So is the turkey finally gone from the fridge? Did your family have to threaten sustained Dominos deliveries until you finally stopped with the leftover creations?
Leftovers are rarely popular after 2-3 days.
But today I’m actually referring to a different type of leftover. I’m speaking of those treasures which sit in thrift and resale shops. You know the ones: Salvation Army, Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, but also local ones whose purpose is to act as a financial support to charities such as shelters, hospices, etc. The latter kind sits a few doors down from our gym. It acts as my wife’s motivating force on gym mornings when she’d rather stay under the blanket on the couch with her iPad and cup of coffee.
Normally that type of motivation is supposed to be the person who actually joins you in going on that venture. However, in this nearly daily moment, I always take second banana to that resale shop. Whatever works right?
After our workouts, we usually go our separate ways for a bit. I go to either the gas station and/or the wine store in the same shopping center, Gorgeous goes directly to the charity resale shop. I meet her there afterwards, constantly with a tinge of worry and apprehension at what “treasure” (her term always, never mine) she might find and want. The most frequent ones are small “nicknacks” (my term always, never hers) such as small tea cups, vases, or what my tribe calls tchotchkes. But every now and again I’ll find her with a large item in her basket such as a mirror. Or worse, she’ll be standing next to a large piece of furniture with a determined look on her face, waiting for me to arrive.
We own a small Toyota hatchback. Not everything can fit into a compact hatchback. Sometimes things have to be taken apart to fit, which means that everything has to be put back together again later. If it can’t be taken apart, then you have to arrange for someone with a truck to come and deliver it to your home. These are the complicated transactions. I prefer she just look at the tchotchkes.
I wasn’t raised with visiting resale shops and thrift stores. My mother, bless her soul, used to infer that they were places solely for people who struggle to get by in life. True to her training as a social worker, she never came right out and actually said those words, mind you. But my sibs and I were led to believe that those who shopped there needed privacy because there was an element of shame for them to be there.
Yeah, I had a hard time swallowing that one too, even at the time.
I knew it was no doubt more about my mother’s absolute fear of her children touching anything out in public. Germs were everywhere, she said. Except probably in a Bonwit Teller, Hudson’s, or Jacobson’s store; all of which she thought were a providential gift to humanity. Funny thing, though: none of those stores are even operating any longer. I bet it was germs.
But thrift stores and resale shops are like a magnet for my lovely bride. She likes them as much as regular antique stores, though I think it’s that idea that at the less expensive establishment, you’ll find that one certifiable gem that by a stroke of either laziness or total sincerity on the part of the donator, it’s not instead currently sitting at some overpriced boutique. After a hard workout, this place is her reward before heading home again. Besides, no one looks down at you for coming in looking like, well, you might need be in serious need of a shower.
I have occasional trepidation about some of these treasures. I worry about how they’ll grace our living areas. Over the last several months, Gorgeous bought wall mirrors on the cheap that at least to me saw their better days sometime back during the Eisenhower administration. I often struggle in seeing the forest through the trees.
“All it needs is a fresh coat of paint,” I’m told each time with a measure of confidence that will overpower any lack of faith my facial expression is telegraphing. And sure enough, she later does surprise me with a marvelous job of surface repair and repainting.
Even the larger items that required taking apart and reassembled after we got home seemed to fit for the purpose intended in her mind. Behold the working table in her office that I insisted was no good.
And while not all of the following treasures were bought at resale or thrift shops, many of them were. I suspect even Gorgeous might have a hard time remembering.
Lest I come across as a hypocrite, I’ll admit to having my own habit of buying leftovers. These I got from a record fair a few weeks ago…
One of the challenges second marriages can face is with what to keep from your prior life. Is it time to let it go, or do you keep and blend it somehow with your new partner? I’ve noticed other retirement bloggers face this same issue, such as Linda at Retired Introvert. In our own case, however, we moved cross-country from Oregon to Florida. So that pretty much forced us to start from scratch. And as one of us is still in full-time work mode, while the other is only working part time slightly and drawing just 1/3 of his future benefits for a handful of years yet, everything we do and buy needs to be done with budgetary calculations in mind. Outfitting our home in a tasteful and occasionally a thrifty way helps accomplish that.
Of course, Gorgeous, I’ve noticed, does also have an affinity for a man or woman in uniform. I’m speaking of those visitors who knock on our front doors and then scurry back down the stairs after leaving a package. Or two packages. What sits in those boxes are often not leftovers by any definition. They are brand spanking new, usually kitchen-oriented, and I have no earthly idea what they are or what they do. But we are doing our best to keep that cyber economy stimulated.
So, do toss the leftover holiday turkey from your fridge’s middle shelf if you haven’t already. And do consider either dropping off any material-possession “leftovers” you might not need at a neighborhood charity resale shop, or possibly even buy an item from them. You’re bound to make someone’s life better for doing so, including yourself. I’m now a believer.
Until next time…