Thrifting for Thrills
2019 just started and it’s already the worst. Fashion wise, it’s fine. We’re knee deep in award season and the gowns are flowing. Lady Gaga is giving us life around every corner and it’s great. Personally, financially, I can see dark days ahead of me. Being that I am without health insurance, I find the only treatment I can afford is retail therapy. With the hellacious impending medical bills looming, I won’t even be able to afford that. So, what’s a girl to do when she finds herself suddenly wearing a financial belt several notches too tight?
The answer, you would think, would be that it’s time to stop shopping. Time to reign it in and make do with what I have. Maybe even go the way of Holly Golightly and find a handsome cohort to exercise a five finger discount with? Somehow I don’t think the threat of a potential slap on the wrists is worth a dime store kitty mask. I already sleep with a panda eye mask which is close enough. So, what is the answer? How I do keep the thrill of the find alive while making the rent on time(ish)? The answer, is thrift.
In an effort to leave behind the recent trauma of my bank account’s future demise, I decided to get out of town for the day. My shopping partner and I pulled up to my new favorite thrift spot and ducked in to see what we could find. It wasn’t even my idea. As much as I love the idea of finding a steal, I find thrifting comes with a price. A toll is taken in the olfactory department. The scent of a thousand unwashed garments is a bit much for a person who gets chest pains whenever she encounters Windex. Still, I pressed on. Call it masochism, martyrdom, mania, whatever you wanna call it. All I know is the nose knows when there’s good hiding behind that pile of stained prom dresses.
Almost immediately, I unearthed a beautiful bright red, silk velvet, sequin trimmed bolero. Moved by the color, my hand went to it without a thought. Initially I felt guilty for finding something I might want to buy. The price tag said $1.95, so walked that guilt back to a place where I felt comfortable trying on the garment. Of course, it fit, and was in great condition if you look past the minor moth nibbles on the lining. I wasn’t sure about it until it received the approval of both my boyfriend and a kind stranger.
I continued to shop around for sport. I came across a teal Herve Leger look-a-like care of Forever21. I also found a couple beaded Aidon Mattox dresses that I didn’t need and therefore did not take. The second most fun piece of apparel I happened upon almost came home with me. It was reddish brown leopard print Hello Kitty hoodie. The hoodie had ears and a face sewn onto the hood. As I felt the joy of nostalgia wash over me, I looked down at the sleeve and saw what my brothers and I used to refer to as a “snail trail” across the arm. At first sight of these pre-adolescent nose goblins, I felt a moderate terror akin to realizing a spider is on your shoulder. I scrambled to remove the diseased zip-up. After walking away and regaining composure I realized that a good run through the washer would probably have taken care of the grossness, but I don’t think it could have washed away the ghost of someone else’s nose wipes.
I brought my $2 winner over the the register. With tax it was actually $2.10, but the wonderful woman behind the counter was kind enough to spot me a nickel when I realized I didn’t have he exact change. She too was over the moon about my velvety find. She asked if I was buying it for Valentine’s Day, which until that moment I hadn’t even considered that it could be a contender. I figured the piece would be for every day use, not necessarily for evening wear.
As the day turned into night we decided that food was in order. Not wanting to bother with the hassle of grocery shopping and eventual late night cooking, my doting shopping partner took me out to dinner. Before exiting the vehicle, I reached toward the back seat, grabbed my new used bolero, snapped off the tag and slid it on over my jumpsuit. Our waitress exclaimed how much she loved my velvet bolero, and I exercised extreme restraint by not telling her I bought it only hours ago for $2.