Thrifted Earrings Tuesday: The Allure of the Unpredictable (by HMK)
What: Really quite stunning, sparkly vintage clip-on earrings
Brand: Generalized vintage insanity
Where: Random independent thrift shop, Old Saybrook, CT
When: July 2014
Price: $9, for both pairs
I wish I could remember the name of the thrift shop where I bought these dazzlers. Said shop was tucked into a random building, which one can locate by taking a random turn, off of a random road. (I hope those directions prove helpful.) I do wish I could remember it more clearly, as this shop really did constitute the best of Small, Non-Chain Thrift Store Shopping.
Now, my love for Goodwill is very well-documented. I love, love, LOVE Goodwill. Goodwills always have a nice layout and big changing rooms. Goodwills always have reasonable prices. Goodwills always have amazing, weird stuff. Bless Goodwill.
But Goodwill is a chain, and chains do have rules. The price of something at Goodwill is its price, and they won’t change it, come hell or high water. Goodwill only allows six items in a changing room at a time, and employees will (albeit lazily) seek to enforce this dictum. Goodwill will ask to see your ID if you make a purchase with a credit card. These are not terrible rules, but they are rules, and one must (typically) abide by them.
Independent thrift stores, now—those are something else, altogether. They are more lawless, anarchic spaces, a fact which, admittedly, works in both good ways and bad. I have never been interrogated about my personal relationship with Jesus at Goodwill. But at independent thrift stores, I have. Frequently. Yikes.
On the other hand, here are some of the things which happened to me at this lovely Old Saybrook thrift store which never would have happened to me at a chain store:
-On hearing me lament that I hated examining jewelry from behind glass, the cashier opened up the jewelry case for me. And left it open. And walked away. Wow. Trust.
-When I kept vainly seeking to see how earrings looked on me by using my phone (unwise), the cashier brought me a vintage mirror to look in. Charming. (And so much more helpful.)
-When I commented on how much I liked both of the pairs of earrings I was trying on, and needed to decide which pair to choose, the cashier casually told me I could have both for the price of one, since I liked them both so much. What.
I guess it’s something akin to the Starbucks vs. indie coffeeshop thing. When on the road, there is nothing I am more grateful to see than a Starbucks. Somewhere which will reliably have nice drinks, gooey baked goods, and comfy chairs for me! Praise be! The predictable and the expected!
Yet independent coffeeshops, like independent thrift stores, are delightfully unpredictable and unexpected. In independent thrift shops, I have been religiously badgered, and have had free Bibles shoved into my bag of purchases against my will. But. I have also had nice cashiers provide me with mirrors, and give me discounts, and trust me with their jewelry cases. And so. Unpredictability does seem to have its charms…