Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nothing if Not Greedy

You'd think that because I'm so addicted to thrift shopping, my trips to California would be full of it. Nothing of the sort. Usually when I come here, Marge & I Trawl the Mall. I know, it sounds like we're Very Shallow, but please keep reading anyway.
We mainly look for Incredibly Cheap Sale Items which creates the Illusion that we're on The Quest of a Lifetime. See, it's always all about The Search for Meaning, even inside The Oaks Mall.
But of course buying new items especially from places like 'Forever 21' & probably even 'Anthropologie' interferes with my half-assed commitment to only buy Used Clothing, which is a more realistic term than, 'Vintage', which sounds such a wank. Most of what I buy I can't really tell how old it is anyway.
My resolve to keep the commitment became a little firmer this morning when I read this article by Hadley Freeman in The Thoughtful Dresser. Actually the snotty tone of the piece slightly turned my stomach. Some woman, Mary Someone or Other from London asked Hadley who's a fashion guru, where else she could buy a dress except from 'Primark' because she now realises that cheap stuff is made by Slave Children in Sweatshops.
Oh dear! exclaimed Hadley, has it just occurred to you that the people who are making the stuff that sells for three euros aren't sitting around on feather pillows & sipping champagne while they're doing it? I bet Silly Old Mary was sorry she asked the question.
But it's a bit like buying lamb chops. We know in the back of our minds where they come from & what happens to make them look all juicy & inviting in the plastic wrapping, but we just ignore it & eat them anyway. I know that I do. My daughter stopped eating meat at aged three because she found it what it was & I've just discovered that at aged twenty she's started eating bacon.
But back to Buying Clothes in California. On saturday, after much Malling Around, an Act of Serendipity delivered me to The Salvation Army Depot. I was thrilled. Acres of items that were all on sale for 25% off which is a helluva bargain when the original price is only $5!
Marge is shown exclaiming over the booty which included a genuine 'Vintage' pair of maybe seventies shoes with a 'Saks Petites' label. I have a relaxed policy when it comes to shoe sizes. I take a 7, but will wear up to a 9 & stuff the toes with tissue if necessary. This pair are v. narrow, but I'll grin & bear it, which is how I seem to have gotten through most things, not that I'm stoic.
When it came to purchase one last jacket, a v. old item with a label that proudly announced that it was 'Made in Japan', something I hadn't seen in years, we'd run out of cash. The amount was too small to put on 'Visa', so we both sat on the floor emptying our bags for spare change. A lady came up to us & inquired whether we needed some money. I told her we needed a couple of dollars & she promptly handed me the money saying that she was really only doing this for herself because every time she gives something to someone, a short time later something good happens to her. We thanked her & went over to the cash register. Because of the massive 25% sale, it turned out that the jacket was only $3, so we didn't need the donation after all.
We didn't want to spoil the chance of something good happening to our Generous Benefactor, so we pocketed the $2 & went home.
Oh, I forgot about 'Forever 21'. As you can see from the picture, I did buy something from there. It was masses of green beads for $2 each that you can see in the cheesy photo of Marge & I.
I guess you can say my commitment is really only Half-Assed. But maybe it's not so bad if it's jewelry, but probably not.


workthatwardrobe said...

My favourite post so far,. At last someone who understands the need to find a bargain. My friend refers to it as a "Barg - asm". Cheaper (!) than an orgasm and the pleasure lasts sooo much longer!

rabespierre said...

i like that your california posts are meditating on the excess --trash, bargains, clothes, that woman's theory that it's good to give something away b/c you get more back. all deeply american!
maybe the gibbons fit into the theme too? ...
teachers deserve holidays!

see you there! said...

Laughing about the California, excess, deeply American and maybe gibbons comment. I claim it is different in NORTHERN California but then... I would wouldn't I?

Don't know how you do the variable shoe size thing - that would kill my feet.