The Thrift Store and Me

When we were small my mom was in college and worked full time. So we spent a lot of time with my grandparents on my mom’s side. Especially on the weekends. My grandfather loved yard sales so that’s how we spent the majority of our Saturday mornings; him with the Saturday paper in hand and off we went. I don’t remember my grandfather bargaining or trying to chew anyone down the price on anything. I remember him with his arms behind him looking at the various treasures of the day. He would buy and collect these Avon figurines and perfume bottles. I never really cared for them even as a child but he loved them. My grandfather also collected coins and every now and then he would take us into downtown Manhattan. In those days you could park your car on the lower level of the ferry and just drive off into the city when the boat arrived. It was pretty cool. My grandfather would take us to these stores that were very old and very dusty. But you just knew there were treasures there for Grandpa. He would always purchase something and we would be on our way home.

So I have yard sale-ing in my blood. Although in the past few years I prefer the thrift store. I call it my happy place. When things were bad with Thomas years ago, I used to go to the thrift store and scour the racks on a mission to find treasures. And I was successful. But…you have to have patience. Things don’t just jump out at you and say, “Here I am! Buy me!” You have to *look*. I’ve found a lot of designer things. I’m a total thrifting snob meaning I don’t buy things that I can easily afford like I’ll not buy most mall brands at the thrift store and believe me there are plenty of Forever 21 tops floating around this city in the thrifting world. Yesterday I found a Balenciaga bag. It’s beautiful. A tweak here and there and she’s ready to roll. This is my 2nd Balenciaga bag I’ve thrifted. The first one I gave away to a huge Bal fan so it was easy to make someone so happy with my find. This one I like a lot so I’ll keep her and wear with pride. I’ve thrifted a Chanel bag. It’s brown nylon and leather and lined in leather. It was easy to see it was authentic when I checked off all the things I was looking for. Last week the thrift store had a fake Chanel evening bag hanging behind the counter. Of course I had to see it and the freaking thing ripped when I opened it, OMG I wanted to die, I quickly told the store manager what happened and it was no big deal thank goodness.

There’s something about the thrift store that keeps me coming back. The thrill of the hunt is one reason. Another reason is that no one bothers you there. You’re left alone and to me that’s a good thing. I say hello to other regulars like me and maybe some small talk but that’s about it. After pleasantries are exchanged we go our separate ways to find whatever we’re looking for. I find rarely are we looking for the same things. And I’ve only had one incident where someone took my cart. I quickly found the woman and proclaimed, “you took my cart!” It was quickly returned to me. The nerve!

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