Tales From The Thrift
If there's one good thing about growing up in a small town (of the John Mellencamp kind), it's in finding quirky places to kill a Monday afternoon and spend $10 on used Destiny's Child and Beach Boys CDs. Maybe it's just a Connecticut thing, but it feels like I've always grown up in antique shops with my mom or wandering through the Army Navy surplus store -- just for fun.
My favorite part of collectible shops is that you never know what you're going to find. Over the years I've accumulated rings, bags, leather jackets, retro tin signs, records and a floral button-up dress (I think I saw Monica on Friends in something similar). Each time I wear, hang, or listen to these things, I remember exactly where I got them and who I was with at the time: The "Fly Alaska" poster on my wall from a junk bin in Rapid City, South Dakota -- or the $30 vintage Coach I found near Seattle, whose previous owner had donated it just 20 minutes before I walked in. A ring I bought at the Mystic Emporium, the day it closed forever (and the same one I've worn nearly every day since) and the Frampton Comes Alive album spinning now, that I spent all summer searching for.
With today's technological age at my fingertips, I could have purchased some of these things through the World Wide Web and had them delivered to my doorstep in 5-7 business days (or less!). But I still like to believe in things not always so readily available -- I find comfort in knowing that for every lazy Monday, there's a quiet shop in a small town with old treasures still waiting to be found.