Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ode to the Old

I cleaned out my house for the past few weeks. Hence the silence on the blog. It's hard to feel chatty when you're wading your way through piles of old jeans, red lampshades (what was I thinking? That I live in a Paris Boudoir?), and 500 mismatched Barbie shoes. It felt good to clean out the clutter. Cleared my head.

So then I had a yard sale. Watched how people fingered through my castoffs, sometimes with a little smile, that hint of delight. One person's trash really is the other's treasure. And after I spent a few hours making a few dollars, I hauled the rest to Goodwill.

And after making my donation, I went inside the store. It makes no sense, I know. Clean the place out, buy more stuff. But I just love thrift stores. I love that slightly musty smell, the unbelievably ugly things I see. And then there are those nifty finds. Green glass vases from 1970-something. Antique furniture.

I live in the burbs. I spend my fair share of time around people who spend a lot of money buying new things: bedroom sets to impress, fancy living room furniture, art--all in an effort to make their house look like the model homes, or pictures in Pottery Barn's catalogue. It's beautiful, but most of it says so little about the people who live in the house. Everything is beautiful, tasteful and shiny, but there's no good story to go with any of it. It's so... boring.

What I love most about thrift stores is that every piece of art, bric-a-brac, and scuffed furniture once sat in someone's house. Where people lived, fought, prayed--whatever. Thriftstore finds have a story. I have no idea what it is--and somehow, it makes for such a cool mystery.

Oh, and the other cool thing about thriftstores? Everything is so awesomely cheap! Hey, I am Dutch, after all.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny. There are times I would totally agree with you. Being someplace old or holding something that once belonged to someone else can be awe inspiring.

    Then there are those days when I feel like "Ick! Who knows where this has been! I want a NEW one."