I woke up early on Tuesday morning to head out with my mom to do some shopping. We had to travel all the way to Lawrenceville. I’m not an early bird. I went to bed about two in the morning hoping that I could run on adrenaline later on in the day. I was to be comfortable, so I needed sneakers, not heels, or sandals. All these factors mattered. When my mom woke me up later that morning I grudgingly rolled out of bed and prepared to go shopping at the thrift store. This was going to be the best therapy ever.
This was my first time to a thrift store as an adult. Growing up my mother loved to do consignment sells, so we frequent them more than often. I could always remember that dusty old smell and the gray ball of lent that lingered on the floor. My hand always felt grimy afterward. But that was a part of the experience.
So at seven in the morning, we rode through Atlanta traffic to get to the thrift store. This wasn’t like a Value Village or a Goodwill. This store had donations from wealthy people, which meant name brands! How many places can you get cheap name brands? Not many, so that’s why we decided to haul our butts across Atlanta. I wasn’t hoping to restore my wardrobe or anything but I was looking to find a few cute dresses and maybe some tops. I didn’t know how big this place was, but when we got there, I found out that it was popular. I watched women and a few men stand outside the doors waiting to get inside. They had their own carts and bags. I knew by the way these older ladies leaned against the door, they were trying to be the first in to get the best stuff. Lucky us my grandma was standing near the front. She had been there since eight something. Honestly, I wasn’t that dedicated.
“Some of these people are resellers,” my mom said.
I looked around thinking of what exactly people were trying to sell. I remember my mom and grandma both sold kids clothes.
“Kids clothes sale more,” she said.
My grandma was there to also find things to resale. She was also looking for kid’s clothes. I recall her saying boy’s clothes.
When the doors opened and everyone ran for a cart. I grabbed one for my mom, but she already had the experience I didn’t. She got her own. We ran immediately to the women’s side and examined the racks for anything we wanted. I watched as women grabbed large sections or clothing and piled them into their carts. I was looking through the racks as if I was at a department store.
“You go on that end,” my mom said. “I’ll do this end.”
I picked up shorts and shirts. I squeezed through carts and rude people refusing to lose their place. I could only hear the clinging of hangers and an occasional “excuse me.”
“Don’t leave your cart unattended. Someone will take your stuff,” I heard a female voice say.
I grabbed on to my cart as if she told the information to me. I tried to stay as close to the cart as possible but also turned my back a few times assuming my mom had my back. I stayed by her side for about thirty minutes. When she started looking at shirts, I somehow ended up in sweaters and before I knew it, my cart was looking like the resellers. I saw many of them taking clothes from the kid’s section and women’s. Nobody was really around the men’s.
I watched a little girl was around eight years old guarding her mother’s cart, looking around not exactly knowing how long she would be there. I remember those days. I felt sorry for her. Being forced to shop. No girl should ever be forced to shop.
I was stunned to see the amount of name brand clothes that were left behind. I grabbed every designer I knew and stuck it on top of the pile. Even if it was an XL. It could shrink in the dryer. When I sorted through everything I grabbed, I realized that some of the stuff I had was dated, except for the Abercrombie & Fitch. For me, that will never go out of style.
As I walked out of the store with several bags of old, new clothes, I felt calm and relaxed. Not like I had been to the spa, but as if I had a Zen moment. I wasn’t anxious; that meant the medicine was working or maybe the shopping.