Shopping at a thrift store can be some of the most exciting shopping that I can do. I love sifting through the crazy cat lady sweaters, the blazers with mile high shoulder pads, and the scary t-shirts with their questionable stains in my quest to find the perfect top or pair of jeans. It’s thrilling to walk around in a cute top, and when someone asks you where you got it, you can reply,
“I got it at Goodwill, and it was like $1.50.”
And then they look at you with the approving smile that says “this girl knows how to score a deal” or squeal with equal parts excitement and jealousy because they wish they could be so talented as to have found such a perfect purchase.
However, shopping through secondhand clothes can be a dangerous and occasionally traumatic experience as I found out recently. Ryan and I were thrifting this particular day, which was totally his idea since he’s been trying to score more board games for the next church game day. I was browsing through the long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, hoping to replace my cream-colored sweater that lost a fight with an orange turtleneck I wore for Halloween when they were washed together. But because I can’t control myself when surrounded by incredible deals, I had grabbed about 6 other pieces to try on in the fitting room. I quickly dodged into one of the many open fitting rooms, feeling a tiny bit like a rebel because I was slightly over the 6 item limit despite there being like no one else in the store on a Tuesday morning.
I found little success in my endeavors. The jeans made my butt look big enough to have its own moon in orbit, and one of the sweaters made my boobs look crooked. However, my sadness at my limited success in the fitting room was soon forgotten when I pulled an off-white sweater over my head and admired myself in the mirror. It seemed nearly perfect – a flattering shape, not threadbare and see-through like some of the options I had seen, and it didn’t have any weird stains on it. However, as I paused to adjust the sweater, my hand touched a small, brown object caught in the shirt. I glanced down and saw a beetle clinging to the inside of my sweater, making his ascent up my blouse.
I may have freaked out a little. Off came the shirt, faster than I’ve ever undressed before and tossed it in the corner. I stood in the middle of the dressing room, half naked and afraid, unsure what to do next. I collected my items and began dressing again, trying to calm my breathing back to normal. I tentatively grabbed the now offensive sweater and hung it back on the hanger before covertly stowing it the rack of items to return to the shelf. Yes, I know, I’m the worst for doing that to some defenseless customer or employee, but I panicked, okay?
So pro-tip to all of you thrift store divas out there trying to find those incredible deals, you really need to look very closely at your clothes before putting it on your body. You never know what you might find.