Saturday, October 9, 2021

Then Again...

Where Were We?

I suppose this post has been a long time coming. But if you're still here, I'm still making firsthand observations on secondhand shopping. I'm still living with my significant other, our goofball dog-son and curmudgeonly turtle-daughter in the exotic lands of New Jersey. I'm an aunt to a pair of adorable nephew nuggets, and I am incredibly lucky to have my family so close by. 

In the time of lockdowns and social distancing, our notion of proximity has become drastically altered. Where we are now, where we have been, where we are going--these philosophical considerations have become quite literal. People have lost their lives, others have lost their livelihoods. Businesses have closed, some permanently. The workforce that remains is tired and in dire straights. Where we choose to spend our time and our dime is important, perhaps now more than ever.

Local businesses need our commerce...and our patience. Having worked within the customer service industry for over two decades, I can safely say that this pandemic has brought out the best in some people, and the overwhelming worst in others. Threats of physical violence, intentional exposure to possible contamination, verbal harassment, hoarding supplies, fights, theft. It was truly a disheartening scene...a scene reenacted...Every.Single.Day. 

As businesses make strides toward recovery, they face low stock due to manufacturing shortages, delivery delays due to fewer drivers, and a skeleton crew of employees on the payroll.  There's no quick fix, no easy answer. Liveable wages and healthcare benefits are the main concerns...but can smaller businesses afford to compete with say, the behemoth that is Amazon? 

Without politicizing and without a dissertation in business management, all I can say is what I've always said: Shop locally, at independently-owned businesses whenever feasible. And wherever you find yourself: shop politely and shop patiently. We all know where we were. Maybe we'll get to whatever "normalcy" means again. But where we are now in this "unprecedented time," we need to be conscientious shoppers and conscientious human beings.

When Were We?

Yesteryear, free-swimming in the warm and welcoming waves of nostalgia. Well, you could be. Just head on out to your local flea market, or scope out the most populated real estate for yard sales. Maybe you're hesitant to make your way back to thrift stores just yet and that's okay. All the old junk, miscellany, bric-a-brac, knick-knacks, and more are waiting for you when you're ready. 

I love unconventional planters. Don't you?

My re-entry to the secondhand scene has been mostly by way of antique malls. Etsy has also been a great comfort when secondhand shopping in-store was no longer possible. Even now, when stores have re-opened, I often find myself too exhausted from the daily grind to visit them as often as I would like. And to that end, has been a valuable resource. I'm eyeing up several auctions as I type this post. 

In a week's time, I'll be on my annual autumn vacation. And hopefully, by then it will feel more like fall so I can go thrifting with a chill in the air and an obligatory Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. On my thrifting wishlist: Darkwash boyfriend cut jeans, a warm-toned kimono or open cardigan, vintage books on folklore, and maybe a garden gnome. (I know, I know. This list is way too specific, but I can dream).

Until next time, I wish you all a happy and healthy October. Please, please, please get vaccinated. And then get out there and thrift yourself something to celebrate. 

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