Monday, June 20, 2011
Although I’m quick to sing the praises of thrifting, it’s not without certain drawbacks. First of all, you have to be ready to deal with a certain degree of ick. Yes, these are clothes that have (usually) already been worn by someone else. I often find things that still have original store tags on them, or items that look brand new, but most everything has at least been touched by several folks by the time you get your hands on it. That’s what a washing machine is for, right? Second of all, you have to be willing to dig. For every amazing dress or adorable shirt you find, there are dozens, nay hundreds of items that will have you thinking “this should have just been thrown away!” I try not to donate clothes that I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving to a friend, but not everyone feels that way. Or maybe they just don’t have very fashionable friends. Third, some thrift stores will take anything, and I do mean anything. I’m willing to buy a lot of things at thrift stores but draw the line at certain items. I don’t buy workout clothes, mainly because the idea groses me out but also because you have to wonder about the integrity of used elastic. I don’t usually buy shoes, unless I can tell they are brand new (I’ve found flats from Target with the store tags on and still tied together) or barely worn. If they’re in very good shape and something I can wear with socks, I might give them another glance, but usually I walk on through that section without stopping to browse. Which brings me to a story from my adventure at Unique on Saturday. Katherine and her friend were perusing tank tops, which I already have a million of, so I decided to take another look at the rows of scarves we had passed earlier. Unique has a ton of jam-packed aisles so I just looked for the one with horizontal rows of small, patterned pieces of cloth. It had been a long day and I was a bit dazed, so I wasn’t really paying much attention. Which is how I walked up and grazed my fingers over....rows and rows of USED UNDERWEAR. As soon as I realized what I’d done I recoiled in horror, and then shook my hand up and down like it was on FIRE. Which I almost wish it had been, because that would have at least burned the germs off. After silently freaking out for a few minutes while jumping up and down in disgust, I hightailed it to Katherine and explained the situation in hysterics while pouring about a GALLON of sanitizer on my hands and rubbing them together furiously. After I had recovered sufficiently, we dissolved into a fit of giggles. But not before asking ourselves “What kind of thrift store sells used underwear?” And worse yet, who buys it?