Bliss Thru Shopping: Rumford and What Not

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It’s been a while since Shopping Siren has been shopping in Rumford.

Like, way back then, Congress Street was in one solid piece. And there was no pond in the middle of the road.

Ahh, the good old days.  

But while a lot is changing in Rumford, there’s still a little shop near the downtown business district you’ll want to browse and whatnot. 

So. Much. Whatnot.

The What Not Shop in the old armory at 85 Lincoln Ave. is thrift store greatness, stuffed with an array of clothes, toys, housewares, knickknacks, books and a full display of vintage entertainment. (That’s what I’m calling old VHS tapes now. We’ll see if it catches on.)

Prices are low, and they drop even lower on random fill-a-bag-for-$5 days. I happened by on one of those special days and I can tell you it was glorious.

All proceeds benefit the Hope Association, a nonprofit that serves adults with disabilities. So you can feel good about plunking down some cash.

Here are some things to get with said cash. And whatnot.

• Yarn, $1 to $1.50

A variety of yarn balled and bagged. Perfect for yarn-type things. Like knitting. And crocheting. And other things that Pinterest would be happy to tell you about if you have a spare hour or 12.

• Winter coats, $8.50 for adults and $4.50 for kids

Gently worn coats and jackets from some well-known brands, including L.L.Bean, New Balance and Gap. Also Fashion Bug. You might remember them from such hits as “plus-size tank tops!” and “that white blouse you got 20 years ago but it still fits!” Oh, Fashion Bug, we miss you.

• Hershey’s Kisses Dessert Fondue Set, $3

As if melted chocolate isn’t a good enough reason to own a fondue set, this little pot is shaped like a Hershey’s Kiss! Both adorable and tasty. This one is not brand new, but it is in the original box, with the parts still wrapped in plastic. Clearly, someone did not agree with my “adorable and tasty” assessment. Their loss is your win.

• Wine glasses, 50 cents each

To replace the wine glass you dropped in shock while watching the season finale of “Married at First Sight” last week. Because, wow, Dave is an even bigger jerk than you first thought.

• Board games, $2

Classics such as Twister, Operation, Pictionary and Monopoly mixed with lesser known Malarky, Guess Who? and three versions of Scene It? I can’t vouch for the number of pieces in each set — it’s perfectly possible you may never actually be able to guess the who. But there’s still fun in trying.

• Jumbo universal TV remote, $1

Seriously, huge. There are TVs smaller than this remote. There may, in fact, be TVs smaller than the buttons on this remote. But if you have vision problems, it’s a great option. And you will certainly never lose it in the couch cushions.

• Paperback books, 25 cents each

So. Many. Romance novels. And all of them have their own way of delivering a boy-meets-girl storyline. A billionaire falls for a single mother. A billionaire falls for the mother of his child. A billionaire falls for the woman who takes care of his children. Maybe it’s all the same fictional billionaire and he’s just kind of a cad.

Best find: Light-up Santa tree topper, $3

Santa tree topper wearing a snow-white robe and looking rather majestic. In such good condition that he may have only graced a Christmas tree for a season or two, and likely in a home without pets, kids or, you know, any dust whatsoever. Perfect for the upcoming season. Which is upcoming faster and faster now that we’re in November.     

Think twice: Button jars, $3.50

Baby food jars filled with loose buttons in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Great if you don’t already have your own collection of orphaned buttons stashed somewhere. Hint: You definitely already have your own collection of orphaned buttons stashed somewhere.   

So spend your $3.50 somewhere else at the What Not Shop. You’ll be glad you did.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who love jumping in leaves as much as anyone.) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

Hershey’s Kisses Dessert Fondue Set, $3 at The What Not Shop thrift store in Rumford. All proceeds benefit the Hope Association, a nonprofit that serves adults with disabilities. So do good and eat chocolate.

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