I have been reflecting (see what I did there? proper writers use that sort of device....and me sometimes..lame I know...) on why I love second-hand, or thrifted or vintage or old or pre-loved or second-time-around, whatever you choose to call it. And love it I do. One of my earliest memories is of mum taking me to the thrift shop she used to frequent in our town, and her visit was done practically under cover of darkness. She was anxious lest anyone should see her. The visit felt furtive and exciting and the shop itself was like an aladdins cave. It was the only one in town and was run by a lady who wore lots of diamonds and scent. At the time my ma was a hard working mother with four kids and a very limited housekeeping budget, and although she very very seldom went out, if once a year there was a 'dinner dance' to go to we would visit the thrift shop. The rails of dresses and coats were just beautiful, remember this was the 50's, so the dresses were all, or seemed to me to be, absolutely gorgeous chiffon and lace and silk creations that were proper 'grown up' ladies gowns.The walls were adorned with hats and bags, with shoes on shelves, and jewellery pinned to jackets and any available surface. I loved it there, and although I could be wrong, I think the owner let mom have things 'on appro' which was a term that at the time I imagined to be Italian ...cor blimey....very posh!
but I later realised was shorthand for 'on approval', meaning mom could take it home, try it on and decide, and if she wanted it, could pay for it in stages.
Then later there were jumble sales, and then car boots, and then charity shops, and always, always, always, along the way I was wearing someone elses clothes, which I love (boyfriends cardi? I invented that term way back) and I still, to this day love to wear anything from my sister. Which is sometimes very difficult, given that she is slim and I am not.....but a jumper or coat covers any wibbly wobbly bit on most people and she had/has great taste and money to spend.
I like holding a vase that once held a bunch of flowers that meant something special to an unknown person. I like the feel of a leather bag that has worn itself soft with use. Old postcards break my heart with their meticulous and beautiful ink written words. The china plates and bone handled forks that were used for enjoying cake by another lover of baking many years ago. Tablecloths embroidered by such talented fingers, and paintings that tell a story.
Old things please me. They speak to me. I am old! and this mirror must have so many stories to tell.
Mmmmmmmmmm...just need to think about where to hang it now.