When I told my kids we were going to Granny Longlegs today, I got mixed reviews. Cal was unusually excited about it—later I realized he thought I’d said “Granddaddy Longlegs,” and he must’ve expected some kind of spider-themed Chuck E. Cheese or something. Bree reserved her enthusiasm, as usual, until she found out Brandy would be there with her camera and this wouldn’t be a typical shopping trip with boring old Mom.
If you haven’t been there in a while, like me, you really should get in there soon. When we walked in, we joined several customers already perusing the sweeping assortment of second-hand goods. While the store (which is an extension of Mercy House, by the way) carries mostly apparel—clothing, shoes, accessories—they also sell books, housewares, and collectibles. I don’t know what it is about pouring over the former belongings of strangers, but it’s… comforting. Every item in the store has history, has a past, has a story—just like people. Everything is vibrant and alive and eager to become part of a new household. Brandy’s shutter clicked like a hundred times, capturing the life of shoes, purses, all of it.
Here are some things we love about the place:
1. It’s so clean! Everything is neatly arranged, there’s room to move about and see what’s being offered, and its organization is logical—which is good for someone like me, who gets overwhelmed quickly at even the idea of shopping.
2. The clothing is arranged by type (shirts, pants, skirts, etc.) and then by color within each category. I like that. Size is not the focus. It’s almost like size is irrelevant—a new experience for most women. Look for the color you’re drawn to, then find your size. Plus, a whole rack of yellow shirts just makes me happy.
3. There’s a book closet. Actually, two. One for hardbacks, one for paperbacks. It sounds nerdy, but what a joy to stand in a four-by-four closet and be surrounded by books. I want that in my house. I’d sit in there all day. Maybe add a mini-fridge and a hot plate… I’d be all set.
4. There’s a PURSE closet. Ohgollyohgollyohgollyohgollyohgollyohgolly. You know, I’m a practical person and I don’t get all crazy about the Dooney & Bourke purses or the COACH bags. I usually approach “purse shopping” from a utilitarian standpoint: does this thing have enough pockets for all my crap. But seeing all those purses, of various ages, styles, and social statuses, lined up on the shelves of three walls literally made me clap. And I might have even squealed except that my excitement was so deafening I’m not sure what I said. At any rate, I bought one. THE BEST ONE.
5. In the back of the store is what seems to be a man’s walk-in closet, filled with hats, ties, suits, socks, shoes, and even underpants. Since we felt relatively sheltered from the public, all tucked away back there, we got a little silly. First, hats. Bree picked a Yankees cap, Cal put on a Pittsburgh Penguins cap, Brandy chose a “Father of the Year!” hat, and I wore a Pike’s Peak hat that said, “I like it on top.” Hee hee.
Several group photos later, I thought it would be cute to dress the kids like old men, each in a jacket, tie, hat, and oversized shoes, but it turned into what we later dubbed “Mafia Moments.” Look at the photos—you’ll understand.
All in all, we loved our visit to Granny Longlegs and recommend you go there, too. For $15.00, I got a purse (WITH a matching change purse), an L.L. Bean corduroy skirt (adorbs!), a hat, and two books for the kids. Plus awesome photos, thanks to Brandy (she is AMAZEBALLS), and fun memories to deposit in my heart.
Oh, and in case you were worried, Cal had such a good time that his disappointment about “Granddaddy” Longlegs vanished. By the end of the outing, he’d asked Brandy if she wanted to come over and see his “bat cave.” Wocka wocka. That kid.
In short, Granny Longlegs is yet one more reason why I love my burg. Visit them soon in downtown Harrisonburg, next to Jess’ Quick Lunch.