There are only a handful of things that my kids and I love doing together. Unsurprisingly, siblings, two nineteen-year-olds plus one twenty-six-year-old, don’t always agree on entertainment. There’s always one out-of-whack. 

The latest resurgence of shopping at thrift stores answers my prayers. What used to be known as thrifting is now referred to as repurposing. Bargain hunting at its finest. I’m not much of a shopper, but going in and out of thrift stores searching for a treasure has repurposed the way I look at things

On the flip side, I’m always weary of giving something of mine away. What if I want it back, or it has a hidden value, at least hidden to me? One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

There are many benefits to repurposing. For starters, it’s good for the planet; fewer things are thrown into landfills. Even better than that, the beneficiaries are wonderful charitable organizations like Goodwill, the Boy and Girls Club, and Assistance League. 

So, on spring break, these four treasure hunters decided to adventure up the coast to Ventura, the mecca of thrift stores. 

“Mom, look! Lululemon leggings in perfect condition for ten dollars! I’ve seen these for over a hundred in the stores.” Lindsay squealed as if she had just uncovered the Fountain of Youth.

“Hey, Mom, can I get this? It’s sorta new. It’s only two hundred dollars.” Sam asked, sporting a beautiful leather coat. Thrifting is not always thrifty.

“No,” I replied.

While the twins shopped for clothes, their older brother, Jack, combed through the record section. Another thing that has been repurposed, renamed, revitalized, and enjoying a new resurgence. The vinyl. Standing beside him, I could feel the needle skipping across the top, making that scratching sound. 

Looking at the Joni Mitchell album with a five-dollar price tag, I couldn’t help myself saying, “I had that exact album!” Suddenly I felt like my mother. I told you not to give away that dress; you’ll see that shoulder pads would come back in style. Is anyone interested in a cassette deck tape player you can remove from your car and put in your trunk?

It was lunchtime, and we all agreed on an outdoor café. When the waiter came by, I ordered a well-deserved beer.

“Me too,” blurted Lindsay.

“What?” I looked dismayed at my college freshman’s ease in ordering an illegal substance. 

“I have my driver’s license.” She said, pulling out her fake Wisconsin ID that had her age at 22. 

“Where did you get that?” I asked.

“Online. It’s really easy.”

It was remarkably authentic looking. I wonder if I could get one made only, I would want to deduct ten years off my age.

“It doesn’t matter,” the young waiter said, “there’s no one here that’s old enough to pour anyway.”

“Ha! See. Wait, can I go and pour my beer?”

“Sorry, I’m afraid not.”

Time for one last shop. My day was complete until I saw my worst nightmare. Immediately I knew the story behind this donation. The kids are moving their mother into an assisted living facility. They’re grabbing and filling boxes like a band of miradors to complete this moving job as quickly as possible, never looking or investigating. All this junk, why would they? She doesn’t have anything of value. They were sorely mistaken.

I stared at the tattered book secured in a locked glass case. The handwritten sign read, Original First Edition David Copperfield Written by Charles Dickens $16,500.

Live with waffletude

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