My daughter’s birthday is looming! Her, sexy smart, beautiful brunette and cleverly artistic. As time arranged it, her son’s birthday is her birthday, a gift from god some might say. He is 12 years old, very social; easy to please – a planned day out, go-carting.
Whereby my daughter, she loves gold, beautiful clothes, and creative expression. She is also the guru of thrift shopping. From the day she was born her introduction to thrifty shopping was confronting. My mother’s relatives, out of respect of her, turned up. Every 10 years or so, we catch up at the Christmas gathering in June, with the 100 or so distant family relations. Uncle Steve’s family were the expert thrifts. Thus, when mum gave the word, they arrived one by one bearing gifts, bags bursting brimming of booties, knitted jumpers, nappies, prams, bouncers, highchair, basinet and the family heirloom crib, a baby bath and the baby list goes on to fully consume my bedroom. Their family, a policeman, nurse, teacher, school principal and support worker understood community. Being a young mother, I had no idea, and before my children, I loved travel, money, work, and social gatherings. Nonetheless, generations apart, I was more than grateful for all the help.
My distant memories of my grandmother’s sewing room, Rhubarb pie, the sunroom stacked with books floor to wall, and frangipani butting into the window ledge, entails grounding of future thrift adventures. Her musical jewelry boxes, antique rubies, and shimmering emeralds entwined in gold. Her rooms graced gigantic grandfather clocks of chimes, wooden and grand pianos, and lastly, a broken cuckoo clock in the dark tv room. My childhood visits filled a myriad of days playing with charming bracelets, chatting in the sewing room, and enjoying her enigmatic house and garden of vegetables and chooks. The other grandmother lived on the beach, she was immensely gratified by her engineer son and ridiculed everybody else. She did not much like children, but she put up with us, her role in my childhood involved my once-a-month Sunday pork roast and a play at the beach. Her glamourous gold and silver glistering pump shoes enticed me to come back for each visit. I remember the tooth and nail fights for who would wear what pair of shoes, her beloved overcoats, and long gloves to progress to play ladies with my sisters in the bedroom.
Myself, the op-shopping didn’t begin until my late 30’s. But on occasion when my sisters came to stay or a visit from childhood friends, we would head out op shopping, adorn the clothes factories and shop to you drop.
Under disguise amassed in large dark glasses, and almost scarf overhead appeal, I graced the store, my friends in toe ready to come out, armed with treats. The rummaging and sorting through were fun for all, looking for that secret treasure, bric-a-brac, and unique wares. Yet over the years and changes of circumstances, I moved to Victoria. Centuries behind Australia, a thrift buyer’s dream; The opportunity shop, The Thrift store, Smith family, Vincent DePaul, Trash and Treasures emporiums, and The Farmers Markets to say it all, more than one store on every corner of every street. Though my apprehension and stigma of opportunity shopping diminished, daunting nonetheless my small daughter and I learned to shop. The years passed and the disguises disappeared, no friends were needed to thrift shop anymore. I would bring home books, board games, and comfortable winter woollies, suitcases for my flight home, and goodies to fill my hoarding.
Today’s internet shopping explosion of AfterPay, eBay, Amazon, and second-hand sales. I admit, my astounding ability to spend whole days at times, until my elbow and wrist hurt from leaning, surfing the net shopping, buying, ordering, looking for, and planning my expenditure of the next few weeks, I glorify in my home and treasures.
So, this month is my oldest daughter’s birthday, the guru shopper herself who sifts through clothes, like no other to come home with a goddess’s wardrobe. Yesterday on buy swap and sell marketplace, my filtering paid off, to be awarded a contemporized ornament to fulfill her décor. The beginning of her birthday gift.
Not trash, or a junkie’s paradise, but a unique bargain and the reminder of dollar day can enhance the advantageous purchase and galore, a genuine treasure trove.