I first discovered the local Salvation Army in high school. I found this red dress for $16 and I was hooked.
Back then, money was incredibly tight, as was my personal style. I stuck rigidly to the tomboy persona I wanted to portray and desperately tried to disappear into my surroundings. I coveted faded, neutral colours that would help me blend in to the scenery. Or maybe it was even worse: I revelled in such self-loathing that in order to escape the prison of my own hateful self, I donned to clothing of another person to shed my skin and become someone I didn’t abhor? High school was rough, y’all.
After college, I began my first job and suddenly I had money and needed appropriate clothes! I divided my Salvation Army finds into neat, appropriate work clothes (khakis and blouses) and what I’m pretty sure my mother would describe as “Finding The Ugliest Thing On The Rack And Falling Irrevocably In Love With It.” Sequins, animal prints, boho dresses, leather, throw it at me!
I still like to visit the local Salvation Army stores when I go home. It’s like a gamble! Sometimes you win big, sometimes you just waste your time. But on a good day, you can walk in with a tiny amount of money and score BIG TIME!
On a walk through the village, I spotted a Goodwill thrift store on University Place and thought to drop in. And when I did, I saw The Ugliest Thing On The Rack And Fell Irrevocably In Love With It:
This dopey little red backpack is full of secret and hidden pockets, lined in creamy satin, and only needed a tiny bit of repairs to have it in smashing order again. Just when my old bag was starting to fall apart! And only ten dollars! That’s a pittance!
AND, it matches the dress!