Friday, March 12, 2010

Sometimes You Win...


I went antique shopping yesterday, again. At one point I was one of three customers in a big shop along a highway. The other two were grey-haired women out on their own. Reader, it scared me.

Is this my future? Desiccated and wandering among the detritus of past generations, killing time with other non-entities? And isn't this grubbing through the goods of the dead sort of horrifying?

This shopping trip was already a guilty one because I had a day off and I was supposed to be working on a project, the writing project, and rather than being alone with my computer I had fled. I caught sight of myself in an antique mirror and realized I looked a fright too - lumpen and dull. So sad. I left without buying anything.

I felt a little better as soon as I drove away. I wasn't ready to go do any work but I got thinking that it might at least be less depressing to shop at TJ Maxx. There was, however, a new Goodwill Shop on the road between the antique store and TJ Maxx.

Now, what was that quibble I'd had about sifting through the goods of the dead? Oh, what I meant, apparently, was that I didn't want to deal with the retail goods of the dead; those things that have been placed in glass cases to be tended by eager sales people. My habitat is the charity shops, where the goods of the dead and Peace Corps volunteers and yo yo dieters etc. are displayed under fluorescent lights and priced for the unemployable, single mothers and recent immigrants. Another moment of self discovery along Route 7.

My day brightened considerably at Goodwill.

Here's what I got: Six new-condition Williams Sonoma linen napkins (total .99 cents); a pair of Waverly toile linen napkins, apparently unused (also .99 cents); a tea towel printed with vintage ad for Guinness. Someone had framed it (yes, a tea towel under glass) so it was also new - $2.99. (I had them throw out the broken frame when I got to the cash register). I got a 1971 (or so) Smith Corona Made in the USA Secretarial 250 electric typewriter for five bucks. (Kids went mad for it when I got it home. Shackleton the non writer/reader started pounding out notes: e.g., "Mom, by me presents. Understudy, you suck" - until he discovered that holding down the space bar created a sound like a distant machine gun).

Speaking of Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez

We weren't but we are now...

I got a BIG framed poster ($5) for an Velazquez Exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1990. The frame is a classic (ugly) 1990 metallic gold number, but it was obviously done professionally and the picture has launched me into a day of Velazquez appreciation. That's it up there at the top of this post (the image on my poster). It's the Infanta Margarita in 1653 - the same little girl who is featured some years later in Velazquez's masterpiece, Las Meninas. I put it in my office today and looked at it half the day. I am now I am just itching to get to the Prado.



So, life and art are affirmed and fires of enthusiasm stoked at under $20. If any of you few readers get up to the Last House one of these days I promise to whip out those linen napkins and give you a nice cup of tea and a biscuit and you can dab the crumbs and tea off your lips very daintily with them. I promise to wash them first.

Also Good

I have XM satellite radio in my car, thanks to my Dad who gave me the radio and a subscription about a year ago. We are all totally addicted to it now. We listen to BBC Radio 1 and '60s music and '70s music and all this fabulous stuff with no commercials! One channel plays audio books and you never know what you'll find there. Today, while I was out at lunchtime, I heard about 10 minutes of Wuthering Heights. It was read by some actress (some good actress) and hearing it out loud made me realize just how great the writing is - practically Shakespeare in the bit I heard (Cathy and Heathcliff arguing with Edgar). Last week, I heard a story by Saki, (H.H. Munro). I have never really read anything by him and had only the vaguest notion of what he was all about. The story was funny and a little silly (that's the point with him), but the man wrote like an angel. Listening to this kind of thing reminds me how beautiful English is or can be - plain beautiful just to hear.

Finally, on the way home tonight, I hit a particularly rich vein of '70s hits. Abba singing Chiquitita; Boz Scaggs and the Lido Shuffle. Oh, and Barry White, "Can't Get Enough of Your Love Baby." Barry White, where are you now? A nation lifts its lonely ears to you.

On that note, Bon Weekend.

6 comments:

Deborah Pipes said...

ah hahahahahahahahaha!

you and me, baby, diggin' through the discarded detritus of the thrift shops.

ah, the outfits i wear doing so - people probably think of me as a bag lady but why wear anything decent when you're handling goods that may not be very clean.

a very well traveled gal told me the Prado is her favorite museum in the world - just to add to fuel to your desire....

Deborah Pipes said...

and i see you found the magic lantern at glass slides at FreshVintage.

Pennsylvania has some wonderful flea markets, auctions, household estate sales....

R. Sherman said...

And isn't this grubbing through the goods of the dead sort of horrifying?

Don't worry, dear. Grave robbing has a long, illustrious history.

[Smiley emoti-thingy here]

Cheers.

Madame DeFarge said...

Never really got the charity shop bug, but I have a friend who swears by them. I never find anything I want, but maybe I should refine my ideas on what I want. Or move to Vermont and look in better shops.

Alisa said...

I visited that new Goodwill last time I was visiting my sister. Very nice. Got a great outfits for my daughter and they also sometimes carry returns from LLBean. I too wonder if that is what I have become-the purveyor of all things cast off-but I still love it!

KSV Woolfoot said...

Hi All - I am always happy to see when a comment has blipped in and always plan to respond. I can't really do so from work, of course, and limited internet access these days means I sometimes can't get back in til the weekend. Just FYI.

Deb - I went back to Goodwill yesterday after a big lawyer meeting in Burlington wrapped up. I didn't get one thing. For some reason I found myself tempted by a pair of souvenir of Holland wooden shoes. Ghastly, and yet... I realized that even thinking about buying them suggested I was crossing a line.

R - Since I was paying, albeit as little as possible, I wasn't actually robbing.... Thanks for the smiley emotey thingy after that comment. : - )

Mme - You are right, I think, to refer to it as a bug and you are wise to protect the integrity of your immune system. Junk shopping is a guilty pleasure for me (i.e. "vice"). I justify it by the fact that I don't drink, smoke or philander and I might have to pick up one of those (more expensive and probably more destructive) vices.

Alisa - Thanks for commenting. I didn't know about the LL Bean returns angle til I read your comment. I was on the lookout for some of those when I got back to that Goodwill yesterday. No score, but I'll be on the look out from here on in.