Some people are fascinated by what we buy. I’m fascinated by what we give away. If our clothes and the objects with which we surround ourselves “make a statement,” as the HGTV and Lifetime networks would have us believe, then what we shed says something about who we are *not* (or *think* we are not).
A great thrift store, like Sister Thrift, is a marketplace of identities. When I’m finished being patriotic and you’re finished being pious, I can trade my flag for your Lady of Sorrows statue. Whenever I walk the aisles at Sister Thrift, I find myself thinking about identity — my own and that of the people whose former possessions surround me. Yeah, it’s just “stuff.” But it’s fascinating stuff, and every polka-dot salt & pepper shaker set, every cast off wedding dress, every wall hanging identified a unique and sacred life, at least for a season.
I’d love to interview people as they bring bags of things to Sister Thrift. “Why are you giving that up?” “Who did you want to be when you wore that?” “Tell me the story behind this.” I wonder what you’ve cast off recently and why.