Driving back from visiting the Shaker Christmas Fair at Sabbathday Lake in Maine today, we decided to stop in at the Poland House at 338 Main Street in Poland.
My senses were overwhelmed. I have never been in a more crammed, crowded, and fascinating panoply of home decor both old and new. Every single nook and cranny in that old home was stuffed to overflowing with things to look at and covet – one example below, which doesn’t do the place justice:
I loved so many things, and wished I were richer than Crœsus so I could decorate my own home with some of these treasures.
An adorable mini-nutcracker stand.
But beware: my enjoyment of the atmosphere was soured like vinegar added to milk – read below the review I posted at Yelp:
I was totally gobsmacked by the incredible selection of stuff (we came at Christmas time, the atmosphere was mind-blowing.) Much of it was new, but there were a lot of really, really cool antiques. As I was leaving I asked the proprietor if this was how it looked after the Christmas season, and he said, no, he takes it all down by himself and replaces it with the antique stuff.
Then he saw my phone out and asked, “You weren’t taking pictures, were you?” I said, “Yes, isn’t that all right?” He replied, “No. People who come in and take pictures without asking are beyond me.”
Fine, dingaling. You may think that owning a half-million-dollar house stuffed to the gills with millions of dollars worth of inventory makes you better than everyone else, but here’s a couple of tips:
- If you don’t want people taking pictures, post a sign on your door to that effect.
- If someone happens to be taking pictures, you could ask them politely not to – something like “I appreciate your coming in, but I’d prefer you not take pictures.”
- Don’t make people feel like an idiot. I was taking photos to show everyone what an amazing place you run. Instead, you get one measly star for being a turdcasket.
So if you like lots of amazing knickknacks and decorative stuff, by all means shop here. The prices are not too outrageous, some of them seemed quite reasonable. But be warned – the proprietor doesn’t give a rat’s south-40 for his clientele.
It’s clearly not just me: have a gander at this review left by another Yelper, Marie H, on September 7th:
Well I didn’t get very far although the shop looks interesting. I chose to take a bike ride and stopped there to look around. The guy was outside and never said hello, just” you’re not going to carry much with that!” Eying my bike. Against my better judgment I walked in the entryway and started looking. He said ” can’t be too healthy doing that on a day like this. ( he could use some pedaling). The atmosphere really felt hostile to me so I left. He said ” that it?”
Will never go in there again
Every moment is a choice, and every choice has prices and benefits. Treat people well, and they’ll come flocking to your door. Treat them like dirt, and they’ll never come back.
The Old Wolf has spoken.