I am an evil wife. I once dragged my husband into one my favorite thrift stores. I’m not sure why I wanted him to go. I recall even less what motivated him to come along. Thrift store shopping is one of my favorite hobbies. I go to one or two of them almost every week and I find the greatest stuff. I think my husband would be happy if he never set foot in one again. It just isn’t his thing.
This particular store is rather large. In addition to a fully packed front room, it has a big back section full of antiques, home fixtures, tools and even some paint. It also includes a giant graveyard of as-is furniture and construction extras like old doors, boxes of tile and plumbing parts. Much of the furniture outside has been exposed to the elements in the uncovered yard, but sometimes I go out there and find great things that just need a little tlc. It’s my favorite part of the store. I think my husband could have skipped it.
I’ve been to this place at least once a month since I was a really little girl. My dad and I went together when I was young and he taught me what to look for, what to say and how to act while I was browsing. After he died, I kept right on going and I learned even more on my own. Walking through this store was as natural to me as walking through the supermarket, but it wasn’t that way for my husband.
He wasn’t in the habit of browsing here. He didn’t know what to look for, what to say or which aisle was the best. He didn’t have the extensive thrifting experience I enjoyed, so he just didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know what to touch and what to keep clear of, so how can I blame him for letting curiosity drive his feet and fingers?
He followed me down one aisle and led me up the next. We shimmied together through a row of planter pots, trashcans and old baskets and found ourselves in the home hospital goods. There was a portable toilet there and my husband just didn’t know that he shouldn’t lift the lid.
He didn’t know that the toilet would still contain the indiscretions of its former owner. He didn’t know that we would both feel violated by that sight and that smell and the fact that he had touched it. He just didn’t know that the employees were too overwhelmed with donations to imagine such a horrific violation of common decency. He just didn’t know that they didn’t know. He just didn’t have the experience in the thrift stores to predict something like that.
I am an evil wife. I dragged him there, I encouraged him to relax and look around and then I never stopped asking him why he touched it. I bugged him all the way to the car and I even raised eyebrows of brief concern when he put the other hand in his pocket to retrieve his keys. I am evil, but it was funny and even all these years later, it still makes me chuckle whenever I go there. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I’ve learned to skip that aisle.