Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On My Thrift Store Shopping

I have been thrift store shopping. This is for me a ‘guiltless’ guilty pleasure. I’m frugal you see. (By definition being frugal is making the best use of ones money. Not that of being a penny pincher as most people think.) I love to wear long gowns and fancy dresses with a gothic edge. This is were I let my Romantigoth self flower. Velvets and satins, lace and chiffons all waiting for me to make over into a new look.

I only go to the thrift store about once every three or four months. And today was one of these times. I go in with a limited amount of money. If I didn’t I would buy out most of the store. First I steel myself for the let down of the perfect dress in a size way too small for me and then I let myself loose. I poured over the thousands of pieces of clothing on the racks. I head for the black section first. I place all the must haves and foundation pieces in my cart. Then I’m off to the dark purples, reds, blues, grays and even greens. Victorian or flowing Stevie Nicks type skirts, shawls, and lacy blouses are added. Black leather boots, a must have leather handbag, a men’s dinner jacket in black with a satin collar, a men’s dark gray vest, and some funky wide belts in black some with chains and studs. The shopping cart is full and even overflowing.

Now it is time. The Changing Room. I go in with my ‘maximum allowed’ items and strip to my under things. On and off with frantic speed the clothing is tested to see if it is right for me. Too short, Too tight, Too itchy, Too not me. The pile dwindles in my cart. I tire and sag but on I go until they are all gone through. The one pile is now three. The ‘Not leaving the store with out it’ the ‘Absolutely not, What was I thinking’ and the ‘Second chance.’

This last pile is the hardest to deal with. I like them, but do I like them enough to part with the moneys asked for on the tag? In other words ‘Will I get my frugal dollars worth out of said article of clothing?’ These I pour over with a fine tooth comb. I check the stitching and look for stains, I look for tears and loose or missing buttons. The pile gets smaller.

Now that I have only the best of what is left for my decision, I now need to plan how it will be used. Do I have anything to go with it or will it just sit in the back of my closet waiting for the right top to come along? Is it wishful thinking or does it really have the potential to become my latest favorite article of clothing when I cut the ruffle off the neck and dye the peach to red or black? And of course the age old ‘do I have enough money in my purse for this too.’

Hours have been spent on collecting, trying on, checking, planning and weeding through my indecision. I am spent and done in. On to the check out line.

In the line we shoppers look over each others selections and talk to the strangers who have the most interesting things in their carts while waiting for our turn to pay for our treasures.

I leave the store with hundreds of dollars worth of clothing in a bag large enough to line a standard metal trash can, all for sixty dollars. I pat myself on the back. The soft black leather boots alone would have cost much more than that. Or the dinner jacket. Or the evening gown. Yes, the evening gown would have been twice as much as that if I had gotten it new. Or the handbag. Or the… I have triumphed. I have won the day. I am the Romantigoth Princess of thrift store shopping. I’ve had my fix.

For now anyway.

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