Why You Should Not Buy Half Price Hair Dye

I am the queen of bargains. People who know me know that I can find the best price for anything, even food. And clothing. And dishes. And gifts. I am the person who shops the half price bins at the grocery store: meats, fruits and vegetables, ready made salads, day old bread, you name it. Can you imagine how I felt one day while rummaging through the half price bin at Superstore in New Minas last month, when I pushed aside the teas, biscuits, canned goods and leftover Valentines Day candy and found…are you ready for this? My brand and color of hair dye! It was right there in that bin with a pink half price sticker. Greedily I grabbed it up while looking to see if there were any more: two for the price of one, you know. But alas! There was only one and I bought it, brought it home and stored it in the cupboard, waiting for the day in the not too distant future when my grey roots would be showing just a little too much.

That day came a little over two weeks ago. With a self-satisfied smile I got out all my gear. There it was, my half price box of hair dye. The color was dark brown chestnut, my usual color. Things were going well; the dye  was in my hair and I was getting ready to go have a coffee while I waited the requisite twenty-five minutes. At about that time I happened to glance in the mirror and noticed dye stains at the hairline. They were not even brown. Dark purple was the color that came to mind. “Nah” I said to  myself while going to prepare the coffee. These dyes often look one color in the bottle and turn out completely different. Chemical reactions, you know. Something kept nagging at me though, something at the periphery of my consciousness. Sure, I had had purple streaks in my hair when I worked at the Lavender farm, but now I was supposed to be a respectable married woman. I had fleeting nightmares of showing up at my meeting that evening with purple hair. What would that Newcomers Club think of me then??

“Whatever will be, will be”, I thought as I started to wash the dye out of my hair. The sink rapidly filled up with the darkest, most beautiful purple. It just kept coming and coming, or I should say, going and going, down the drain. It covered my hands, the counter, the towel. I wondered what it would look like. You know how it’s hard to tell if the dye has taken well while your hair is still wet? Well, mine just looked dark. Darker than dark. So I had to dry it to find out if I would be in competition with Mildred, George’s purple dancing partner on the Muppet Show.

Well, my hair did not turn out purple. It was black.  I never had black hair before. They say that black hair can make you look Goth. It can also make you look like a perfect Oriental doll. I like to think that I look like a raven haired goddess with cascading tresses. Notwithstanding the fact that my tresses don’t cascade, I’ll stick with the goddess part.

And I’m not sure that I’ll be buying hair dye on the half price shelf at the grocery store anymore.

How Do You Spell Frenchy’s?

In the 1970’s when I was still a student at St FX University, I noticed that many of my Nova Scotian friends talked about a place called Frenchy’s. Second hand clothing, they said. Hummph! I was too proud to be caught dead in a place that sold used clothing! However, one day I found myself at a Frenchy’s because one of my friends needed a pair of shorts before we headed for the beach. Well, what was I supposed to DO in there? I started rummaging through the bins like everyone else. It kinda gets a hold of you; and before I knew it, I had lost my purse in one of those bins.

Shoppers at Frenchy’s that day were treated to an amazing sight – me, furiously rummaging through that bin in order to find my purse before anyone else did.  That would have been a find for sure!

Many years have passed since that day and now I find myself back in Nova Scotia after an absence of thirty-six years. What’s that? Frenchy’s is still here? And it’s grown bigger and bigger since that eventful day in 1974? Well, can you imagine, there’s one within walking distance of my house, and I’m here to tell you that I can now rummage with the best of them.

Once a week I go to do “mes commissions” which include a trip to the grocery store, gas, the second hand bookstore, and I usually finish up with a session at Frenchy’s. That’s a far cry from the shopping I did in Montreal. But there’s something so satisfying about finding a brand name item in excellent condition for 2 or 3 dollars. So far I have bought a great pair of drapes for the living room for 7$, an Indian cotton table cloth for $1.50, numerous shirts for Aaron, books and bags. I could be called the bag lady, so much I love bags. Frenchy’s does not disappoint!

What kind of people go to Frenchy’s? Well, from what I can see, they are a varied lot. From doctors and lawyers, to parents looking for a bargain, to book hunters and people like me who just love the thrill of finding some great treasure, you  find them all, methodically going through the bins. And that’s not all. The clothing is priced by the item, not the brand name; so you could pay 3$ for a shirt from Sears as well as a Hugo Boss shirt. As long as it’s a shirt it costs 3$

But going to Frenchy’s is not just about the great finds. I was talking to a lady over a bin of curtains the other day, and she told me she comes once a week to socialize. Some other adventurous souls will do a “Frenchy’s run”. That means they will go to Frenchy’s in Coldbrook, Berwick, Greenwood, Wilmot and Sackville all in one day. Just in case anyone is not sure how exactly to shop at Frenchy’s, there is a book available called Pardon My Frenchy’s that will help you get into a Frenchy’s mood,  it tells how to add zest to the experience and gives tips for initiating virgin Frenchy’s shoppers.

There is even a Frenchy’s song!

The song tells it all…

There is only one thing this convert has to say about it all, ” Move over Liz Claiborne and all you other snobby boutiques. I’m going to Frenchy’s!!”