Monday, November 4, 2013

A Day in Canton

I've never been a big shopper, but most of the women in my family absolutely loooove it. My sister, aunt and maternal grandmother regularly go shopping in Canton, a city about two hours from the Dallas-Fort Worth area that sets up this enormous open-air market once a month for vendors — and hordes of shoppers looking to score a deal — to attend. My aunt usually goes at least a few times per year, maybe even more.

I had never felt any inclination to go when I was younger, because it was described to me as "a giant flea market," and I just don't understand that thrill-of-the-hunt mindset that comes with flea-market shopping. Driving two hours to browse with no specific intended purchases? Are you nuts?

But a few weeks ago, my sister Rachel texted me and asked me if I wanted to go to Canton with her and my aunt. And I figured that I could go up to visit my family for the weekend, because if I didn't, I might not manage to see some of them until Christmas. So I agreed.

I later found out that the reason I got invited was because Rachel is dating a boy who is also named Matt, and when Rachel asked my aunt if she wanted to go to Canton with "me and Matt's mom," my aunt assumed that "Matt's mom" was my mother-in-law, and asked if I was going too. So I got invited. And then my aunt figured out what the heck was going on, but by then it was me, Rachel, Mom, my aunt, "Matt's mom" and the boyfriend himself who planned to spend the whole day shopping together.

(Because of the obvious confusion of having two significant others of the same name, we were all calling the boyfriend various names, and we figured that had to end so we could stop being confused as to which Matt was being referred to at any given point in time. So we finally all agreed that we would simply call the new boyfriend "Matteo." He used to live very close to the Texas-Mexico border, and that's what his mom called him when they lived there. So henceforth, should I ever mention Matteo, that is my sister's boyfriend, while "Matt" is still the name of my husband. Standard dibs rules applied.)

Anyway, we all got up super early on Saturday morning to make the trek to Canton. And when we got there, I realized that "giant flea market" doesn't really do it justice. Sure, there were flea-market-y parts that were outdoors and full of junk antiques. But really it was an ENORMOUS fairground that was packed with open-air pavilions with hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors selling everything from fancy decor and furniture to cheap knick-knacks and unusual products and services. (Apparently ear-stapling is a thing? Intended to help you lose weight and reduce stress?)

I was so surprised by what Canton turned out to be, that I felt it was my duty to take pictures.

I mean, seriously! This was a light fixture made out of a box spring!

Lamps made out of beer bottles! Every man cave needs one of these, clearly.

A lot of people brought their dogs. There were dogs in strollers, dogs sleeping in the aisles while their owners shopped, and tiny dogs on miniature couches.

I don't blame him. I was tired too.

If you were a REAL dog lover, you'd own a doggie doormat for your pooch to wipe its paws on.

There was licensed university paraphernalia around every corner, and a surprising amount of people wearing OU gear, like myself. I rocked my Oklahoma hoodie, because Rachel told me that everyone wears sweats and yoga pants to Canton. Which was mostly true. Some people were dressed to the nines, and I'm like, why would you wear heeled boots if you're going to be walking around outside for approximately eight hours with no place to sit down?

I did try fried pickle chips that Rachel bought. I love pickles, but gross.

I'm definitely missing that shopping gene. We walked through Canton from about 10 a.m. until almost 5 p.m., and while my aunt and Rachel and Matteo's mom bought several things, I only got one item (which I will share later this week, because it totally deserves its own post). I'm perfectly content to wander around and look at interesting things and buy nothing.

It was much more fun than I expected it to be, and we wrapped up the ride home with some Dairy Queen blizzards. Which I am always on board for.

Have you ever been to a flea market? Do you like to shop?


  1. I've never heard of Canton before! My parents used to take us to a flea market as kids, and we would wander around. And my mom LOVES those Country Peddler shows, which are pretty similar to this. I'm not a big shopper these days, but it sounds like you guys had a fun time!

  2. LOL about the Matt mix-up! My sister and I both married a Mike so it always gets confusing when we are all together...although what is worse is sharing a name with a dog. My dog's name is Amber and my older nephew was dating an Amber so every time we were call our dog, we'd get the girlfriend's attention instead.

    Love the pictures you snapped - looks like a fun place to spend the day! I can browse a place like that all day too and not buy anything.

  3. I do really like the shop, thought I don't really like spending money. And I like your linguistic way of distinguishing between the two men. Having a common name like "Rachel" can be very confusing at times. I don't even respond when I hear someone yelling my name anymore. :P

  4. I've been to Canton once, a few years ago. I would love to go back! Such awesome stuff!

  5. That place looks awesome - I can't wait to see what you bought!

  6. What a cool place! I love those tribal-y rugs at the beginning, and those cowhide chairs are pretty cool. I like their shape anyway--I couldn't really get away with cowhide in our little Santa Barbara apartment... (and I'll admit I'm incredibly jealous of your purchase--I'd love a colorful taser! That's such a weird thing to say but I'm okay with it). I've avoided "flea markets" for the most part in the past because I'm afraid I'd pick up a bunch of stuff for which I'd get in trouble afterwards, but I like your style--take a bunch of pictures home and maybe I won't buy stuff? maybe I lack the flea market shopping gene too!