Recalculating…

I texted my dad today: “As your father’s day gift, would you like to drive an hour away to pick up clothing racks for my shop tonight?” I’m half serious, half kidding. He says yes (in fact, he responds: “Yes!!!! Thank you!!!!!!”) This is the least of the crazier things I’ve asked, or told, him in my life. Like that one time I wanted to live on a school bus for as long as possible for a stupid radio promotion. Or the time I told him I was quitting my sales job to follow my dream of being a tv reporter. Fast forward even to last month when I tell him I’m opening a clothing consignment shop in North Troy. Ya know, with all the spare time I don’t have. Unfortunately, once a crazy idea pops in my head, I have to chase it. What I didn’t expect today was a goose chase all over Albany and Schoharie County as my ever-so-patient dad and my not-so-patient self went to pick up his “Father’s Day gifts.”

What happened in the following 6 hours can be summed up in the following: low gas tank, wrong address in gps, back country roads, no cell service, no gps at all, stopping car in middle of back country road to get gps signal, realizing there’s a fawn and momma deer staring at us like we’re crazy, getting gps signal by sticking our phones out the window, losing gps signal, more dirt roads, five u-turns, finding signal, losing signal, and finding it at the last minute to finally make our destination –which took twice as long as it was supposed to. Wow, I pick great gifts for Dad!

I’ve got a Grand Opening in less than 5 days and everything that could go wrong in the past couple days is going wrong. Wasting a whole night driving all over the countryside is the icing on the cake for me. I proceed to take the entire trip back to civilization to vent to my dad about anything and everything going on in my life. There’s laughter, there’s some tears. I get loud, I get louder. I guess the therapy session is all part of his Father’s Day gift package. At one point, I wonder out loud: things happen for a reason, right? That’s what everyone says. Well what if our bad/wrong decisions change the course of fate and what was supposed to happen never did because of our fault? This topic can get pretty deep and I’m too tired for that as we drive along. It’s now dark outside and my stomach is rumbling from no dinner. It feels as if I’ve been gone so long I question if my dog will recognize me. I think about all the things I could have been accomplishing- worse, all the things my busy father could have been getting done. We have one final stop for my job– the tv reporting one, not the shop one–that came up last minute.  Two turns away, we drive past a house with trash by the curb. This is bad. My dad sees an office chair. SCREEEECH. We pull over and sure enough the home owner is outside. He must think we’re nuts as we get out of the vehicle and my dad sits in the chair. What happens next is unbelievable. The homeowner mentions he’s cleaning his place out because he’s moving. My dad asks where. Troy, the homeowner says. NO WAY! I scream at the poor guy, “I’m opening a consignment shop in Troy!” Then as if I’m having an epiphany, I realize I know this guy! NO WAY! We have a mutual acquaintance NO WAY! Then we find out it’s several mutual acquaintances. NO WAY! His neighbor is with him– minutes later, my dad realizes he knows the neighbor from working together in the past! NO WAY! We all chat for a good while about good ol Troy, mutual friends and so many things. NO WAY! I can’t stop myself from saying a couple of times, “what a small world!!” Oh, and NO WAY!

Climbing back into my dad’s SUV, I can’t help but get goosebumps thinking about my earlier emotional conversation with my dad. Do things happen for a reason sometimes even unbeknownst to us why or do our decisions singlehandedly change the future? It seems so miniscule but if we never got lost and turned around and delayed, this chance meeting would have never happened. What a humbling yet exhilarating thought that this happened by “chance”…And all because I decided to get my dad clothing racks for Father’s Day.

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High Maintenance, Low Budget

High Maintenance on a Low Budget. I should trademark that phrase. It’s been my slogan for as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure it started because I have an obsession with pretty dresses and heels so people always assume I’m high maintenance. Well, I’m not. In fact, I was quite the tomboy growing up and loved gloating about the fact that I had a better fort than my brothers- who were, might I add, very jealous of my four actual real walls that stayed together. They would try to sneak around my fort with their friends and break it down. I fought back. Fiercely. Eventually though I started building a Barbie dollhouse in my bedroom instead of a fort in the backyard. It didn’t help that my bedroom was Precious Moments theme and *all* pink (walls, carpet, curtains- you name it) …oh, and every family picture you see of my childhood, my mom has my sisters and I in pretty dresses and big beautiful bows on our heads. Yes, some years we matched. No, none of us are twins. While I still wear pretty dresses and skirts nowadays, I also have that untamed, wild streak running through my blood from my younger childhood. Case in point: I have a list going of everything I’ve done in skirt & heels- riding a motorcycle, shooting guns, walking my dog, playing laser tag, cleaning the streets of Troy, painting my clothing shop… I’ll spare you the rest of the list.

So when I decided on a whim last month to chase a great opportunity (and at the same time, a dream of mine) and open a consignment shop, it was no big surprise that it involved clothes. Lots of them. Consigning has really flourished the past couple years in light of the economic hardships a lot of people are facing. It allows people- men and women alike to make some extra cash on their brand name clothes that they have never/hardly ever wear. It’s the fashionable way to recycle! Not quite content with just that, I’ve also decided to have a boutique section and a thrift section in the shop. So there’s something for everybody, even the furry, four legged family members of your family. I’m excited about what I hope will be a fashion burst of energy to North Troy and soon all of the Burgh–yes, even all of Troy, can be high maintenance on a low budget!

If you’d like to consign, learn more about the shop (or even give me advice on being a small business owner!), please feel free to reach out to me!

Introduction

Who am I? Aliz Koletas

What do I do? Report for Parentology every Sunday at 10 am on channel 10

Where I grew up? North Troy

When I said my first word? Not until I was almost 5. Now I can’t shut up.

Why a blog? Since the Greeks invented blogs, why not?

Growing up, sometimes I was embarrassed about being Greek. Maybe it was the big nose, the loud family, the strong accents or the whole eating-a-lamb’s-brain-for-fun. I didn’t really “get it” when my dad would repeatedly talk about King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermoplyae or how two of his mom’s siblings died during World War II due to hunger. Something happens when you get older though and you start to appreciate your heritage. It’s part of who you are and you can’t hide from it. You must embrace it. Once that happens, life starts to make more sense.

That’s how I think of Troy. I remember growing up and quietly admitting that I was from “around” Troy. Residents were leaving the city. People from other states referred to it as “Troy-let” … and Downtown wasn’t a place you’d go to hang out at with your family on a Friday night. But I’ve slowly witnessed in the past decade or so a revitalization in Troy that I personally have never seen before. Although a lady never tells her age, I readily admit I’m not old enough to know if Troy has seen better days than the present. Maybe it’s the optimist in me that says the best days are yet to come. Yes, there are still some things that could be better in the city. I feel as if now though there’s a sense of community that has me wanting to embrace it with wide open arms.

I don’t know if it’s possible to be “too” Greek but this Hellenic girl is loudly proclaiming her Trojan heritage! Zito Troy! Long live Troy!