General

The thrift store was a treasure trove to my mother. Her eyes lit up as she entered it, greeting the volunteers like old friends. After exchanging news with each of them her quest would begin. She would search every rack and shelf not only with herself in mind but our entire extended family. When she found just the gem for somebody she would let out an involuntary gasp of joy and add it to her basket. It was hard for me to be excited about all these hand-me-downs. I'd had them all my life from my older sisters. I liked new stuff, the shinier the better. But today proved an exception. She found a pair of John Fluevogs, mint condition, just my size. Suddenly I let out an involuntary gasp of joy and I understood my mother a little better.

General

The second hand store near our condo complex got the worst of the worst. All the old hand-me-downs from our destitute neighbourhood ended up there. You might as well wear a garbage bag as shop in it. I found it well worth the bus fare to go to an affluent area and shop in their second hand stores. Their throw offs were often brand new, bought on a whim and cast off never worn. I'd come home with designer goods, all for a song. After a while I got so good at shopping in them I started my own eBay store and made good money reselling them, enough to leave my shitty neighbourhood and move across town.

General

At the counter was an old woman, not the kind you pity with their old bones and feeble limbs, but the kind who could still run an army kitchen given half a chance. She stood quite tall and slim, her short grey hair neat and likely styled with old fashioned rollers, the kind women used to sleep in. Her face is made up with discrete make-up except her lips that are cherry red. Were she any paler her mouth would be garish, but against her sun-kissed skin it looks right. When she extends her hand to shake mine I see the soil beneath her finger nails. A gardner I'll bet. Then I notice her neck scarf, patterned with small roses. I'll bet she has the best front yard on her street.