4.03.2011

thrift store manifesto

when i was a little girl my grandma used to take me to the salvation army with her.  i never really understood what she was looking for, but i liked the way it felt in there.  like being in someone's house, full of their worn-in things.  it's warmer in there than it is in other stores and it smells funny and it's full of treasure.  every time we went in, i hoped there would be a sparkling sequined dress or something, for me.  the last time i remember going in there with her, i was probably 12 or 13 and knew about vintage and wanted to find something really amazing so i could casually say i bought it at the salvation army with my grandma, but i didn't find anything memorable.

when i was in high school my favorite store was a resale shop in the basement of a retirement home. it was a thrift store for the things the (rather well off) retirees didn't need or want anymore.  it was a very happy place for me.  i bought some things there that i still own; a pillowcase with a lavender kitten on it, a vintage hardy boys game board. the last time i stopped in clark was a baby and i wore or carried him down to that basement, i don't remember which, but i do remember that it was a struggle down the stairs and that i got a lot of funny looks and i didn't find anything memorable. 
 
now i have my own favorite salvation army, and i go there, a lot.  i got to take my grandma in once.  i knew how much she'd like it, and she did.  we were in there for a long time and we bought christmas things.  i know this place might eventually fade away from my life, but for now it feels like sparkles and treasure and being with my grandma.  it's warm and smells funny in a cozy-to-me way. alice and i always check for sparkly dresses in her size and sometimes they have one, and we buy it.

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20 comments:

  1. I feel every word of this post. Thrift stores are cozy and even a bit mystical and enchanted even. There's just something about the unknown history of every single item. I'm not trying to lure you to my blog but I think you would appreciate a recent post of mine about a certain $5 brass unicorn. Oh and I'm eagerly anticipating the premiere of your crap from the thrift store linky party... :)

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  2. Oh I have missed your Blog. I love that photo of the opp shop and how everything is colour co-ordinated ... looks like an opp shop rainbow (if there could be such a thing). Anyway I love it. I hear all the time of people finding awesome things in thrift stores, but never me! Nice to have you back. xx

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  3. Love 'em too! My new home doesn't have any nearby that I LOVE yet though. Your picture made me nostalgic. My girls love 'em just as much as I do. A little bit of museum and shopping at the same time...

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  4. I once bought platform shoes and a white polyester jump suit at a thrift store

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  5. you know how I feel about the thrift. It's seriously my happy, calm place. It can always bring down my anxiety a few levels.

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  6. One of my favorite teddy bears was bought at a thrift shop. He was shoved in a corner and his head is bent to one side either by defect or just use. But he's mine and his name is Gerbert and my baby girl loves him so.

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  7. I second what Emily said.

    Thrift is my Valium.


    ;)


    ---S.S.

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  8. I still remember this one thrift store in my home town called "The Hope Chest." To this day I remember every nook and cranny of that place, and I have dreams of it every once in a while, but in my dream it is a more expanded version, with so many cool treasures that I just don't want to wake up! I wish I could find one like that again near where I live now.

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  9. Did you arrange those pillows on the right side of that couch or were they like that? If you did, I bet the people at Salvation Army gave you real crazy eyes...

    Miss you!

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  10. there is a goodwill, and another type of thrift store, right near my house and I go there all the time to look for little treasures. it's so much more fun to hunt for something with a little life to it than just get the same cookie cutter items everyone else has at a regular store.

    i also love to scroll through ebay for cool things - so much more options, but you do lose the thrill of touching and holding and the atmosphere.

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  11. I seriously hope you'll take me there sometime! I know just what you mean.

    Steph

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  12. Love. You are a kindred spirit, my friend. And I love that couch.

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  13. I love every single thing about this post!

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  15. You know how I feel about thrift stores. It's so funny that you wrote about this because I went to SA on Friday and thought about you. I saw a table I really wanted but it was $500. That's not a typo. My SA is dumb.

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  16. My grandmother was the one who introduced me to yard sales and thrift shops too. I wasn't close to her like you were to yours, but that is one of the things I liked about her. My favorite thrift shops are in such bad parts of town that I won't go there with kids now...sniff...sniff. But, there are still a few that I frequent.

    P.S. I'm pretty sure I saw that sofa in a thrift store down here recently.

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  17. That sofa almost looks cute! HA!

    I LOVE me some thrift stores. I spent over an hour in one last week.

    And I love how you describe shopping with your Grandma... so lovely... :)

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  18. We are thrift store fans, too.

    My oldest daughter and I have our favorite thrift store. It's got a mix of mid-century estate goodies and amazing castoffs from the wealthy people with huge homes in the mountains. We always score something awesome.

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  19. (marlene, yes, i styled the sofa like that. of course you noticed. and the crazy eyes lady doesn't work there anymore, all the employees there now like me!)

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  20. i want that couch.
    and i want to go shopping with you!

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