If there is one area where I differ from hard-line homesteaders, it's in shopping. Not essentials/supplies shopping, but fun shopping. You see, I love to shop, and I will never pretend I don't or lie about it.
I grew up in urban Los Angeles during the 1960's era, back when Downtown was glamorous and shopping was an acceptable hobby for a young housewife with a daughter to clothe, which is what my mother was. And so my mother took me shopping. Shopping on Brand Blvd. in Glendale, where we hit everything from the big JC Penney store (which had an escalator in the center of it!) to the myriad of locally-owned clothing and shoe stores, where she bought most of what we wore.
|Mecca for Los Angeles shoppers -- Bullocks Downtown|
Downtown Los Angeles was what my mother hit during what were called the "month end sales." At the end of each calendar month, the BIG stores -- Macy's, Bullocks, etc., which had elevator operators and helpful salesladies strolling the floors in gorgeous ensembles -- put clothes on sale that would be expected to age off the floor soon, due to the changing seasons. Never mind that Los Angeles had zero seasons. The fall and spring collections didn't care, and neither did we.
And then there was lunch, which always came after shopping. If my mother was feeling rich, she splurged at one of the cafeterias in town -- Clifton's downtown, or The Hollander in Glendale. If money was tight, it was a grilled cheese sandwich at the Woolworth's luncheonette, in back of the store. Then a bus ride home, toting our shopping bags.
|Clifton's Cafeteria, Downtown Los Angeles|
I do have another memory which greatly influenced my life today. This one is of my grandfather and his employee Helen, who had a daughter about my own age. One day we all took a little jaunt, after school, to what Helen called the "Specialty Shop." On the racks were clothes my mother normally could never have afforded, but on this day I was allowed to bring home a couple of gorgeous wool jumpers and three sweaters.
Because the Specialty Shop, you see, was an upscale thrift store. And thus began my lifelong love affair with thrift store shopping.
And so, yesterday when I got the "shopping bug" I drove down into town, to the local Goodwill and did some browsing. I found two summer blouses for three bucks each (I always shop off-season, as the selection tends to be more plentiful) and these three vases. Vases are 66 cents each at the Goodwill, and so these beauties cost me a grand total of $2.00. And the fluted one to the far right is pure leaded crystal.
I love giving the gift of fresh cut flowers from my garden to coworkers when they have birthdays, and adding a nice vase makes the gift even more special. So a small collection of 66-cent vases is in order here.
And it's only you and I who know the vases only cost 66 cents, so keep that on the QT, okay? And if anyone asks where my blouses were bought, I will just smile and tell them I got them at the Specialty Shop...where a girl who loves to shop can indulge herself without breaking the bank or her beloved homesteading rules about re-using and re-purposing as much as possible in this world.