Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wikipedia on Thrifting

Wikipedia's entry on thrifting holds very little that is surprising to the modern thrifter. Although I didn't know there was a magazine named Thrift Score. That was new.

In their bullet points, they have this to say:

Socially speaking, thrifting is a lesson in the treasures a culture tosses and the junk people keep.

I very much agree. 

I once worked in a nursing home. I saw a lot of people die. I am not afraid of it. But I have an overwhelming desire to remember those who have come before me. And to create something the will keep my memory.

People ultimately leave behind their children and their stuff. And their stuff, like a family, loses a certain cohesiveness once a person is gone. A collection seems to lose it's purpose. The focus is missing. The reason something was treasured has been lost. Unless someone is told the story, it is lost.

I was tasked with cleaning out the rooms of the dead. Getting rid of all the things that a family no longer wants. Things someone once treasured, things that had stories. Gone. Because Junior doesn't care that Mom went on a trip to Mexico before he was born and got a souvenir that reminds her of a time she was young and beautiful and very much alive. Most of the time, children throw out the stuff but keep the pictures.

Sometimes they throw those away too.

I was asked to throw away a large photograph of a child once. It was about 18inches by 12inches. The family had no idea who it was a picture of.

They were just going to get rid of it. Throw it out. Forget about it.

I can't forget that face. That child was alive. And no one cared about them anymore. It was just one of the many things I took home rather than trash. 

I have plenty of my own family, but I also have a thrifted family. I know the stories of my own. I like to wonder about theirs.

I was browsing around some blog archives recently and just found this written down at Beautiful Clutter:

Lockets are magic - they can contain secrets, tributes to a lost love, tiny representations of our most deeply held desires, and best of all they are worn close to the heart.

It is something that I believe deep in my heart as well. 

It is also the reason I love to buy old photographs. Someone loved these people once. They should not be lost.

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