As you may recall, Ken and I recently set up a booth in the antique shop where I currently work part-time. The space I have now is twice as large as the booth I used to have, which means I have to do a lot more buying if I want to keep up with sales. Not that it’s a problem—I love to shop. But where do I buy things cheap enough that I can resell them? Thrift stores, of course (or what some of you would call charity shops). It’s amazing how many cool things you can find at second-hand places that can be refinished, refreshed, or refurbished. So I’ve been regularly haunting Goodwill, Value Village and a couple of other places where I’ve found some great stuff—well, great if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease. For example, the other day, I got a couple of old sewing machine drawers for 6 bucks each—a little chalk paint and new knobs, and they’re ready for resale. Or check out below the coatrack that I made out of a single footboard, a couple of old shoe forms, and some fancy hooks.
But I have to keep my overhead low, which is why the other day, I had an experience that was both amazing and troubling.
I’d been at my hairdresser’s and she mentioned a thrift store in another town called Talize, which I’d never heard of, but apparently they have a ton of locations in Ontario. I needed to visit my Lancôme lady anyway, and this Talize store was just down the street. I had been astonished to discover that my tiny, perfect, and young-looking Lancôme lady Rosina had a twenty-seven-year-old son, since she looks about twenty-seven herself, but then I remembered that we’d known each other for over fifteen years, so she must be older than I thought. At any rate, she told ME that I didn’t look old enough to have a twenty-four-year-old daughter, and I know that’s just to keep me buying serum, but still, I walked away with a bit of a glow.
The glow continued on into Talize, where I discovered a fancy plate stand, a wicker suitcase, an old washboard, and a couple of wine goblets. Then I got to the cash register. “That’ll be 18.35,” the cashier said. “Unless you qualify for one of our discounts.”
“Which discount?” I asked.
“Well, we have a senior’s discount. You’d qualify for that.”
The glow faded. And even though their seniors’ discount was for 55 and up, I still felt a little betrayed by Rosina, who had assured me, prior to my purchase, that I didn’t look a day over 45, and the cashier had immediately clocked me as being at least my own goddamn age. But then, the cashier recalculated the sale. “16.50. You saved 10%.”
And I was so excited that I did what any normal person would do—I called Ken. “I’m a senior!” I said. “Do you know what that means?”
“That when you crouch down, it hurts to stand back up?”
“Also that. But it means that I get a discount at Talize. Ooh, I wonder what age you have to be to qualify for a discount at Chez VV? Let me look…what the hell? SIXTY? The nerve. How does Value Village expect us poor pensioners to afford their sh*t? Oh well, three more years to go.”
And I can’t wait.