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Crow’s-Feet Chronicles: Me---gently worn out
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Jun 8, 2014
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Books are a barometer in a thrift store.  They’re the canary in the second-hand coal mine.  Wealthy socialites buy dresses, wear them once, and donate them immediately to make room in their closets for more dresses they’ll wear once.  If the books and music are classics or topics for the erudite, then assume the donors dropped off their wardrobe, as well.  But the trip through the thrift store should be brief and snappy.  There’s no time to study the liner notes of every record, CD and cassette tape, as if we’re trying to crack the Da Vinci code. 

I found an article online, written by Andy McDonald, which summarizes his whimsical observation of thrift stores:

Everyone's walking with a limp.
Someone, somewhere, is coughing.  No, like, "Are they okay?" coughing.

One of the aisles smells like urine.  And the items in the aisle are completely irrelevant.  Sometimes it's the books and puzzles and snow cone maker aisle, and sometimes it's the plates and bowls and broken-electronic-dartboard-with-candy-bar-gunk-in-it aisle.  Doesn't matter what.  Smells like urine.

In the corner, a guy is staring at a car stereo with a tape deck.  He's debating.  Yeah, it's in really good condition considering how old it is.  Looks vintage.  On the other hand... dude, do you even have tapes?  Yeah, you probably do... 

Something is spilled on the floor.  It's either tomato soup or blood.  Neither of which should be in a thrift store.  But you're not surprised.

There are no food items for sale anywhere in the store, but for some reason ooh, expired Pringles!  I'm sure they're fine.

Look, some jerk left a Starbucks coffee cup just sitting on a shelf.  Oh wait, that's yours. 

"This is a nice, giant metal desk that obviously belonged to a grade school teacher and will require a U-Haul to transport.  There must be somewhere I can fit this."

Hovering around the employees who are pretending to listen is a crazy guy who is always in the store.  He doesn't buy anything.  Ever.  You've never seen him arrive, or leave.  He just... is.

Oh wow, what a great t-shirt... if only the previous owner didn't have a neck the size of a waist.

That couch looks like it's in decent shape... but I don't trust that there isn't a raccoon living somewhere inside.

Okay, the maximum time you can be in a thrift store before feeling like you've swallowed a dirt cake with a dust bunny frosting has passed.  Oh well, that's fine.  I need some time to think about whether or not to purchase that ketchup stained strobe light.
Lanny and I remodeled a year ago.  For the past 12 months, half of our garage has been glutted with boxes of I’ll-go-through-it-later stuff and racks of maybe-I’ll-learn-to-love-it-enough-to-wear-it-again clothes. 

Clothing that hangs in a dust-collecting garage is depressing.  So, I recently bundled up some items and dropped them off at a thrift store.  I’m not sure which stunned me more---the speed in which the thrift store processed my gently-worn donations or my threadbare mind.

Within a day or so of depositing my items, I returned to the thrift store to look for some work shirts for Lanny.  Two shirts caught my eye---one a yellow and green plaid and the other a blue and white check.  Perfect.  I paid for them and brought them home.  I carried them in the house and Lanny made the startling discovery.

You guessed it. 

cindybaker@cableone.net