Monday, April 23, 2012
Excavations at the Thrift Store: Inside the Suitcase
It is probably no surprise that I find consumption habits fascinating. Perhaps this is because my father was in market research. Perhaps this is because one of the few books in my house when I was growing up (I was the only reader in the family) was a cheap paperback of The Status Seekers, a huge best seller in the 50s. I suppose I am a bit of a statys seeker myself, as I seek nice things at thrift shops! Anyway, I made a hefty donation today and, of course, had to take a peek inside the store. I thought the thrift store gods had rewarded me for the donation by giving me a somewhat beat up Mulberry bag. Alas, I'm pretty sure it is fake, but still nice for $3.00. I also bought a big suitcase by Hartman. Why, I do not know. Inside, I found the real treasures: the detritus of the suitcase donor. And perhaps I found the answer to the mystery: why would someone donate an almost new suitcase to Goodwill? Inside one of the pockets, I discovered the tag and spare button for a pair of Bussy pants by Chameau. And a Wesport chemise by the same maker. Then there is the fancy tag for a tie by Beretta. And a tag for something by Barbour--maybe a jacket? So...who is this outdoorsy, probably wealthy person, who brought back all these items from the eurozone? Checking a big bag like the Hartman costs a pretty penny also. Did this person buy all the stuff in Europe and then need to buy a big bag to bring it home? Did he then donate the bag because he already had too many suitcases? What do you think? Do you like thrift store mysteries and excavations?