Memories: thrifting

Funny how chic thrift stores are now, what with the refinishing/repainting/revamping potential that their treasures inspire. Or perhaps it's always been chic to thrift shop and it's thanks to the astonishingly creative DIY bloggers out there that the concept is finally receiving accolades.

When I was a bossy little booger younger, I'd accompany my mother on thrift store trips. In those days my parents were just starting out with their careers, which meant pinching pennies until Dad got promoted and we could "move on up". But before all that, it was all about the thrift stores.

Funny as it sounds now, it was quite the outing for us. My mother would put my hair up in curly pigtails, wriggle me into a dress and patent leather Mary Janes, put on her best "about town" coat, plop my little brother in his stroller, and we were off. My mother's the type of person who, if we had a maid, would clean the house first so that it would look presentable for the maid. Ma, it's not like we were going to Tiffany's.

No, we were just thrifting. I vaguely remember wandering amongst those aisles displaying the once-loved belongings of other people. Back then and even now, being in a thrift store felt like I'd wandered into someone's mysterious home, a bit like a treasure hunt. My mother would purchase household things like vintage dishes, knicked-up, overly varnished furniture, and sometimes clothes. But when it came to our clothes (my brother's and mine), they were always new and unworn from department stores. So you see, she loved thrifting so much because it allowed her to save money towards "nicer" stuff for her children. After these sort of trips, she'd reward us with a treat from a little foreign candy shop down the street. Once, I ate so many sour candies, my tongue felt fuzzy. This other time, I fell asleep while licking a lollipop and woke up screaming because it got stuck to my pigtail (can't remember which one but I was like "What just happened......").

So I guess you can say thrifting holds some fond memories for me. Whether it's a Craigs List find , the local thrift shop, gently used furniture store scores, garage sales, curbside giveaways, or my parents' attic, I've never turned my nose up at them. Half the fun is realizing the potential in this type of "treasure hunting"; saving money is the icing on the cake.

Mostly, it's the memories that I love......the ones from my own thrifting experiences and the imagined ones belonging to the pieces I stumble upon. For instance, I wonder who owned this ornate mirror that I almost walked by because it was tucked behind a rack of coats and a swan-shaped basket?

For $10, I brought it home with me. I have no idea where it's going but I just couldn't abandon it....who knows how long before someone else realized its potential? I keep envisioning it in a future girl's nursery. (No, I'm not with child, sorry family.)