Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Adventures in Thrifting and Thrifting Tips
Episode 4: Outtakes, Situations & Hilarious Moments
As I sit in my family room- Christmas tree lit, Christmas jazz playing in the background, I am feeling cozy and warm. I’m also feeling a bit wistful for the days of summer when I thrifted every week with a friend or two! Although I love the Holiday season, I’m also feeling a bit blue due to the whole pandemic and mandatory orders. So, I thought I would write about something that makes me smile, and that something is the memories I have from the summer.
If you’ve been reading my thrifting blogs, you know I’ve had some funny experiences. Here are a few I’ve condensed into moments. Or at least tried to condense. Please read on, and I dare you not to catch yourself smiling.
**BIG BUTTS- LITTLE SEATS
- Thrifting usually found my friend Melissa picking me up in Lettie, her Rav 4 from yesteryear. We would grab a coffee, and head out to the places we chose for the day. On one such day, we were pulled up to a stop light waiting for the light to turn green, when we noticed a man on a bike next to us. I don’t mean a Harley, I mean a pedal bike- the kind with skinny, skinny tires and a teensy weensy tiny seat. We were both quiet, then Melissa pipes up, “That is the smallest seat ever.” I nod with wonder and say, “Yeah- people my size are not fitting on those small seats. I need like… a toilet seat on my bike.” We watch him go as the light turns green. “I need a picture. Melissa drive right so I can get one,” I order. Melissa obliges, and I manage to capture his photo. Melissa laughs whilst taking a giant gulp of her calorie laden Starbuck drink and I join in remembering the Arby’s we wolfed down the week before. “Yeah, no, I’m not trying to ride those bikes. Maybe if I did, I would be able to,” I muse. Maybe, indeed, bacon lover.
**DEEP THOUGHTS AT THE SALVATION ARMY
- During a particular gloomy day, pushing our cart down the aisles of the Salvation Army, I started wondering aloud about the many things we were seeing that reminded me of what I deemed to be really old people. “OMG Melissa. Please stop me if I ever start owning these things. Please don’t allow me to get crazy with knick knacks.” Melissa looked at me and said, “Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.” I nodded resolutely. “Right. I’ll make sure you don’t become weird as well,” I reassured her. Not skipping a beat, and not worrying about who could hear her, Melissa declared, “As long as people keep me in the drugs, the cats, and the wine, I’ll be fine.” I snorted with laughter. I think she’ll be fine… Here are some of the weird things we come across:
**GARAGE SALE JUDGEMENT DAY
- I was pretty excited because we were going to a garage sale, and garage sales remind me of Up North! Melissa spots deals from a mile away, and on one of our thrifting days, she picks me up and declares there is a garage sale down the street from me and we’re going. “Great!” I reply, “But I have no cash!” Driving down the street like a bee heading for the best flower in the garden, Melissa said, “Don’t worry. I found more money in my clothes.” Melissa is always finding cash she’s stashed away in her place. She never knows where it’s from, how it got there, or what the purpose was for it, but it ends up serving us well when we are out and about. I usually have to PayPal her every time we go somewhere, but she doesn’t seem to mind and I’m really happy about it.
- I love garage sales especially in certain neighborhoods, because they usually have really good stuff. Today was no exception. We drove up to the house, parked and excitedly exited the car. Already there were people browsing about, and we were trying to power walk/look casual as we headed to the tables in the driveway. Once we arrived at the tables, we realized that the prices on the all of the goods were WAY above and beyond garage sale prices and I was certain Melissa hadn’t found THAT much cash in her place. We did a loop and then left, our butt cheeks clenched and our breath coming out in low whistles. “Damn,” I said. “That was ridiculous. I’m totally judging her.” Melissa nodded and shrugged and said, “It was her friend’s things, she was having the garage sale for her, she told me.” I immediately got a bit defensive of my choice to judge. “Well,” I said defensively, “I’m judging her friend then.” Melissa nodded her head and reassured me matter of factly- “Oh we can judge her friend AND we can judge her too- she’s the one hosting it and putting it out there.” I instantly felt better. We piled into Lettie, picked up our coffees, and sipped away as we slipped away.
**CATS, BASEMENTS & MASON JARS
- Sometimes we have a plan to annoy Melissa’s S/O. This was one of those days. He decided he wanted a lamp for his side of the bed on the nightstand. He texted Melissa to look for a lamp, saying he would pay up to $20 bucks for a bedside lamp, and if she got an expensive one, he would still pitch in the $20, unless it has a “freaking cat” on it, then she would get nothing and he would toss it. So, naturally, Melissa decided she needed to find a cat lamp to put on his side of the bed on his little nightstand. Actual text from her S/O:
-Let me tell you, we looked everywhere for a cat lamp. We had exhausted almost all of our options, when we came upon this thrift store that looked like a little shop of horrors. Immediately, I wondered if we would end up in mason jars on a shelf in the lower level. Here's a few shots of that fascinating store...
