In other parts of the country, people donate their used items to the Salvation Army. We have some Salvation Army stores in Utah, but a much more prominent and influential monopoly has control of the thrift market here in Zion. It’s called Deseret Industries, but the populace calls it The DI for short.
The DI is sponsored by the LDS Church (you know, the Mormons), so it has a stronghold over this area. Plus, it’s so darn easy to donate. There is a DI within walking distance of my house. There was a DI within walking distance of my last house, too. They are everywhere.
Their prices are good, too. It’s not like some thrift stores which mark their items high and then systematically keep marking them lower until they finally get to a price that someone will buy them. If it’s a pair of jeans, it’s going to be six bucks whether they are Calvin Kleins or Wranglers. Shorts are three bucks, no matter what. Just like their new billboards say, they have “Bargains to DI for.” Imagine me yuck-yucking and slapping my knee right now, please.
Growing up Jehovah Witness in this city, there have been so many times when I have felt antagonistic toward the LDS church. The Klingon within me says that I shouldn’t donate my old clothes to The DI because that is aiding the enemy. This Klingon has no problem with me shopping at The DI because I’m just taking advantage of their incredible prices, which makes no sense because in that scenario, I’m actually giving money to “the enemy.” Go figure. The Vulcan inside me reminds me of how convenient it is to donate to The DI. I just swing by the place and drop the stuff off. They even give me a receipt for my taxes if I’m willing to wait for it.
Kathleen Bennett, my friend who lives in San Francisco, always goes DI shopping with me when she comes back to town. She used to live here and it’s one of the few things that Salt Lake City has over San Francisco. We have DI thrift shopping and lots of flavors of Jello in our grocery stores. Last time she was here, she was looking for a pair of Lucky Brand jeans (remember, for only six bucks!). We didn’t find any in her size that time, but we did find some cool things for her, namely a bitchin’ pair of shoes (only six bucks). I’m always excited when Kathleen comes to town because she is one of the few people who have the stamina to DI shop with me.
Since I’ve been losing weight, the DI is a blessing to me. I can get a whole new wardrobe every few months on very little money. I don’t have to swim in my “fat” clothes and I can get rid of those oversized clothes as soon as they start to hang on me. There is no temptation to gain the weight again because those clothes are gone back to The DI from whence they came. When I get to my final goal weight, I’ll buy myself all new clothes, but until then, I’m hitting The DI every couple of months for clothes I can shrink into.
I don’t know why I feel the need to tell you about The DI. This entry is almost like a commercial for them, which is really making the Klingon within me boil. I guess I just wanted to make sure that you knew what the hell I was talking about if I say something like, “I’m going to give that away to the DI” or “Stacey and I are going DI shopping for some skinnier clothes. I’m too small for those size 7 jeans I bought a couple months ago.” That sort of thing.
If you ever find yourself in Salt Lake City, the two best DI’s are the one on 45th and Main and the one in Sandy on 7th East by the Sandy Mall. You are pretty much guaranteed to find really good brands there like Calvin Klein, Old Navy, Gap, Mossimo and I’ve even found the illusive Lucky Brand jeans there before, but they wouldn’t have fit Kathleen. They were way too big.