your first time…

No, not that first time. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I remember my first thrifting experience vividly. My parents had just divorced and it was time to update my bedroom in the house I grew up in, the house my dad kept after the split. We had true joint custody– one week at his house, one week at Mom’s apartment, and I think it was important to him that we start fresh even though we were in the same house.

This is around the time when my older, more fashion-wise girlfriends were already buying clothing at resale shops but I had never been inside of one. While my dad has shopped thrift for as long as I can remember, mostly for work clothing, we never accompanied him on his visits. On a whim one day after school, I pulled the cord on the bus a bit earlier than normal, getting off in front of a Salvation Army. All of these donations were piled outside of the closed garage door. I was tempted to start going through everything right then, but waited until the next day to head back during regular hours. I walked into that Salvation Army a thrifting virgin at 13 years old.

I remember my exact purchase. A huge heavy desk for $12 and a lamp to place atop for $3. Nuns worked this shop, and the sister helping me wrote SOLD with a heavy felt marker on a pink ticket and taped it to the top of the desk. It was thrilling to be able to buy a solid piece of gorgeous furniture with my own money earned babysitting horrible, wretched five year-olds. This was also around the time when my parents yelled a refrain similar to what I imagine I’ll scream at my own kids one day: “You wanna leave? Fine, take everything you bought and leave the rest here!” If I ever did really leave, I thought, at least I will have a desk. A desk my dad had to come haul home the next day, but mine nonetheless.

When I rented my first apartment I naturally sourced a lot of my house necessities from resale shops. Now, they’re the first place I go for everything. The thrill never ends.


3 responses to “your first time…

  1. funny, i don’t remember my first time at all!
    I will say that while i love thrifting for homegoods or crafty supplies, i abhor shopping for clothing at thrift stores. yes, i just used the word abhor. 🙂

  2. My first time was really a resale clothing shop and I was about 12. I went with my friend and her mom and bought the most beautiful blue angorra turtleneck sweater. I was so proud of my purchase that I had made with my very own babysitting money. I promptly went home, washed and dried my sweater…and it shrunk darn it!

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