An artist friend from the past, Joyce Koskenmaki, once defined a true friend as "someone you could go to thrift stores with." So true, dear Joyce, though I haven't seen you in almost twenty years--or even heard from you in nearly ten.
In fact, it is with a twinge of sadness that I realize that I don't currently have a thrift store friend, though Miss Em and I have become a great team on the too-seldom occasions when we are in the same place.
Still, thrift stores are the sites of relationships, albeit usually superficial ones. For years, I had seen an extremely tall woman at the thrifts. She was usually accompanied by a very short older woman. A few years ago, we broke the silence. I mentioned that my daughter liked her handbag, avery beat-up funky leather one.Then last year, we met at the linens and she showed me some nice things she didn't have a use for. Some of which I bought--with thanks.
After that, the boundaries came down. We exchanged first names (though it took me a while to remember hers). I learned that she and her husband owned a horse farm. I learned that the short woman was her 90 year old mother, who is in splendid shape, both mental and physical. We would show each other things we thought the other might like.
We haven't met for a while, since Goodwill moved to a new location. Yesterday, I ran into her (and called her by the wrong name!!! Shameful!!!). She was so happy to see me: I'm trying to get rid of stuff and I've been carrying that purse your daughter admired in my car. Wow!
I asked for her address so Miss Em could send a thank you note. She gave me her card and divulged that she had a website where she sold jewelry made from bits and pieces of things she finds. She also revealed that she is a jewelry expert of sorts: good stuff just falls into my hands, which is the exact thing I say about clothing. I would rather have magnetism for vintage silver pieces than for cashmere sweaters, but I suppose one has to accept the gifts one is given.
So she gave me her card so I could see her website. Check it out! Shades of Joseph Cornell.