30 June 2007

A good day thrifting

Had a wonderful day of thrifting today! Went to my usual place with my usual friend, and I thought, because I was judging by the first five minutes, that it would be a bust. It was not, mainly because of Christine, who showered me with a large number of fantastic finds today.

Did you know I first met Christine while thrifting? I had not lived here long. My upstairs neighbor told me where I could get used and vintage clothing by the pound (she also told me what day and time were best—very generous!). I was thrilled, because I’d been spoilt by thrifting at the Bargain Barn in Santa Cruz (fresh used goods, twice a day, seven days a week, we’re talking a literal barnful), and never thought I’d have it so good again. Best of all, nobody in Cambridge seemed to be after what I was after! In Santa Cruz, the competition was cordial, but stiff, and they were almost all resellers, people you'd see the next day behind a stall at the flea market, charging a big markup for that tablecloth they’d whisked away before you could close in. Here, people were fighting over shredded mink stoles, leaving me in the clear.

Me and one other person, that is. I noticed right away she was my direct competitor, and almost unbelievably lucky. A thrifting witch. I watched her jealously for a few weeks before my sister came out on a visit, spotted Christine in action and said immediately, “You’ve gotta make friends with that girl. She’s got the best thrifting mojo I’ve ever seen.”

I’m shy, so I think it was actually my sister who made friends first, but not long after that we started thrifting cooperatively, and now we’re friends. We’re not the same size, we understand each other’s taste, and I am as chuffed to find something for Christine as I am for myself. Today it was the other way around, though, because Christine found me a tweed overcoat in teal houndstooth, two vintage Pendleton jackets, two 60s French-style windbreakers, and a peach-and-metallic-gold cropped jacket—perfect next time I’m in Cap Ferrat. Thank you, Christine!

On my own I found this lovely little sheer tie-collar silk blouse printed with views of Florence, an impossibly delicate navy tee, two kilts (!), excellent trousers for the whole family, a weeks’ worth of tattersall work shirts for my brother-in-law, and the best, above, Monsieur le canister. He was just barely sticking out of a pile of rags; I think it was a tiny bit of red tin that made my onboard pattern-matcher go off. He was alone, sadly, but I bet he’ll make some red-and-white friends at my place.

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