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2002-08-15 - 7:33 a.m.

I was given a couch by relatives for my new place. The gift giving was contingent on when the contractor would arrive to begin work on the room that the couch is in. I’m okay with this. It’s a nice couch. Ethan Allen. Also has a matching chair and ottoman. But, it’s probably going to be a couple weeks before I get said couch. Again, I’m okay with this. However, I decided that I needed an interim piece in which to rest my tired ass after a long days work. Make of that what you will. So, in my naiveté and exuberance I decided to purchase a couch at a thrift store and throw one of those cheap Target slip covers on it. I’d have a couch that I wouldn’t care about getting rid of in a few weeks time, and somewhere for people to sit.

Thrift Stores are scary things. They operate on a whole set of rules that are outside the realms of good sense. People’s junk being sold for exorbitant pricing. Who in their right mind would pay $2.99 for a VHS tape alleging to hold 4 episodes of Star Trek: TNG? Actually, judging from the clientele and the workers, there was very little of the “right mind” going on. Most, if not all of the stuff there could be purchased new at closeout stores and clearance racks. It was infuriating. The sofas being offered at the thrift stores I visited were ratty, questionable pieces of furniture with dubious stains and markings. And offered at the same price as new furniture from IKEA. Sweet IKEA, with your designed aesthetic and upwardly mobile worshipers yearning to live the simple life promised by your ads and showroom. It wasn’t a total wash. In defense of thrift stores everywhere, I did get an ironing board for 5 bucks because the tag ended in 99, which meant that it was half price. Wednesday’s is Wild! because everything is half price if it ends in 99. Almost everything in the store ended in 98. The woman behind the counter was suspicious of my ironing board purchase and kept checking the tag for tampering. They were doing their best to capitalize off the trendy urbanites who can’t possibly go into the North Face store wearing new corduroys, I mean, what would everyone think? But what about the homeless and the poor, having to pay Gap clearance prices for secondhand clothing that wasn’t all that stylish to begin with? It’s not right. I'd do something about it, except I'd really rather not have my name associated with Thrift Store reform.

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