Saturday, November 10, 2012

At The Gay Thrift Shop

The other day, pulling out of the gym's garage, we were overwhelmed by the sight of a shocking-pink van emblazoned "Out of the" tooling smartly down the street.  What a cool name for a thrift shop!  When we got home, I Googled it and found that they also offered free AIDs tests, had a pharmacy and clearly catered to a gay clientele.  The closest store was located in Long Beach.

Instantly, I e'd our friend Tone who is a Long Beach resident, born in San Pedro.  He knows that area like few  could.  He knew about "Out" - had even been in it once.  One thing led to another and ...

Yesterday afternoon, we left our car at his house, hopped into his 4-door pick-up truck and embarked on The Tone Tour.  "This corner used to have a fruit and vegetable market ... See over there?  that used to be a bar..." 

And, speaking of bars, we rolled into his local pub for a refreshing pitcher of beer.  After all, we'd been driving on a bitter cold and windy day for as long as 10 minutes!  Hydration was clearly required!

After we all took our meds, we rolled onward.  My excitement mounted.  When I'd realized that "Out of the Closet" was a gay charity I had had wonderful visions of rows of Great Big, High-Heeled Shoes, feather boas, foaming off their racks,  shelves of costume jewelry, sequined tops and tables of black mesh stockings lined up in a row.  And groups of large men shrieking in delight, "Girl!  That is SO you!" at their finds.  A sort of roadshow version of either of the two  "Cage Aux Folle." s.

Reality was shockingly different.  There wasn't a tranny in the place, but there were two Hispanic women quietly browsing the women's section.  Richie and Tone picked through the men's stuff - a Polo here, an Armani there...but nothing stirred them to reaching for their billfolds.   True, there were fancy cocktail dresses glittering in the windows, but they were probably left over from Halloween.  The shelves of glasses, vases, bric-a-brac could have been in any old store.

It was a true thrift shop, indistinguishable from any Goodwill or Salvation Army or Children's Hospital.  You cannot begin to imagine my disappointment.   

To Be Continued

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