Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On thrifting

The haunted wedding dress.
Once in a while I'll check out eBay to lust over danish teak furniture, kitschy avocado green fondue pots and other mid-century modern wares. Last night I had the brilliant idea of trying to find the ugliest framed needlepoint owl I could from the 1960s to hang somewhere in my new house (all we're waiting on is final loan approval!). But there was not one needlepoint owl to be found on eBay.

So today I decided to try my hand at "thrifting" -- specifically for an ugly framed 1960s needlepoint owl or other fowl, but also any other delightfully tacky items I could find. In my neck of the woods, there's a large thrift store that contracts with a major hospital here to accept donations from patients. This thrift store sells these estate-sale-esque items and gives the proceeds back to the hospital. As far as I know, this translates to: A giant store full of dead people's things. Creepy.

I went to said store anyway looking for fun, retro items, but right when I stepped inside I knew I'd made a mistake. Instead of kitsch, there were a lot of sad wares likely once owned by old people. Things like horribly outdated teacups sitting tired in their equally outdated saucers. Once-clear glass figurines of things like little girls, sheep and acorns now tinted to a pale yellow with age. I passed a wall covered in old shoes that were never cool even in the decades they were from. "One dollar a pair," a sign read above the shelves. 

Though I wasn't there for clothing, I passed the "vintage" section and hesitated before pushing a couple hangers apart out of curiosity. Someone's wedding dress "from the 1950s," the tag read, hung in front of me. It was a beautiful dress, the style very in mode for that time period but now passe unless used for some kind of period party or photo shoot. It was the type of dress Elizabeth Taylor wore in Father of the Bride. The price? Fifteen dollars. For some reason the whole thing just made me really sad, that a long, long time ago, some woman's whole dreams probably culminated in wearing this exquisite white brocade dress that's now sitting in a smelly thrift store unable to sell for even $15. The woman who once owned it, I'm sure, had passed away already at the hospital. 

After that it was too hard to shop any longer in the store. Mostly because it just felt so wrong to be pilfering through dead peoples' things. Like all those things were haunted or something. Plus, anything I bought would remind me of that Godforsaken wedding dress I saw the same day. And yeah, I know, all antiques once belonged to people who are probably dead, but in times like this ignorance is bliss. Mama doesn't like dead people, and she especially doesn't like potentially haunted goods wreaking havoc in her house.

So I think today was the beginning and end of my thrifting journey. Ebay may need to suffice.

Monday, October 17, 2011


It's been forever since I've blogged and now I don't even know where to begin. I am at a loss. 

Basically I haven't had a free moment in the last month to do...well, anything, much less blog. Every weekend has been taken up with real estate stuff, and that all culminated with this past weekend, where J and I did real estate stuff all day, both Saturday and Sunday. I'm talking 8 in the morning till midnight -- both days. I can't really talk about what it is we were doing since it's confidential, but let's just say we are both exhausted. Oh, and we are also finally in escrow on a house, so the clock is ticking.

After eating dinner this morning around 1am (drive-thru at Burger King, yum!), we crashed in bed. J wanted to get into the office today at 5am (since he brought up home a ton of work he wasn't able to do this weekend and had a mediation to attend today) and he ended up oversleeping till 7am. I don't know how he jumped out of bed and put a suit on because I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a train. After he left I went back to sleep and woke up at noon. And I still feel like I've been hit by a train, or have a college-grade hangover, though no alcohol was involved. 

I feel bad for J since I can work from home in my PJs, but he has to sit in an office all day, exhausted from this weekend.  Part of me just wants to go back to sleep right now. He called this afternoon to say "hi" during his lunch break, and I told him I feel this whole process is like a near-death experience that we've gone through together and will forever bond us. He laughed weakly, since that was all his energy could muster.

Sorry for being so cryptic, but I really can't divulge details. I'm just going to say this: I'm not a religious person but I hope to God we get this house. If not, I'd want to burn the thing to the ground.