Monday, November 30, 2009

The Foundations Department

I like to go to thrift stores.

The biggest Salvation Army Thrift Store in the world is in Strongsville, OH, which is a few miles from where I live. I love that you can buy wedding dresses at the thrift store, and old purses.

I love to watch people shop in second hand stores. They're very careful about their purchases, taking time to inspect the Presto Air Popper. They look at the cord. They ask the Salvation Army guy if it works. They go over every seam of the bean bag chair and make sure the miniature plastic spatula is with the toy kitchen set.

I watch the people until something catches my eye. Then I behave like them, although I do not count the pieces of the jigsaw puzzles I buy. I once bought a pill box hat for $1.50 at the Goodwill.

I often donate stuff to the Salvation Army. I loved that my old electric beater was in the housewares department (at least I think it was mine). I wanted to stand up and say, "Hey! That's a good electric beater! You oughtta buy that mother for only $2.99!

Unique Thrift is a huge second hand store downtown. They have the biggest rack of second hand underwear I ever saw.

Most people see a rack of used underwear in a thrift store and think: ugh and move on.

Not me.

I wonder about who sorts the second hand underwear. I think: Wow look at that. It's a rack of used underwear and now I have to figure out how to take a picture of it so I can post it on the Internet! As if anyone cares about how The Great Erin O'Brien interacts with a rack of used underwear.

Then there is the implication of being me.

Because now I am a person taking photographs of used underwear in a thrift store (behaving furtively, complete with eyes shifting back and forth beneath dangling pricetag of yet another hat I have yet to pay for). This puts me in a whole new category (population: 1), but at least it gives the people who are purchasing said underwear someone to roll their eyes at:

Look at the broad taking pictures of the underwear.

Some people. Sniffs. Honey, hand me that bra over there by you--that baby blue one.

* * *


glittergirl said...

that would be population 2.

Hiding Myself From Me said...

Second Hand Underwear is proof that the economy has gone bust. I don't even think I could look at the sign, much less be caught in the same isle. Did you get a picture of someone giving a pair the classic crotch check ?

Mone said...

oh no, now you are giving away where I get my christmas presents.

Brook said...

Thrifty love!

Gillian said...

I love second hand shops. Especially when you can get some really kewl vintage clothing. I wouldn't go for the knickers tho.

Joshua said...

My apologies, but I'm a guy. Isn't this underwear deal one of those things "they" really warn you about not doing? Wearing someone else's underwear? Like the "wear underwear if trying on a swim suit" thing? Wouldn't this qualify? Maybe it's because I'm a guy and I'd rather go commando than wear someone else's underwear. Not even if it was boiled in bleach. Just me.

Then again, I'm OCD.


standing on my head said...

ah, a topic near and dear to my heart! i've gotten some of my best stuff in thrift stores. back in the day,i once got a full-length rabbit skin coat. that's when i found out i was allergic to rabbit!

jford said...

EEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Second Hand Underwear. I am totally skeeved. But I am also giggling at the thought of Erin furtively taking photos of said underwear.

Clandestiny said...

Someone must buy them and we don't get crazed news headlines about some weird new illness being contracted from them which I think we would if such existed in this age of swine flu fever (what would you even call it...AARRGGHH bad joke forming...must...stop...) But all in all I have to say that trying to imagine myself putting on a pair of used undies gives me the heebie jeebies too.

Oh look at my word verification, "upticiff". That's what they should call an illness spread through used panties!!

Amy L. Hanna said...

Somewhere, someone in the greater Cleveland area has appreciated my anonymous gift of bags of thrift via Goodwill with each move. And yes, sans undergarments, YVW.

Anonymous said...

skeevy skivvies

Jo "i am a thrift store junkie too but not those never no way uh uh" meincke

ps also a little wary of the shoes

Dan said...


Got a guy question for you. Don't women feel a bit minimalized when told that they need help with their "foundations"?


Erin O'Brien said...

Dan, I've got your answer right here baby.

Erin know bra.

Entrepreneur Chick said...

You took a picture of the second hand underwear, but I surely clicked on it so I could enlarge it. Yeah, now I have a good look.

Why do I feel compelled to do that, and what does that say about me?

I'm a wanna be second hand vicarious underwear shopper?

I bet when your flash went off, everyone turned around- yep, that broad. lol