Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thrift Stores

Not-fiction again.  Don't worry, I am plodding along on a new story and hoping the parts that are writer's blocked will be chewed away by writer's termites as the story flows.

Today, I was on my way to a doctor's appointment that got delayed.  In making use of the delay, Bob (my guy) and I payed a visit to a thrift store we'd been to before. 

I love second-hand stores.  I really do.  They're the best places for me to get pants for work (which are going to be worn out pretty quickly by me, considering what I do).  It's great to spend five bucks on a pair of jeans than twenty.  One finds funny stuff in thrift stores, too - like jeans that have velvet fuzz all over them.

I also like just looking around thrift-shops for the kitsch, history and nostalgia.  It seems like I'm always finding stuff there that I remember seeing in my grandmother's house.  Some of the stuff is old craft items and things that show the wear of having once been loved.  That's neat, that's real neat. 

And old computer stuff for those who still enjoy using obsolete computers, or are nostalgic for the components thereof... It almost makes me want kids because I could point and say "Oh, this is an old modem" or "This is an electric typewriter, I used to use one to write school reports."

Of course, in the dressing rooms, the are signs everywhere "No Shoplifting / Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted."  This prompted me to wonder just how pathetic or desperate someone has to be to shoplift from a thrift-shop.  My mind imagined a sad scenario involving people too poor to even afford cheap second-hand goods, but too proud to ask the store's charities for help.  I started thinking back to the year I worked for a KFC and the difference between the guy scrounging in the restaurant dumpster for "bones for his dog" and the destitute couple that came in one time when I was at register who bravely asked if we could spare them a meal.  (Our manager allowed it, if he hadn't, I would have bought something for them out of my own pocket).  

Then, I also thought back to the time when I was a child when my mother worked for a Salvation Army store.  She worked in the drop-off truck sorting out the good from the bad regarding what was to go in the store.  (Some people do try to give actual *junk* to thrift stores, which is why there are people to sort.  Contrary to a popular Weird Al song, Goodwill does not take donations of second-hand underwear).  My mom got little me free toys all the time - on the grounds that "people were tossing this anyway."  I found out later that she wasn't really supposed to do that... Most of the items got re-gifted to SA in the end, anyway, when I grew out of them.   I also remember days when I had no school and my sister couldn't watch me when I'd spend the day with mom at work and I'd spend all day in the back of that truck playing with the toys - regardless of whether or not I took them home.  I guess what I'm saying is that early on, I developed a love for scavenging. 

Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs, anyway, being the youngest child of the family...

Another funny thing is that I didn't realize that "Salvation Army" was religiously-connected until I was a teenager, I think.  I remember as a kid, I thought the "salvation" part was because they salvaged old stuff.  Seriously. 

Er, anyway, for under thirty dollars today, I got a good haul at Impact - four pairs of sturdy pants, a "new" coat and a couple of jewelry-chains to dissect for my jewelry-making.  And a look back through time, back into the distant 1980s and 1990s.  Ooh. *Waggles fingers.*  

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