Thrift Shopping Is My Xanax

For me, thrift stores have always had some sort of medicinal calming effect like tobacco or a sasparilla.

Oct 17, 2011 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

On Sunday I came this close to buying a pair of leather pants, "totally brand new, only worn once," from a woman wearing house slippers on the sidewalk. She carefully lifted the pants from a nearby chain link fence, then shook them sexily in my direction. "No thanks," I said sidestepping the rest of her rag tag gang of wares. Normally, I can't walk by a yard sale without stopping. 

I'm a garage sale shaman. A consignment shop hopper. A thrift store jockey. With the exception of ABC gum, if someone's hocking something someone else has already used, then I have to touch it. Need to touch it. The only reason I could withstand the sweet pull of those shiny boot cut leather pants was because I'd already gotten my second-hand fix for the weekend which strangely enough happened to be all cowboy everything. 

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For me, thrift stores have always had some sort of medicinal calming effect like tobacco or a sasparilla. If I'm going insane inside my house because the dog won't shut up or my blank computer screen refuses to say anything, I immediately head down to my local junk dealer and just look at stuff. I never buy anything. 

I don't know whether it's the musty history of the place or maybe the sense of freakish community but the thrift shop is my sweat lodge. I go in tightly wound, annoyed, ready to burst and I come out quiet, contemplative and ready to buy a big ole saddle for my sitting room someday. As such, this week I give you the cowboy edition. 

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At the thrift store, amongst the seemingly random arrangement of mason jars, mink coats and mid-century coffee tables there's always a symmetry to be had if you just work the room long enough. The knowledge that out of chaos there can be thoughtful curation always makes me feel better about everything. Is that weird? If it is, then I don't want to be un-weird. What say you cowgirls, any random window shopping habits that make your brain say, "Ahhhhh"?