It happened again. Only this time, I felt a bit testy about it.
About once every two weeks, someone will unexpectedly break my personal space to whisper in my ear, “I’m a closet thrifter.” Then they do something weird like wink at or nudge me, like we’re now blood kin in some secret society or coven. I’m polite. I nod and smile back. However, I really want to make a scene and yell, “Excuse me! But will you please scream that to the world? Let everyone know! Be damn proud of what you are!”
Okay closet thrifters, I know you’re sitting by the light of your monitor reading this while everyone else is asleep. It’s time to acquire a good load of Thrift Pride.
Let’s make this very plain. Ain’t no room for shame in the thrift store. Got it? Thrifting is a sign of wits and a broader sense of local and global understanding. The thrift store is a place of product and personal redemption. There are good, sweet vibes in those stores along with an eagerness of what awaits and a gratitude for what is found. And – get this – people are genuinely nice in thrift stores. They don’t look at you and chase you down for a commissioned sale.
Being a closet thrifter is like being the intellectually gifted child who dumbs down because being smart isn’t cool. Well, smart is cool, least it is in my worldview.
I had planned to post my holiday shopping statistics after the season. But for you closet thrifter, I offer a preview. Before Thanksgiving, I mailed out thirty holiday gifts to friends and family. I mailed early to send ground rate and book rate with on time delivery. ALL gifts were thrift and the average cost per gift was $4.50. Many were books, recent best sellers and beautiful vintage editions. I cannot reveal specifics because that will overtake surprise. But, one gift in particular is bound to bring a tear to a special person’s eye because it will reunite a book with an 84-year-old’s childhood. How many new retailers offer that kind of giving for under $3? These gifts were well thought out because I did my shopping through out the year. Retailers failed to corner me and make me feel desperate during the last month of the year.
Some people wrinkle their noses at the idea of used items. Isn’t everything is a bit used? I don’t see dressing room attendants spraying disinfectant on the tight fitting $375 dress a stranger tries on no matter how posh the dressing room. Come on ladies. We’ve all seen deodorant stains on dark shirts and dresses on the rack. We’re really chumped when the only one left in our size has another woman’s mark on it. Chances are we suck it up and buy the shirt full price. So why wince at items from a thrift store? We’re not talking about the threadbare clothes of the Dickens street urchins.
Friends, if you know a closet thrifter, help them. Coax them and guide them to Thrift Pride. Since when is out spending personal income, out of control credit card debt, and bankruptcy cool? What about buying items with enormous carbon footprints that get used once? Is that cool too?
I’d say, let’s print up a million t-shirts announcing Thrift Pride but that is counter to the point. So, instead of a t-shirt, verbalize your pride everyday.
Thrift Pride to the masses!