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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Incongruities at the Thrift Store

I justify my thrifting expeditions in various ways: I am helping a good cause! or No one appreciates this abandoned item! or I am actually conducting sociological research!
Not that I'm a sociologist. Not that I need anything.

Still, some strange and (to me, anyway) interesting moments. For instance, at Goodwill the other day, I heard the cashier exclaim "I didn't know Jimmy Choo made purses!" To which the proud purchaseer replied, "Yes."

Also shopping that day was a woman in a sweatshirt of interlocked G's with a tag saying GUCCI. Also, a giant purse to match.

A few days earlier, Mr FS and I went to New Orleans to go to the art museum. I said I wanted a brief stop at Bloomingdeals, run by the Junior League. I've written before about how much I loved this place when my children were small. Since Katrina, the stock and general ambience are quite forlorn.

There, I spied a gaggle of young volunteers. They were huddled together, discussing in loud tones the fact that Saks was going to have an additional 40% off sale starting Monday and that their husbands would kill them when they got the bills.

Status! Class differences! So much to see at the thrift store.


Shelley said...

All of this makes me rather sad. Am I reading this wrong? {BTW, I didn't realise Jimmy Choo made bags, either, but then I think his shoes look like art, not apparel.}

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--I don't know how to read it myself. I found the status labels at Gw ridiculous--all were, I assume, fakes. The volunteers at the Jr League were, I think, being insensitive to the customers. But I don't know...

Duchesse said...

As a person who shops both at Saks and consignment stores, I would not have any feelings one way or the other about the Junior League volunteers' eagerness about the sale.

I find it more remarkable that they are saying their "husbands will kill them when they get the bills"- a remark I have not heard for decades!

Nearly all of the women I know have their own incomes; the few who are supported financially by a partner have a budget to spend as they determine. If they go over, they are responsible. The "my husband will kill me" relationship infantalizes women and I'd have a hard time keeping my mouth shut if I heard it.

Vivienne said...

Oh, that "my husband will kill me" sentiment is alive and well. But my all time favorite is selling clothing to a woman who says "well, I'll have to see if my husband likes it...". My thought was always that the garment in question probably WASN'T his size anyway!

Shelley said...

I think it made me sad that women of limited means (an assumption that may not be correct) would be so excited about the status brands (and as you say, likely fake). Also that the Jr League women were in a position that their husbands could 'kill them' (is this a status thing, indicating they married 'well'??). And that the remark indicated that they were planning on being irresponsible in their spending else why would hubby be upset?

I have on occasion consulted with Bill about a purchase I wasn't certain about. He has a good eye and can tell me if something works or not, and if not, why. It's nothing to do with the money.