I'm on a shopping diet.
My husband and I are in the midst of purchasing a new, significantly smaller home. It's intended to begin a lifelong commitment to buying less, using less, impacting the environment less. Which is why I've been avoiding places like the malls, bookstores and Tejon Street. And why I've been spending time on freecycle.org and am starting to recognize the workers at Goodwill.
But then I heard about the Eighth Street sale. And just like that, the bargain-huntress instinct slithered all the way down to my toes.
I received my first text message about the shopping paradise about two weeks ago. A friend had picked up two brand-spanking new designer purses at 50 percent off.
At first, the lure subsided. when another friend traipsed through the office in a new pair of designer shoes also purchased at 50 percent off I gave in.
I wasn't going to buy anything, I told myself. I just wanted to see what was going on.
The strip mall at the south end of Eighth Street, near the Cheyenne Mountain branch library, was close enough to make a visit over lunch. My informants had told me to be careful in the parking lot it was wall-to-wall women, they said.
They weren't kidding. Women poured in and out a glass door that simply read, "Open. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10-5." Inside, among racks and racks of clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry, stood more women. In particular, women in all stages of undress.
A staffer shared that it was easy to ID the women who had been more than once; they were coming "prepared." In other words: The ones in jog bras and spanks knew not to expect dressing rooms. The un-"prepared" were resigned to baring skin, lace and cotton for all to see.
I circled the store a few times, amazed at the scene. Hand-written cardboard signs sectioned off the clothes by shop or designer: Terra Verde, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Votre Nom (to name just a few). Everything was, as they say on eBay, "NWT," new with tags.
At one point, a staffer with a microphone interrupted the frenzy with an announcement. He carefully explained that a shopper was missing her blue coat.
"This item is not for sale," he said.
At 75 percent off retail prices for all clothing, and 50 percent off everything else in the store, the event is a shopper's dream. Or, depending on your perspective, a shopper's nightmare.
I'd heard rumors, but when I asked about the source of all these products, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the information couldn't be shared. The message was loud and clear: People should just be happy they're getting a deal and not care why.
And in the end, it didn't really matter. A bargain is a bargain, right? People from across town are certainly finding them.
As for me, I am happy. I successfully "stuck to my diet" during my first visit to the shop, walking out empty-handed.
But then ... that was just my first visit.
Eighth Street extravaganza
1791 S. Eighth St., Suites A and B
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Final day unknown. Merchandise will be sold until all is gone. Cash or checks only.