Monday, October 11, 2010

Why I love thrift shopping

Don't get me wrong, I love a new addition to my wardrobe as much as anyone else, but when it comes to an exciting shopping trip there is nothing that compares to thrift-shopping. It's basically a hit-or-miss visit, but when you hit, you hit it hahd. (That's 'hard' in a Maine accent. It makes more of an impact when you say it.)

I guess I'm loving-up on second-hand so much right now because I just made the most epic Goodwill purchase. Take a glance at my new bike:

From what I can tell from my internet research and bike enthusiast friends, it's a mid-1970s Columbia road bike in perfect condition. 50 bucks. Not a scratch on her. Even the tires are original and in fairly good shape. (I put a little air in them today and was set to go.) So thanks to my good friend Mike Powers, who convinced me to buy it or he would, I now have what he has deemed "the hippest bike in Orono." Hipsters of Maine, turn your heads as I ride by your skinny-jeaned asses.

Beeming over my newest investment, I started to think about what else I've snatched up from second-hand stores.

Here's my coffee maker I bought for a quarter at the Orono Thrift Shop:

She's no beaut, but she works. And seriously ... it cost a quarter.

Here's my giant cast-iron pot I bought at the same thrift store for 50 cents:

It's currently filled with delicious corn chowder - my favorite.

As I look around my house I can see a handful of other second-hand purchases just within armsreach. I actually have a whole bookshelf filled with used books priced between 50 cents and 4 dollars I got at an ongoing library fundraising sale this summer. I have a framed photo on my wall from Salvation Army, my endtables came used, my roommates and I will eventually start our unopened puzzle from Goodwill, and my favorite necklace in the world was rounded up at a vintage clothing store called (appropriately enough) 'Rhiannon's Vintage Clothing'.

Now I'm not saying any of this stuff is particuarlly nice. (Although some of it you'd never be able to tell it was used.) But it all has a few things in common:
1. It works
2. It was insanely cheap and
3. I like it.

I mean there's something about buying items so cheap that makes you proud. It feels like an accomplishment to tell someone "Oh, I actually bought that at Goodwill," when they mention the object in question. Not to mention, there's some kind of thrill to finding something you need/want in a store full of someone else's discards. You may look through a pile of junk all day until your gem seems to find you. Plus it just feels good to step away from the "consumerism" of the mall sometimes.

And let's be real, on a lazy Sunday afternoon (just like yesterday's inspiration to browse Goodwill), it's just fun to look.

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