What I Never Knew I Needed From the Clearance Aisle

What I Never Knew I Needed From the Clearance Aisle


map of paris

The other day Hobby Lobby had an 80% off sale.  And since nothing says date night more than rows and rows of urns and picture frames and pillows and bird’s nests marked with yellow stickers for a mere fraction of their original price….

….I brought my husband along for the treasure hunt.

He stopped to join all the other patient husbands in the front by the candy aisle and I took off in a full sprint to the back of the store.

First one aisle….then another.  And then…..half way down aisle two….I saw it.

You know…IT.

The thing that you find…..that you never knew that you wanted….that you had absolutely, positively no idea that you ever even needed….

….until you find it and wonder how you have existed until this moment without having it in your life.

map of paris with rail system

It was gray and faded and full of typography and fancy French words and a three dimensional metal framework on top.

As we say in Kentucky…..

….I almost had a come apart.

I ran down the aisle to it and lugged it off the shelf before anyone else could grab it and immediately tried to awkwardly fit it into the cart.

Except in my excitement I didn’t realize that it was really too big.   And when I went to quickly push the cart to the check-out line before Hobby Lobby realized what a treasure they had in their clearance aisle and change their minds about the price…..it suddenly fell out of the cart and onto the floor and got a little more scratched up…..

….which made me love it even more. 

paris street map with railways

I shoved it back into the cart and pushed it up to the front of the store where I waved frantically to my husband and pointed at it and danced with excitement.

“Look what I found.  Can you even believe it?  Isn’t it beautiful?” I said in a rush.  “And it’s 80% off!” 

He calmly shifted the piece from its precarious position in the cart and smiled.

No words were necessary.

This was not his first 80% off rodeo.

using maps as wall art

And we bought it and loaded it into the car and as we pulled out of the parking lot….I let out a sigh of satisfaction and thought to myself how amazing it was going to look on the chalkboard in the living room.

My husband smiled at me across the car.  “I’m so happy you bought it.” he said.  “I think it’s functional and educational, too.  The kids can learn a lot about other places in the world.”




Had he been to the same 80% sale that I’d been to?

I stared at him in confusion.

streets of paris

“You know….the map,” he continued.  “It’s a map.  A map of the railway system of Paris.”

I looked at him.

And then I glanced back at the piece in the back seat.


Sure enough…..it was a map.  Somehow in my 80% off clearance haze…..I had managed to overlook that detail.

Ummm……of course,” I said. “Good thing we bought that….ummm….that educational, highly functional map.”


Good thing I married him.

Good thing his eyes still twinkle when I mention the clearance aisle.

And good thing when I was stopping to admire all the pretty pictures…..

….he knew which direction we were going all along. :)

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