The holiday season is upon us and with it will come my annual pilgrimage to the old "Day-twah" to eat, drink, and be merry with those whom I love fiercely.
And like any occasion when my mom and I are left alone together, there will no doubt be lots and lots of shopping going on. My plan is to be there for four days so that should be enough time to hit downtown Royal Oak, Birmingham, the outlet mall in Auburn Hills and finally, the little basement treasure trove which shall remain nameless. We'll call it, er, The Speakeasy.
I've refrained from blogging about this gem in the past for fear of outing the dear women who run the cash-only clothing store out of a residential basement in an affluent Detroit suburb.
But I think as long as I assign them aliases it'll be fine. And besides, I just can't keep the secret anymore.
It all began when a friend of my Aunt Carol--not a very stylish friend, mind you, I once witnessed her play the acoustic and sing Kumbaya around a campfire...true story--enticed said aunt (who is impossibly thrifty) to join her on a trip to this "store." Aunt Carol was skeptical, but she returned from the covert op with so many stories and new outfits my mom just had to try it, too. And then my mom told me about it and my aunt told her daughters and on and on.
So I was skeptical, too, with good reason people. We arrived (by appointment) a couple of months ago at this huge 70's-style ranch and this wildly eccentric woman--think gold lame scrunchy and over-the-knee boots--answered the door with all the enthusiasm of a long-lost relative. We'll call her Betty. After instructing us to leave our shoes by the door and our purses with her, Betty led us down to her basement, the door to which stood ominously shut.
After all the stories mom and aunt Carol had told me I imagined what awaited me beyond; a sort of clothing El Dorado perhaps, with gleaming shelves and perfumed dressing rooms and maybe even a pony. But when the door squeaked open I saw only a musty basement. There were clothes hanging everywhere mind you, but it was a musty basement. I gathered all the faith I have in my mom's taste and soldiered on into the gently-used designer abyss.
...and had a FRIGGING blast.
Oh, it's odd, but also awesome. There are no dressing rooms, so when you pull something off the rack you'd like to try on, you just strip. Right there. In front of anyone else who may be shopping at the time. And when it's time to make your purchases, like say, a Chanel belt for $100, you hand Betty the cash and she hands you your purchase is a discreet brown paper bag.
Seriously, if you're going to be in the Detroit area, send me an email and I'll give you the (real) deets on this place. You'll feel kinda bad while you're in that little hole of retail sin, but you'll also feel very, very good.