the kickiest.

Buying used is an act of patience in a lot of ways. For one thing, you have to sort through the crap. Say that you just bought a kicky* wool skirt with little red berries on it. Now you need a kicky** red sweater. When you go to JC Penney's, the sweaters are in one section. Each rack has a different style of sweater, possibly in several different colors. There are several sweaters of the same style and color in each size, and these sizes are organized.

When you go to Goodwill, the sweaters are in one section. They are organized by color. There is only one sweater in each style. It's probably too small for you. If you go to a different thrift store, the sweaters might not be organized by anything at all. They might not even get their own rack in the women's section. They might be in a pile somewhere, possibly even on the floor or in a box. Either way, you need patience to sort through all the sweaters to find the red sweater that is your size and might look okay on you.

Even after all that, there is no guarantee that you will find a red sweater that will match your kicky*** wool skirt. You might have to go to several thrift stores to find the perfect sweater.

What's worse, you might not even find the sweater that day. You spent all day rooting through very unkicky sweaters, and you didn't even find what you wanted. You have two options here. One is to give in and go to JC Penney's. The other is to wait a week and hit the thrift stores again. And that's where the true test of patience is here.

Some people are amazed that I find so much good stuff used. They went to a thrift store once and didn't find a darn thing, just a bunch of crap that people were right to get rid of. So they think I am magical. I have to explain to them that I spend a lot of time on this hobby.

For example, at my old job, we were about to switch to a business casual dress code. I didn't have any appropriate clothes, so I started checking out the thrift stores. There are four Goodwills in Winston-Salem, and I hit a different one after work every Monday thru Thursday for three weeks. I ended up with a great wardrobe, but most days I didn't buy a thing.

Usually, I don't really need anything specific. However, most of the time, I will have a running list of things that I'd kinda-sorta-like to have. Items might be on the list for a year before I find what I want. But most things pop up eventually, and until I find the thing, I just keep on doing whatever I was doing before I decided I needed it. Sometimes other people ask me to look for things for them. They know that I might not ever find those things, but at least I am keeping an eye out.

Another example - I broke my blender. It was a crappy hand-me-down blender anyway. But it still sorta worked, the pitcher just wouldn't latch properly, so I had to pick up the blender and give it a firm shake if I wanted to make sure the stuff at the top got down to the blades. It was not an ideal situation, but it worked.

I had in my mind the idea of a blender with a lot of buttons and a nice thick glass pitcher. Every time I went to a thrift store or a yard sale, I looked for blenders. I saw one just like my old one (but presumably not broken) for $2, but I resisted. I saw ads for $15 jobbies at Wal-Mart, but I resisted still. And then one day, maybe two months after I broke my old one, I saw the exact kind I wanted at a yard sale, and the woman gave it to me for free. Patience wins.

I think all that waiting is probably good for you. It makes you think about what you want and what you need. It's just stuff, and you can wait to have it. Wear a kicky green sweater that you already have. Pick up the blender and shake it; it's sorta fun, really.

*You know, I heard the word "kicky" used once to describe a scarf, and I've liked it ever since. I have no idea what it means.

** I looked it up: "So unusual or unconventional in character or nature as to provide a thrill."

***I've been thinking, and this word describes everything I've ever truly loved: my kicky zipper earrings, my exceedingly kicky penguin hat, and my boyfriend, who is the kickiest.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

yay penguin hat!