I got a haircut yesterday. I was a bit early, so I sat down in the waiting area where I had plenty of time to read a magazine article that convinced me that Meghan and Kate are not mad at each other after all. It’s a great relief to know the two princesses are friends. (Although in one of the photos, Meghan’s back is to Kate, and I could swear Kate is whispering Meghan’s butt looks big in that dress to William. Might be my imagination.)

Anyhoo, my hair stylist finally came to lead me to her chair. As I followed her, I had two thoughts. Thought One: Why do all hair stylists wear black clothing? It seems to be the choice of hair salons around the world. Having people who cut hair for a living wear black seems as ironic to me as having bakers wear white. Sometimes when I meet my brother-the-baker for a cup of coffee, he has so much jelly on his bakers’ whites that it looks like he killed a steer instead of filled a few trays of bismarks. And Thought Two: Her bright orange shoes looked really cute as a contrast to her black smock and pants.

So I said to her, “I love your shoes. They are really cute as a contrast to your black smock and pants.”

Thank you, she replied. I got them at Goodwill.

I suck at Goodwill shopping. When I go into a Goodwill store, it is mostly to look for puzzles. But I will always stop to look at the clothing. All I ever find are blouses with discolored lace and and pants with frayed hems. And I’m usually pretty sure I donated them the week before. I really, truly rarely have any luck finding clothing at thrift stores. The primary reason for my lack of success is that any superior Goodwill shopper has lots of patience. I have a total lack of patience.

I’m not anti-thrift stores. I donate lots of stuff, and hope like heck that people will get Use-Part-II out of them. Thrift stores keep things out of landfills and help people save money. Both are good things.

I have a friend who is a remarkable thrift store shopper. I’m not sure if she still does, but I know that from the time she began shopping for herself, she shopped at thrift stores. And she always looks totally put together and never even remotely resembled the bag lady that I would look like if I bought my clothing at Goodwill. Not only that, but as her daughter grew up, she dressed her almost exclusively in clothing bought at thrift stores. She wore name brand clothing and looked just like every other teenager in the United States.

I only have one success story having to do with clothing from a thrift store. As I perused the pants, I came across a pair of really cute designer-brand pants in my size.

I tentatively took them to the dressing room (my apologies to thrift store shoppers everywhere, but the dressing rooms are scary) and tried them on. The pants were a perfect fit, not even requiring any hemming. The best part of all is that the pants were only $6 and STILL HAD THE TAGS ATTACHED. Goooooooooooooooooal!

I will continue to donate to Goodwill, and will continue to optimistically look at the clothing when I pay my puzzle-searching visits. I will probably NOT, however, consider buying shoes despite my hair stylist’s apparent success. Perhaps that decision is based on the look and smell of my own shoes, which I send to the landfill.

7 thoughts on “Thrifty

  1. Thanks for the nod, Gloor. The only thrift shopping snafu that we ever had was when bowling shoes were in for teenagers. I bought Caitlin a pair at a Goodwill.
    Several months later she was invited to a birthday party at a bowling alley. She was elated because she could wear her own shoes and wouldn’t need to rent them. Midway through the evening I received a frantic call from Caitlin. “Mom- I think the people who donated the bowling shoes to.Goodwill stole them from this bowling alley. “ Sure enough, this bowling alley had identical shoes down to the hand painted I.D. numbers on each shoe. “I don’t know how I’m going to get out of here tonight with my shoes.”
    Fortunately she was able to exit that night without drawing the attention of the shoe police. Thrift shopping and it’s legacy is always an adventure.

  2. I used to thrift shop. I loved it! I don’t have a lot of time these days, but I’d love to again. So many bargins to be found! Glad you found some pants. Can’t beat that price. 🙂

  3. My daughter is a genius at thrift store shopping but I think I managed to surprise her at the thrift store we visited when she was visiting me. I spotted a London Fog trenchcoat for $15AU and it was just the right size for her. She was thrilled. It is in beautiful condition and it even has a detachable wool lining. Score!

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