-This store had everything in it. Everything. I promise you, it had everything in it. It was tiny from the outside, but when you went inside, it went far, far back, and every inch of every wall was utilized for crap. Stuff. Trinkets. From the ceiling down to the floor. And then, just when you thought you had managed to look at everything, it had a basement, with a repeater of the main level. There were 3 levels in total, and we could have spent the whole day there. Guess what? They also had a cat lamp! Sadly, the cat lamp was $32.50. There was no bargaining with the lady who owned the shop, who was maybe 80 pounds soaking wet, clearly a life long smoker, and looked like she maybe wielded a pistol under the sweatshirt that hung so loosely on her that it looked like pajamas. She terrified me and I made myself scarce when Melissa asked her about it.
-We we ended up not getting the cat lamp, because Melissa’s guy would have definitely tossed it, and that would have been literally throwing money away. Melissa did end up buying a pin with a random couple on it for her window visor in the Rav 4, she’s weird like that and I’m here for it. Also, not surprisingly, this store had mason jars for sale, thankfully there were no questionable things inhabiting them.
**SHUT UP! IT’S MINE!
-One beautiful day, we went to the cutest of stores called Thrift Boutique in St. Louis Park. This store was one of my favorites. Everything in here was sort of French Glam decor and Hollywood Glam decor, with a bit of Cottage Core thrown in. We were oohing and aahing over everything we saw. I was a bit in front of Melissa when I spied a cat mug. It said “Meow” on the front, and inside the mug was an upright Siamese cat looking up with big eyes. I knew Melissa would like it. At $6, it was a bit expensive for an ordinary cat mug, but I was pretty sure she’d spring for it. (Sometimes watching others spend their money is almost as satisfying as doing it yourself, except it’s cheaper!) Anyway, upon a quick, wild eyed look at the mug, Melissa instantly ripped it out of my surprised hands and exclaimed loudly, “SHUT UP!! IT’S MINE” with all the fervor of a withdrawing addict upon finding their drug of choice. Melissa’s drug of choice is cats, and make no mistake, she will step on the heads of everyone to climb up to grab the cat prize. She’ll be remorseful later and offer a sheepish yet genuine apology, but as it was, on that day I was glad to escape unscathed. I wonder if she uses that mug more than the YOU mug I got her last year with Joe on it…. I just texted her to send me a pic of her Joe mug, to which she replied, "hold on please! I'm making more coffee in it now." That's my girl. If anyone can get her away from her cat addiction for a brief moment, it's Joe G from the Netflix series YOU.
**MAYBE YOU CAN GET NEW KIDS…
-Here was a day we went to another thrift store I found super appealing. Gateways in Hopkins was lovely, just lovely. The first reason was that upon entering the store, we were treated to jazz on the speakers, and I love jazz. The second reason was the friendly gentleman that ran the shop. He was obliging when I asked what the playlist was and told me it was mostly Blossom Dearie- and I immediately found her in Apple Music and saved it so I could make my own playlist later. The next reason was that the store had nice things, and an old book of Shakespeare that I immediately snatched up for Devante’s office library. I’m constantly looking for old books, and I felt like I had hit the jackpot with this one!
-“Melissa!” I exclaimed, “these things are so cute!” I gleefully picked up a figurine and showed it to her. Melissa shrugged. “There’s a lot of things I find cute until I have them. Children for instance,” she quipped, her voice carrying because the store was devoid of any other customers. I giggled rather loudly, because whenever she says things like this around people, I just never know what we must sound like, but then- the store manager piped in, “Maybe you can get new kids!” We all broke out in gales of laughter. We LIKED this guy!
-The store had other unique items, even an old pram from the 1950’s! But since Melissa and I have an aversion to little kids and anything that may bring on thoughts of crumb snatchers, we admired briefly and looked at the other things they had to offer. I do recommend this store though, because they have nice things, they also are community do-gooders with a wonderful purpose. You can learn more about them here.
-Sometimes Melissa’s daughter Elliot comes with us when we thrift. She’s always a joy to bring because she is a teenager now and doesn’t throw tantrums in the stores. I appreciate that. Thank you Elliot! Elliot is delightfully unique, just like her mom. She’s been on the lookout for a wedding dress. She’s 14, so she’s not really getting married any time soon, but there’s no harm in getting a huge, puffed sleeved 80’s wedding dress right?
-We scoured the thrift store looking for just the right one, when we finally found it. Since the dressing rooms are closed right now because of Covid, she tried it on right in the aisle- over her clothes. (Again, like her mom. I've seen her mom do this on many occasions.) It fit her nicely, and she did a little fashion show for us. A guy walked by and started giving his congratulations, to which Melissa put the kibosh on THAT real quick!
-Elliot ended up wearing that wedding dress to a little Holiday family gathering, which led to a photo shoot with our photographer friend and my podcast partner Kristen. I’ve posted some of the shots for you to appreciate!
-The store also had this beautiful red dress that was clearly a Quinceañera dress, and I wanted it so badly. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my size and no amount of altering would make it work. Darn pizza and wine…