Some Things, Old

Some Things, Old


Buying new stuff is pretty easy, especially since even the lowest brow of stores now have at least a collection or two of something curated by someone deemed an arbiter of stylishness and/or good taste.

Buying old stuff requires considerably more effort. If you use eBay and are dealing with an actual individual person, it’s a little more complex and often less secure, value is fluid, etc and so on. For me though, there’s always been a great buzz about finding just the right thing at a yard sale, a salvo or a roadside antique shoppe (why oh why is it a shoppe? gah.) That is often the simplest of transactions: I like it because, well, I like it. It’s cheap. (A requirement of mine for this kind of shopping.) I often walk away with the purchased item awkwardly wrapped, if it’s wrapped at all. The whole experience is much more memorable overall, than say standing amidst a sea of people on a Target check out line. And the best part? Not everyone else is going to have the item(s) I just bought.

The carnival glass tumblers above (they don’t photograph well, truth be told) are the sort of thrift store find that perfectly fit the bill for me. I had a set of glasses like these when I lived in California. I’d found them at one of those roadside shoppes Upstate, during a trip back East, and gone to the effort of shipping them out (there were several casualities alas). I moved them back to New York with me. Eventually all of them broke, except for one, which is “my” glass, much to the amusement of my friends. A nostaglic grown up security blanket. I replaced them with some glasses from IKEA which I bought because they were cheap and have always hated because they’re clumsy and graceless.

Lately I’m enjoying poking around on eBay for replacements (that’s where I pulled the photo above from). It’s not just that I like the glasses, it’s also that I find the process infinitely more interesting – in digging through, I’m seeing lots of things, some absolutely hideous, that I’ve never seen before. I’m reading descriptions of the items that haven’t been ceaselessly vetted by marketing gurus. And ultimately, I’m going to end up with something that everyone else won’t have on their shelves.