit my wish-list down to just the essentials. I grabbed four Hennie Haworth glasses (€12 for 4) to go with the tea towels I bought a few months ago, two green and yellow cushions (€10.50 each), 3 picture frames (€10 each), a lovely little single duvet cover with paper airplanes on it (€10) which I plan to make a table cloth out of, and a lovely metal fan (€15) which was desperately needed in our office.

When I got home, I surveyed my bounty and decided that I should go back for more...because I'm a masochist who loves nothing more than to stand in queues and shove past hoards of furniture obsessed crazies like myself. I was only gone a couple of hours, but when I got back to Habitat, there were no more queues outside and hardly any furniture left inside. Upstairs I could hear glass shattering as people with their full bags of merchandise knocked the remaining lamps off their display counters. I saw a woman with a newborn baby standing in the credit card line. What on earth was she doing here? Shouldn't she be like, I dunno, at home with her new baby?! "Alright baby, if you're going to be in this family, you've got to earn your keep. Here, wear these Pantone mugs like mittens while Mommy fights this lady for the last Chester armchair."

There wasn't a whole lot of anything left, but I did manage to grab the last undamaged picture frame (€21), new fancy numbers for the front door (€12 for 2), a couple of cool fish prints (€12.50 for 2), and a rather large poster with some flowers and polka dots on it (€12.50).

I don't think I'll be returning the rest of the weekend. I'm truly exhausted, and I don't think my apartment can fit any more crap in it.


Lorna said...

Well done! It's a long time since I've queued and battled for bargains and although it's exhausting, I hope you got a buzz from it - sounds like you did. I'm just nominating you for an award so check my blog in about an hour - you paste the award and then select your 7 favourites.

laura said...

There's something ironic about people queuing up for the Habitat liquidation sale.... :-) I am sure that part of the reason that Habitat found itself calling in the liquidators is because people had stopped shopping there! :-)

Anonymous said...

60 people, myself included, lost their jobs as a result of habitat going into liquidation. I worked there for more than a decade. I have a young family. I'm sure some people got some terrific bargains which consisted mainly of tat that no-one would have touched in May prior to the store closure!

Shawna said...

Anonymous- I'm very sorry you lost your job due to the closure of Habitat. I think we can all agree that they put the employees in a rather terrible situation by not telling them that the store was closing.

However, I don't think it's fair to belittle the interior design bloggers for talking about the liquidation sale. Had you bothered to read some of my posts prior to Habitat's closure, you would have found that I adored that store and frequently posted the bargains I found there. I was a regular customer who was in nearly every week, so please do not berate myself nor my readers again. We were probably your best customers.