It started so innocently. I passed by a new thrift shop, Cinema Verite in New York City's Hell's Kitchen, on a walk to the nearby library. I saw a display by the counter, "Mystery Bags. Hand Picked Curiosities, $2." I couldn't resist buying one to see what was inside, could you?
I wasn't sure what these were! Feng Shui cards, the charming shop owner Peter told me when I went back. I don't know what to do with them, but do like quite a few of the scenes and sayings. Maybe I'll hang some in my cubicle or on the refrigerator.
Well of course I had to "play" again. I love my little decorative egg.
A Radio Shack clock. Practical, now I just have to figure out how to set it! I also got a ceramic candle in the shape of a turtle (you'll have to project it, since I can't find it at the moment) and in a mystery bag for my sister, a bracelet made out of beaded safety pins. Did I mention this shop supports Process Studio Theatre? So you see, I'm supporting the arts!
Who knew my life needed napkin rings in the shape of ducks?!! Now you just can't go into a Pottery Barn and pick these up! I'm sure they'll be quite the conversation piece.
I'll be honest, when I opened the duck napkin rings, they were on a string and I thought for a split second - what a crazy bracelet! Kind of like when Dorothy mistook a maple syrup spigot Rose whittled her for Christmas for a wooden broach in the shape of a turkey's head the year they decided on homemade gifts on the Golden Girls. Love this show.
Mystery bag fun aside, I have been finding some pretty unique things here. I love thrifting because of what it brings in my life: the unexpected. I can't wait to watch Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne in Love Affair, $4; wanted to familiarize myself with the work of Edgar Allan Poe (the book, $3) after reading about the troubled Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore and upcoming The Raven film based on the end of Poe's life with John Cusack in The New York Times; and am loving the Henry Mancini Charade soundtrack, $3. New copies on Amazon were selling as of this writing for $30-$80! If you love Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and Paris - see Charade! It was also here I scored the season one Partridge Family dvd set - for just $4! Did you know Shirley Jones was offered the part of Carol Brady on the Brady Bunch but turned it down?
Two Valentine's Days ago, my library had a really cute idea: have a blind date with a book. Books came gift-wrapped, and if you didn't like the book, you could bring it back - no hard feelings.
Disappointingly they didn't do it last Valentine's.
My date, which came with a heart-shaped lollipop, was Jennifer Weiner's Best Friends Forever. I ditched my date without a fair chance, since I was in the middle of John Irving's 500 plus-page A Prayer for Owen Meany, which I'm forever grateful to Cate from Liberal Simplicity for recommending.
I think we all need a little more whimsy and mystery in our lives, don't you?
While I love being thrifty by brown bagging lunch most days, using the library often, getting my clothes at swaps and thrift stores and such, I do allow myself some mad money for thrifting "wants" (not needs). I've passed on too many things I wanted that were a couple of dollars.
Would you be hooked on mystery bags? What do you spend mad money on? Pumpkin lattes? Magazines? Seventies kitsch? More books than you can read? Anything?