Sunday, October 3, 2010

Flea Market

The marketing of fleas is a very delicate process.  One must ensure that the utmost care is used in transportation, display, and transfer of the little guys so as not to cause any trauma to their teeny tiny bodies.  Though they have feeble little minds, fleas can be prone to a strong group bond and separation anxiety causing something similar to gerbil stress if not properly paired with other fleas for sale.  Ok!  Ok!  That's just silly.  But seriously, in the 8 hours I worked at Petsmart back in the day, I was responsible for the gerbils that were "stressed out" by being sold and moved...they get the squirt poos and can dehydrate and die very easily.  Who knew.  

Because I love history, I will enlighten you all as to the REAL meaning of "Flea Market".  It originated in France in the late 17th century.  The terms used was "Marche aux puces" which translates to "Market with fleas".  Open air markets were held across Europe during this time period.  Often these markets were held in fields and consisted of second hand or salvaged items, many of which were furniture or textiles infested with fleas. with fleas and eventually the American "Flea Market".  Yup.  It's just what it sounds like. Icky and makes me itch but I can't stay away from them. 

Yesterday, as we do every month, my Mom and I hit the Flea Market.  Aside from the treasures we always find, it's fantastic people watching and there is always at least one thing that we find or see that sends us into a Gilmore Girls-esque 15 minute long rant and hysterical giggles.  

Yesterday's giant giggle was this:

Oh yeah, it's what it looks like.  A freakin dog in a stroller!  A DOG IN A STROLLER.  A DOG....IN...A STROLLER...A STROLLER...A FREAKIN STROLLER!!!  
I don't really even know where to begin. 
I guess for starters, this woman missed the memo that you're supposed to take your dogs for walks...not for your  benefit, for the dog's benefit.  Now, I know what some of you are thinking and no-this dog is not incapable of walking.  I saw it walk for a brief period.  I'm a big advocate of puppy paralysis carts, I think it's an awesome alternative to putting your dog down.  Companies like offer a fantastic way for injured or ill dogs to continue living an active healthy life.
However, it did not appear that this was the case with the pup in $100 dog stroller.  Yeah!  $100!!!  My 10 month old's stroller cost me $39, what is this dog doing in a $100 stroller?  This was definitely not a baby or kid stroller...upon closer inspection you can see that the dog is sitting on a bit of a platform.  Then there are mesh sides presumably to allow air flow and a good view for this pampered pooch.  Apparently there are a slew of companies making pet strollers such as Zephyr and Pet Gear.  Again...who knew?  

These people ended up at the same stand as us for lunch.  They sat at the other end of the table.  If you know me, you must know how hard it was for me to #1-maintain my composure, #2-not engage them in conversation just to find out why they had their dog in a stroller (which would have been only to give me more shit to say on here) and #3-keep my opinions to myself so as not to upset anyone.  As if the stroller wasn't enough, they got the dog out for lunch, and the lady got very upset because Lucy (the dog) was not adequately chewing her food.  I kid you not.  The conversation went something like this:

Female owner:  "Lucy, are you even chewing those?"  
Lucy looked at her with a blank stare
Female owner:  "Lucy, you need to chew, it's important.  I don't think you're chewing it right!  Honey, I don't think she's chewing right, I think she's just swallowing it!"
Lucy and the husband looked at her with blank stares
Female owner:  "Honey, these treats need to be cut in half, can we cut them into smaller bites, she isn't chewing, Lucy you're not chewing!"
*Insert me biting my tongue, my hand, tears rolling out of my eyes, attempting not to laugh*
These treats were probably the size of half of a dime.  I totally get loving your dog but here is what I think:

Dogs are animals, not babies.  I don't care if your dog is your "baby" its still NOT A BABY.  It's an animal.  It has it's roots in pack living.  It doesn't need to be driven around in a stroller or have its treats cut up.

So after a good round of WTFs and You've Got To Be Kidding mom and I moved on.  

After a few mediocre finds outside we headed into the inside barn, a place we never venture because...quite frankly...the prices are too high for the type of flea market junk treasures we're usually hunting for.  Quite to my surprise we found a sweet little fan back chair marked at only $25!  I was stoked!  I have a big fan back chair that I got last year at the same flea market, that I refer to as my "Island Princess Chair".  This one was a bit darker in color but the same style.  I use my big chair for photographs quite frequently so a smaller one for kids would be ideal!  The lady running the booth told me she really wanted to unload that chair so she would give it to me for 50% off, and my mom said she would chip in $5 so I got it for $7.50!!  Can't beat that!
My new find (left) and last year's find (right).  I <3 them :)
We picked up some jewelry for little ones and hats for us all (mine pictured below...with a little bling).

Last but not least I have to pimp out a local artist/furniture rescuer who's work I'm in love with.
Just before we left for the day we found the most awesome piece for a little boy's room that I have ever seen!  Now depending on what type of kid you have, obviously this would or wouldn't work for you, but in our  new house, Moose's room is going to be all motorcycles, cars, trucks and machines so it's perfect!

This Lane cedar hope chest was picked up by Mike, the owner of New Life Green Furniture in Rockford, IL.  It was beat up and on it's last leg but was refurbished in a most unique and awesome way!  This guy's stuff is truly exceptional, you should check it out! 
This was another piece he had out for sale at the flea market that I thought was too cute.

Not only is his furniture amazing and unique, he also does events and auctions for charity so if you're looking for a fun piece for your house or a cool Christmas gift check his stuff out, it's pretty reasonably priced.

A great fall day and some great finds (and great laughs) marketing with fleas :)

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