Saturday, March 1, 2014

the thrift store

I have an enduring love for thrift stores. I think it was bred into my family line. My grandmother took my mother to the thrift stores. My mother, in turn. took me. Not that she had much of a choice. I grew up ridiculously poor. One step away from homeless poor to give you an idea.

I have long since surpassed the need to shop second hand. But, now when I go to a regular store I have a hard time. I am usually annoyed by the terrible music playing over my head. Then, I am displeased with the people asking me if I need help. Note to my audience: Do not hold out your arms and flail saying I demand to be dressed. It gains an odd reaction. Then, there is all the superfluous retail decor. How does one shop this way?

For myself, I like the hunt. Walking through the bare-bones mixed aisle of the thrift store. Running my hands over all the items; each having their own history. I become a predator. An eagle for hand-me-downs.

I will adopt you, sweater. I will take you home and love you the way you should be loved. You don't have to hang on this rack, with all these other ugly sweaters. You can tell me your stories and keep me warm. We will be symbiotic. We will be master and servant  We will bond.

Okay. Maybe that is a little extreme but this is what happens inside my head.

So, imagine my surprise when just the other day I was speaking to someone and they told me they don't like thrift stores and would never shop at them.

"Why don't you like them?" I asked with a degree of self indulgent curiosity.

"The clothes smell."

I laughed and made a judgmental expression "You wash the clothes before you wear them and if something smells that awful, don't buy it."

"Well, it's just gross. I prefer shopping at regular stores where the clothes are clean."

I sighed and smiled my usual mischievous grin "You do realize that the clothes that you buy from the store are most likely full of more chemicals and toxins than most clothes at the thrift store?"

"I like chemicals."

And that, my friends, is when I ended the conversation. That night, I went straight to the thrift store as an act of pure rebellion and maybe a little self reassurance.

I know. chemicals make up a lot of things. I mean chemical reactions create much of the processes that are required to live. But I am pretty sure she meant that she likes the smell of polyester and plastic. 

To conclude my little rant, I will post Thrift Store by Macklemore. Not because I am a huge Macklemore fan. But, if I were a male hip hop artist, I would have probably made this song myself but with less "big cock" and more melodic harmony.



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