I have always envied people who thrift well. You've met at least one of them, I bet. You say, "oh my gosh I love your totally unique and vintage looking shirt/bag/end table/necklace/artwork/sweater set! Wherever did you happen upon such an awesome item?"
Their answer is always annoying: "Oh this? Goodwill/ARC/Savers/The DAV."
It's a skill, I think, and one that I've thought for a long time that I don't have. But recently I hit my stride. I walked into Goodwill with big dreams and I walked out with a cartful of treasures. I can't remember the last time I was so pleased with myself. I think it had something to do with karaoke? Either way. This was a good feeling.
I can't believe it took me so long to figure this out. I think the whole idea behind it - behind purchasing something that someone once already purchased and loved and is done with - is lovely. Because you take something that's been around the block a time or two. Something that's been used and loved and let go and used and loved and let go and maybe held on to in memory or spirit, but even then, let go. Something that is beautiful in its wornness, lovely in it's usedness, potential-full in it's wear and tear. And that thing - it can be turned into something entirely different, if you want it to. A beat up old frame can house a new family portrait or can be loved again as trendy wall art. A plate can be repurposed as a cake tray. Anything can be anything else. It is, for all intents and purposes, the same reason I love working with and living among broken people; because redemption is a possibility, for me as much as for them.
Thrifting is redemptive.
And let's be honest. The world is full of stuff. And everything good that exists has more than likely already been bought at least once anyway. Why waste good money on buying it again when you can have the one that other lady already bought once for the low, low price of $2.49 and half off of THAT with a pink sticker on it? I'm just saying.