I think the very first thing I spotted when we walked in were a couple of things sitting on the ground in front a gentleman's other, rather nondescript, stuff.
Oh, but these caught my eye right off the bat!
It was the two vintage wooden jewelry boxes you see below in my first four photos on this post:
I actually really like the way it looks with both.
The little tambour-style doors slide open to reveal two additional drawers hidden inside:
Other than the missing backdrop mirror I mentioned, there isn't a thing wrong with either of them.
The nice man said "Please take those home with you so I don't have to throw them away!"
("Huh?" "Throw them away??", I thought to myself....)
I said something like, "Oh, no, I'll pay you something for them."
He said "No, you can have them - it saves me having to take them and get rid of them - in fact, all of the things in that box are free."
(There was a box sitting nearby. Mind you, the two things I was looking at had been sitting on the ground in front, all by themselves, looking like nobody cared about them. Well, I cared about them!
And, I guarantee you that other people had walked right by and not even given them a second glance.)
I looked at the box and saw a couple of other things that looked interesting so I glanced very quickly through some of it.
I said, "Well - okay, but I'll give you something for it."
He said "No, you won't - I won't take your money."
We had just gotten there, so I said I would come back for it, if that was all right - and that was fine with him, so I added my two little jewelry box treasures to the box and he set it in the back for me to pick up later.
This lovely apron was in the box - not one thing wrong with it:
There was more, including two or three things that were worthless to me - but hey, he wanted to get rid of the whole box, so that was fine with me!
He had also told us that "That's one thing I can't sell here to save my life is crafting stuff".
There wasn't THAT much "crafting stuff" in the box.
And those two vintage (Made In Japan) wooden jewelry boxes at the top of my post are absolute treasures, as far as I'm concerned!
I LOVE them both!
First of all, let me tell you that over the course of my conversations with this nice flea market man, including when we were done shopping and I went back to pick up my "free" box, I offered no less than three times to pay him for my items. Because, you see - they were definitely worth something to ME.
Each time, he answered that he would not take my money. (You can ask Lori if you don't believe me - she was right there.)
So I gave up, thanked him profusely, and we left.
Later that afternoon, I took a closer look at more of the things that were in the box.
Did you notice that little blue floral cosmetic bag in the second-to-last photo?
Well, I found three dollars inside of it.
So in reality, my items weren't free - rather, I got PAID three bucks to take them away!
And that, my friends, is my story about my "Better Than Free" flea market box.