Sunday, January 24, 2010

The beauty of adaptation.

First off, last night's yin and yang of shopping fun was productive and fun! We hit the salad place first, then took a chunk out of Costco (the cashier was very affable, I must say). We bought stuff that was essential, which justifies going to that big cavern. Then we went to ARC, and it was half price day on everything but the stuff you want to buy, dang it. I did manage to find a pair of fantastic Doc Martens Oxfords that are just perfect - actually they're the same style as the black pair of Doc Martens I wear almost constantly, but this new pair is poop brown. They look like there were worn once or twice, maybe. And I paid 3.50 for them! I call that a score of more than pedestrian measure!

I think my man would leak from somewhere if I wore a pair of sassy sandals or stiletto spikes.

But he likes the look. And thankfully, he likes the thrifting.

I guess if you're reading this and you didn't know me, you'd think I was born in the back of a thrift store. But that's not what happened. I came to this strange place very circuitously.

After I graduated from college with a degree in journalism, I worked as an assistant editor at a glossy magazine that catered to the rich and socially driven people in my city. That was the during the '80s, when the economy had the similar pooh-smell as our current situation. So the magazine folded, but not before I got some exposure to very fine things at photo shoots and interviews. I interviewed Paloma Picasso when she wandered through town to promote her perfume, and she signed a bottle of the scent for me, in gold pen.

After the magazine, I turned my attention to retail advertising, writing first at a high-end chain. Over the course of a few years and a few adult ADD diversions, I moved to different retail chains, becoming the copy chief at two other chains that taught me all about deadlines, fashion, labels and adjectives.

Skip ahead 10 years or so.

I had two kids, no career, and I gained a ton of weight. I finally had enough of my fat self, so I became determined to lose weight. I lost it quickly, and it only took purchasing a few pair of $50 pants that I got too small to wear to point me in the direction of cheap clothes.

Before that time, I thought thrift stores were dank, pitiful places filled with sad, poor people. Man, was I wrong.

And in addition to wandering into a world I'd never known existed, I found great clothes, amazing labels, in fabulous condition.

So why stop at clothes?

Over the years, I became a willing, curious historian of a particular niche or two, and I'd have learned none of what I know now if I hadn't wandered through thrift stores garage sales and estate sales. It's a pasttime I never thought I'd have found, but now I'm here.

I'm no longer a retail snob. In fact, I can't imagine spending shopping in earnest at a mall.

Some folks like to wade through racks of many things that are all the same; I'm partial to looking for the diamond ring in the treasure chest filled with dime store rhinestones.

There are a lot more diamonds to find than you might think.

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