"Twenty years ago, when I was seven, my parents started thrift store shopping. They were looking for the obscure. My two younger siblings and I were each given a quarter every Saturday to spend. We ran to the outdoor area known as the As Is Yard. It was a horrific mess! We loved it! I could pile my arms high with pieces of Barbie's Dream House and castaway dolls. The man at the front would write a ticket for the price for all the items we collected. Eventually, he caught on that we had a quarter each to spend. Funny how our tickets always added up to just that amount.
As with age, my allowance grew and I learned to save for the wonderful pre-priced paper back books found inside the store. Over three quarters of my toys were handmade or came from the As-Is Yard at Goodwill."
~ Kat Shumar of Indianapolis, IN
I realize that some adults do not have fond memories of thrifting as children. But I also know there are many who do.
For those of you who were teased about having to thrift, I am sorry. I ask you to understand it was not the thrift store that was the problem, it was the spoiled children. These spoiled children were ruthless. I was cruelly teased because I wore Keds sneakers. These kids called them Roach Killers. So, after my mother left for work I would take her Adidias sneakers and stuff the tips with socks so I could fit into them. I may have been wearing shoes two sizes too big and looked ridiculous in clown feet but the teasing stopped. It really did.
Many Americans might find it appalling that I take my children thrifting. But, like Kat, they love it. Besides I think most Americans are completely unaware of how wasteful they’ve become. I’m ready to catch that new Sundance sweater, new handmade mukluks, new Anthropologie sweater, new Banana Republic jacket, new purse, and new shoes you so casually toss over your shoulders and I’ll pay less than 5% of the price you paid. Poe, my 12-year-old daughter, has more cashmere in her closet than the average American. Little Pie Goligthly grew her own pair of Snake Eyes and now can spot cashmere off a 10 ft packed rack of sweaters. Most seven-year-old’s don’t even know what cashmere is.
The other day, Little Pie Golightly found a brand new wallet that the thrift store without a price tag. Little Pie took it to the cashier and asked for the price. The cashier smiled, “You really like that wallet?” Pie nodded. “Hmm. How about 50 cents?” Little Pie reached into her pocket, paid for her wallet and walked out of the store with new treasure.
Thank you Kat Shumar for sharing your story.