The Monmouth General Store is a place We Normally Wouldn’t Go, yet
couldn’t resist. How many little general stores have the guts to
advertise themselves as having “All your holiday needs”?

So, guts. Shopping. Intrigue. Sounds like a decent Wednesday afternoon.

Located on Main Street (Route 132) in Monmouth, the inside is
L-shaped and something smaller than the average convenience store. The
aforementioned “holiday needs” are front and center at the Monmouth General Store: Elvis Presley
greeting cards. Sparkly tree decorations. Bath salts. Faux-leather
clutches. Action figures. On a tight buying-and-giving deadline, a
shopper could do much worse. 

It also has traditional corner store offerings — coffee, diapers,
canned goods, milk — and frozen fish. More on those ichths in a minute.

• 2- by 800-inch clear mailing tape, $3.99
‘Tis the season!
Mail packages off early and you can pick the slowest (and cheapest)
option available. Dec. 1 feels like a good date to shoot for.

• Kids’ matching Hulk T-shirts and shorts, $11.99/set
For the boy or girl with anger issues. Or who’s just an Incredible Hulk fan. That works, too.

• Butterfly-shaped bubble wand, $2.59
A sweet reminder that summer will be here in six short months, along with its soapy residue. A good gift to be enjoyed later.

• Pampered Pooches knitting needles and 12 dog sweater patterns, $9.95
Bag Lady is unabashedly pro-dressing one’s dog. Mr. Bag Lady is vehemently anti-dressing one’s dog.
But stay tuned. If I knit us all matching sweaters, how could he possibly resist? I mean, unless his heart is made of coal and he secretly doesn’t love the dogs and me. (Lesson one on how to back husband into uncomfortable corner.)

• Gingerbread man candle, $2.99
The small pottery jar has a
cinnamon candle inside and a puffy white cloth hat on the gingerbread
man’s head. That hat makes this little man.

Best find: “Welcome to Fabulous Monmouth” T-shirts, assorted sizes/colors, $9.99
unabashed nod to that famous Vegas sign and motto — “Whatever happens
here, stays here … but nothing ever really happens here” — and
adorable nonetheless. Perfect for out-of-town relatives (“See what the
Maine cousins got us?”). Also perfect for Bag Lady. I snatched one up
at embarrassing speed.

Think twice: Frozen smelts, $2 each
Not sure if these are
intended for dining or bait. Just one of the reasons (smell being one,
ability to easily offend another) that I would leave these little
beasties alone come gift-giving time. Love is not a frozen smelt.

A shout-out to the generous blonde
In the Christmas Tree
Shops in South Portland last week, while passing carts in the aisle, a
thirty-something blond stranger asked Bag Lady, “Do you have the family
and friends coupon? I’ve got an extra.”

She handed it over, carted off, and minutes later, Bag Lady and
Good-Buy Girl both saved 20 percent off our purchases at the register.
It made for a beautiful start to our shopping day. Thank you much,
fellow shopper. I’ll remember to pass that on.

Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish,
sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are blowing their coats despite
the fall temps, a calculated move to force Bag Lady to vacuum more) and
the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at
[email protected]

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