Tag Archives: thrift stores

“If you touch me you’ll understand what happiness is…”*

*That’s a mighty claim, Andrew Lloyd Webber…

Yesterday I went to the Salvation Army. My plan was to buy a coffee table. The thing that’s so great about thrift stores like the Army, though, is that you never know what you’re going to find. For instance, in the electronics department I found these:

TWO televisions simultaneously playing “Cats”, paired with one television playing J. Lo and Matthew McConaughey’s “The Wedding Planner”. These three screens distracted my attention for at least five minutes. (Five of the best minutes of my life.)

In the end, I didn’t go home with a coffee table.  Nor did I go home with a TV or a VHS copy of “The Wedding Planner”.  (I already own it on DVD.)  Instead, I went home with a pair of rollerblades and a plaid shirt that was in the men’s department even though it’s clearly a woman’s shirt.

Updates on future failed attempts to purchase a coffee table to follow.  I wrote a poem about a coffee table when I was in college.  It was just a list of stuff that had been left on the one in my dorm room after a particularly drunken weekend.

Poets are so pretentious.

Please experience 3:00:

Tim Gunn Lament / Ode to the Thrift Store

A non-scientific poll from CNN.com:
Has the economy driven you to shop at thrift stores?
Yes 18%    17192
No 54% 49954
I was already a thrift store shopper   28% 26195
Total Votes: 93341


At first I was in a bit of a tizzy over these figures.  54% of people have no appreciation for my favorite thing ever!  I was also feeling a bit resentful of the 18% of people who are only now shopping at thrift stores.  It’s comparable to, I don’t know, being best friends with someone for just over a year.  And then these other chicks and dudes come along who decide THEY want to be best friends with your pal, too.  Only it’s totally clear that they will never love or understand your best friend as much as you do.  They’re just using the generosity and lack of pretense of thrift stores until they go back to their financially abusive relationship with Lady Foot Locker and Baby Gap.    



I just don’t understand the kind of people who attend Fashion Week.  They’re the same people who walk in Saks and actually buy something.  There was this report on Nightline a few weeks ago in which Tim Gunn walks down 5th Avenue with Vicki Mabrey all aghast over the sales at the uber-snobby stores.  At one point Tim Gunn calls the prices “a decimation for the elite and affluent.”  I don’t really know what that means (and I don’t think he does either), but it sounds obnoxious.

You won’t hear the words “elite” or “affluent” when you walk in the Salvation Army or the Goodwill.  You’ll hear solid gold oldies paired with an endearing musty odor.  It’s like walking straight into Grandma’s basement–you never know what you’ll find!  Orthopedic shoes for $4?  Bargain.  An extra large t-shirt featuring Joey Lawrence circa his “Blossom” days?  Just what I needed. 

My most recent thrift store purchase: Earrings in the shape of little umbrellas for 89 cents.  Also, a green and orange reversible jacket vest for $4.99.  It’s down feather, too, so it’s super warm! 

GOOD NEWS: If 5th Avenue is out of your price range, you can always try the Palmetto Expressway:

(I got over my tizzy upon realizing more umbrella earrings and reversible down feather vests for me.)