Choices

Me and Veronica walked out of the store looking so cool.
I’d been trying to get rid of stuff in the house, because there seemed to be so much underfoot.
“Come on, Veronica, we are going to the thrift store.”
I’ve always gone to thrift stores. My favorite teddy bear as a child was one I chose from a Salvation Army store. She has a velvet tummy and I named her Deanna.
When I got older, my jones for shopping could only be fulfilled somewhere very cheap. Thrift stores it was. The aisles were full of random things, and it was easy to try a look that I happened across because it was so cheap.
At some point, in my early adulthood I came across an article praising the fashion sense of Diane Keaton. She said she was shocked at the acclaim when it began, right around when the movie Annie Hall came out. She said she was only shopping in thrift stores.
Oh really? This was the first time I had thought of thrift stores as cool. It had always seemed like something to be ashamed of.
But I had always secretly preferred the thrift store. I could go to the fancy department store of my youth, Lamont’s and see what I was supposed to wear to look cool. But it was all the same.
I wanted something different from what they had. And Salvation Army was full of different things. I could make my own look.
And that’s why I’m writing about it. There is a cult following of thrift store fashion. Diane Keaton was not the first or the last. We thrifters are ready to take chances. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to be stuck with the choices some corporate person selected for me. I have my own ideas about what I like to wear.
Even if clothes and fashion are not your mode of artistic expression, this is something to remember. You and I–all of us– have more choices than the ones we’ve been given.
You are not stuck in a rut. Life can sometimes feel like we’ve been given a booklet of ration coupons, and we have to stand in line to get what’s ours.
There is so much more than that. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And we can rifle through what’s discarded, look around and see if there’s a road or even a deer path less traveled, to see who else we might want to be or where we might like to explore.
Veronica found a faux leather jacket in her size. After looking over the whole store, even lingering on a purple hat, she settled on the leather jacket. She feels pretty awesome.
So when we left the store, I felt pretty awesome too. We make our own choices.