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Opinion

Thrift stores offer inexpensive, limitless fun

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March 26, 2009

Think of a place. A place where you can find purple and neon green striped overalls, toilet seats galore, a Power Rangers plate. A place that you can wander for hours, perusing over other’s recyclables and ultimately, making them your treasures. You know what I’m referring to don’t you? Thrift stores!

It started back in the 90s, when Mom would drag me and my sister there. It was never that we actually needed anything or that we couldn’t afford higher quality goods. No, no, Mom rather enjoyed the astonishing cheap prices and the unique selections.

My favorite find was a priceless worn-out, used wrestler action figure. Don’t ask or I’ll fill the remainder of this column with my professional wrestling facts.
Because of Mom’s thrift shopping obsession, I’ve been to countless thrift stores. Name it, I’ve been there. Up until I became occupied with work and school, I was quite the thrift shopper myself. For a brief period of time though, I jumped on my sister’s bandwagon. This bandwagon being, “I’m not going in there, what if someone saw me. Oh my gosh… NO!”

Thrift stores get a bad rap most of the time. They’re seen as dirty, smelly and disgusting. It can be true in some cases. With my experiences I would say that if you shop with common sense, you’re bound to get some genuine items at great prices.

I’m not recommending you go out and buy a used toothbrush there, that’s unhealthy. You can, however, find some really cool things. I personally have collected VHS tapes that I cannot find anywhere else. My mom loves her some dresses. My sister even got in on the action and bought herself an eight-minute abs video.

The biggest prize of all was actually found by my father. He picked out a satellite radio from our local thrift shop. He didn’t even know that it worked, but for $6.99, he was going to take the chance. When he plugged it in at home he found out that it actually had a subscription to all the channels.

Moral of the story, one year later and we still get all the channels we would usually have to pay for monthly. That for only $6.99, sounds like a dream, I know.

Recently, my close friends have gotten me back into the thrift store fun. When we go, it is literally an event for us. We try things on and make fun of goofy looking sunglasses that highlight our huge beaded necklaces.

What I’m trying to point out here is, take advantage of these types of stores. Some thrift stores in particular go towards a good cause. And in other cases, they go towards your own personal cause. The poor college kid’s cause.

It’s worth a try and if nothing else, you’ll at least have some fun. It’s like I always say to people, “Thrift stores are like a grab bag.” And as my friends say, “If by grab bag you mean AMAZING, then yes!”

Cristy Brusoe is a student at UW-River Falls.