As I walked into the “upscale resale” store, it hit me like a brick wall… The Smell. I knew second-hand stores couldn’t be the freshest outfits around, but this was taking it a notch above what I had in mind. If it hadn’t been for the uh, older gentleman, eyeing us from the cash register in the middle of the store, I would have begged my mom to just forget about it and leave. The small parlor had a few circular racks, all filled with clothes for those of a generation much beyond my own. I tried to comb through them in search of the diamond in the rough, but The Smell still lingered. The scent of the Viva La Juicy I had spritzed on in the mall had entirely lost it’s original effect. With every piece of clothing I touched, my mind repeated the obvious assumption: somebody had to have died in this. I made my way into the back where most of the abandoned clothing lay. Slowly, The Smell began to fade, and I found myself eager to begin my search once again. I thought I was only going to leave with one item, something small, like a piece of jewelry… wouldn’t you know, I ended up buying four things! I was drawn to the red and white striped shirt you see me wearing in the picture, because it reminded me of a shirt I almost bought at PacSun (an overly-priced beachwear store for teens, found in nearly every mall across America). It would have cost me around $14… I paid a whopping $1.99 for this knock-off. On top of that, I also bought a cropped tank (perfect for summer), a white waist belt, and a rather groovy scarf. (I’ll post pictures of all of these as well on my Facebook page.) And get this – the scarf said Paris on it, like many upscale scarves of the past did, but the tag was printed in Japanese. It’s true origins remain a mystery, but I thought it to be fascinating that now I have my own little piece of historical culture. My grand total? $4.58. That’s it! Originally it would have been around $10, but on top of those bargains, everything was 50% off! But wait! There’s more! Not only did I make out like a bandit… but all of the proceeds go towards helping children with disabilities. I almost felt bad for getting that discount. Oh, and remember that older gentleman I mentioned in the beginning of the story? Well he turned out to be the biggest sweetheart ever! Moral to the story: sometimes you have to look past a little bit of dirt to see a whole lot of treasure. Give it a try – I guarantee you’ll be surprised.
Love & Summer,