Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Name is Wendy...

and I'm a Pyrexic.
"Hi, Wendy!"

In other words, I suffer from a debilitating disease known as Pyrexia.

It is a condition that has become more common in women (and some men) through out the United States and Canada in recent months. Symptoms include compulsive shopping at thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales, with the occasional visit to antique shops. All this in search of colorful bowls, casserole dishes, and the occasional refrigerator dish.

Initially my prognosis seemed good. I figured I would be on the low-end of the Pyrexia Disorder Spectrum--a mild interest in vintage kitchen ware. I would have a lovely collection of useful and beautiful kitchen accessories. But then I found that I couldn't stop. Every time I'm out running errands I think how I can make my route take me by one of the local thrift stores. I even got up at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday to go to an estate sale because the pictures posted on-line showed they had Pyrex. (Good thing I did, too, because I scored this beauty. A rare, and very large, New Dots mixing bowl. For only $6!!)

So now I'm a full fledged addict. (I think my metaphor just shifted, but go with it.) While I am a member of two different support groups, I actually think they are making my condition worse. It's taking over my life. I am quickly running out of cupboard space and will soon be out of space on any horizontal surface in my kitchen, dining, and living rooms.

And yet I can't help myself. It's just so pretty! These Butterfly Gold casseroles, while not my favorite pattern, just couldn't be left behind. They look so nice all stacked up and shiny, just waiting for me to whip up a pasta salad or tuna casserole. I recently scored the little one and the big one half-price at the Salvation Army. Eight dollars for both, including the lids. When I got home and remembered/realized I had already picked up the middle one a while back, I was so happy to have put together a complete set that I could not bare to put them away in the cupboard (also, there really isn't room in the cupboards any more.) They are currently sitting on the bar area of the counter for all to admire.

The high of finding any precious piece of Pyrex on the dusty, jumbled shelves of a thrift store is amazing. But when one finds an especially rare or coveted piece, well, I'm pretty sure it's like being on drugs. The other day I went to my new favorite Goodwill. (Favorite because it is well stocked AND the prices reflect that they are in fact a thrift store selling second-hand, donated items, and not in any way a high-end retail department store! Okay, little rant over.) As soon as I was in the store, I made a bee line to the glass kitchen wares aisle. It was a little crowded, but through the cluttered, precariously stacked shelves I spotted something turquoise! As I moved in, not too quickly so as not to alert the other customers of the presence of a desirable item, I was delighted to discover not one, but two, square Pyrex bowls.

Now being the informed collector that I am, I immediately recognized them as a chip and dip set. As I greedily grabbed them from the shelf, I'm pretty sure I said out loud, "Where's the bracket?" You see to make it a true chip and dip set, you need a little metal bracket to hold the smaller bowl full of dip above the larger bowl full of chips. Genius!

Well the bracket was nowhere to be seen in the glass kitchen ware aisle. So I did what any normal (read "crazy, obsessed Pyrex-hoarding") person would do. I started searching the store, muttering to myself things like "It's got to be here somewhere." and "Where could it be?" You get the picture. Pretty sure people were starting to look at me strange, and that's saying something when you're talking about the thrift store crowd. After I finished emptying the metal home decor knic-knac shelves, I was starting to feel a little dejected.

But I reasoned that the bowls surely had only recently been placed out on the shelves, given the fact that no other crazed collector like myself had snatched them up. That, and the fact that the bowls were in super great condition (shiny without a scratch or mark on them, like they had never been used), led me to believe they must have been donated together with the elusive bracket. Some uninformed Goodwill worker just separated them. Racking my brain, trying to think of which section said worker would have tossed the precious bracket into, I headed over to the "random, manly tool section". After politely pushing by some Mexican guys digging through the electrical cords bin, I started scanning the "metal things" bin.

Is that?...Could it be?... (cue the parting of clouds and angelic swelling of music) There it was!! I found it!! My heart started pounding. I snatched it out of the bin and immediately put it together. Here she is, in all her glory:
I walked around the store for a little while longer, carrying the set in it's assembled state with what I'm sure was a giant, goofy grin on my face. But I couldn't concentrate on shopping any more. All I kept thinking was I have to go pay for this--like I was afraid if I didn't buy it right away some Goodwill administrator was going to come out from the back room and take it away saying they weren't going to sell it to me. Luckily that didn't happen, and for a mere $8 the whole set was mine! (The little bowl was $2, the big one $5, and the priceless bracket was priced on par with a piece of worthless metal at $0.99!!)

Oh, how I love my turquoise chip and dip set! I told you I have a disease.

But seriously, does anyone have a nice china cabinet I can have?

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Bonnie said...

So when I pick up more pyrex at garage sales for you does that "enable" your condition or just make me part of it? Really love the chip & dip set and the story even made my heart beat a little faster :)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I love your story of the search for the bracket. I hate when it's all separated but then again if they had left it all together they would have had a higher price on it. Great job and I too suffer from this condition!


Charlene Austin said...

A-MA-ZING! I don't collect Pyrex but I'm addicted to the Pyrex Collective blogs. If I ever found a set so amazing as that I'd die of happiness!!

L. said...

I have this illness too. I got it from my sister and now I seem to have infected another sister and a friend. I think a couple of my golf partners are showing early signs. It's very very contagious!

Jill said...

It's a serious condition, but sure a fun one - loved your Pyrex story - I'll be collecting a year in September - just where is a person supposed to put it all - I think I would buy any piece I saw except for Old Orchard!!

Holly- Girls At Heart said...

Loved your story! And I love the name Wendy! You're lucky! ♥

Marilyn said...

just found your blog ---can't remember how. So funny, your story about the chip and dip set. I would never thought to look around for the metal piece. We have common stuff. I live in Washington(Marysville) just started collecting pyrex. have been sewing for a couple of years and love the ocean...I we always stop at Thorp to shop. (Hate those damn stairs)