I went thrifting yesterday by myself for the first time since having M. Thrifting used to be a source of great fun. When I was in high school, I scored myself a coveted collection of velvet blazers from thrift stores. When I was in college, I often went to the vintage store near campus and loved just browsing the racks. Yesterday, I went to the thrift store with a couple of purposes in mind:

  1. Buy components for a Tifa Lockhart cosplay.
  2. Grab anything that caught my eye that would help me lean more into my various seasonal aesthetics (holiday goth, faerie goth, mer-goth, goth girl fall).

I tried on a few things, including a skirt that would have worked okay for Tifa. But I didn’t feel great about myself in it, so in the end I didn’t buy it.

I spent about two hours in the thrift store, looked at every department. For the first hour or so, it felt kind of fun. But by the end I found myself thinking, “This isn’t how I want to spend my time.” To really have success with thrifting, you need to do it often. And I just don’t have it in me anymore.

And that’s okay. Things change.

I do like browsing online resale places, like ThredUp, Poshmark, and Depop, though everything on Depop is priced too high for me to spend on something I probably had in my closet 20 years ago.

After I left the thrift store, I went to the creative reuse center/store that’s across the parking lot. (They’re both owned by the same non-profit.) That place was a wonderland. When I was in middle and high school, they were this kind of cool place with lots of weird cast-offs that you could turn into art if you were super clever with reuse. I’m not super clever with reuse; where other people see artistic possibilities, I just see stuff. But now, this place is so huge and full of stuff for less creative types like me: fabric, yarn, sewing notions, so much cool ephemera… I feel like I could definitely get a good collage out of paper I found there, and I think all my craft projects will now begin with a trip there. (Fortunately, in the same shopping center, there’s a local craft store, so I can hit all my needs in one trip.)

They also just sometimes have cool stuff. So, for example, I got my kid a gorgeous pair of fairy wings, a notebook, and a complete alphabet cookie cutter set. All 3 things for $9. Pretty great.