There are two kinds of women who attend the Alexandria Warehouse Sale every year. And inevitably, they have two very different experiences.
The first is a younger woman, probably on somewhat of a budget, to whom the event has become a near-sacred holiday. She marks the February date on her calendar far before she begins making plans for Christmas. She ensures that her group of friends have done the same and offers to be the chauffeur so that no one has an excuse to back out. She prepares her plan of attack well in advance. Leggings, camisole, cardigan and coat. Hands-free, cross-body bag. Cash for parking and to tip the guys at coat check. And most importantly, a map of the Masonic Memorial. This is serious. She and her friends arrive at 7 AM, in disbelief that they are not the first ones there. She waits impatiently in anticipation of the sale’s start. As soon as she crosses the threshold, she runs–literally–along with 100 other women toward The Shoe Hive’s tables. Everyone knows the shoes go first. She then spends the next three hours trying on sweaters at Zoe, dresses at Periwinkle, boots at Bishop, and stocking up on everything in her size at Mint Condition. She leaves exhausted, exhilarated and best of all with plenty of shopping bags.
The second is slightly older in age, perhaps with teenage kids. She doesn’t really need anything, but it’s a treat to just get out of the house for a few hours and do something for herself. She may bring her husband along but she will more likely go alone or with her sister. She can never remember when the sale is held and was glad to see an update about it on her Facebook page. She avoids the early-morning crowds, and arrives around lunchtime between her son’s soccer game and her daughter’s afternoon ballet class. She smiles when she realizes she has avoided the lines entirely, and stops to greet a store owner’s husband who is playing “security” for the day. His daughter is in the same afternoon ballet class. She makes her way to the main hall when the pillow selection from Red Barn Mercantile catches her eye. First two purchases are made. She spends the next couple of hours chatting with the friends she bumps into, including Alicia, the manager of Hysteria who also convinces her she really does need that great Smythe jacket. Final stop: picking up a few bottles of specialty olive oil and papardelle pasta from Olio Tasting Room’s table–now she knows what to make for dinner. She leaves refreshed, relaxed and ready for the rest of the day. And best of all with plenty of shopping bags.
There are two kinds of women who attend the Alexandria Warehouse Sale every year. And you know what? Both of them love every minute of it and leave with their arms full. If you missed it this year, don’t make that mistake again next year.