One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

August 7, 2011

Stop me before I thrift again.

I’ve developed a weekly thrifting habit. It’s just a little habit – the habitual part is a weekly Saturday morning trip to my primary thrift store.

I confess, though, some weekends I visit a second thrift store. Or the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Or some antique stores. Or I stop at garage sales.

Today I had so many finds, and will perhaps photograph and share them all (and even the status of some thrifting projects) later in the weekend, but tonight I’m just going to share the windows.

Ian and Hannah were at his mom’s house installing baseboard all day. So I was left at home all day with the internet and, consequently, found these windows on Kijiji. There were six of them and the seller wanted $5 each and I thought, “well, I wouldn’t have any kids to tote along if I wanted to go look at them.”

I ended up getting all six for $20 – I feel guilty that I always show up for these transactions with only twenties and no change when I know the sellers probably don’t carry cash often either, but it’s not contrived for bargaining purposes, I’m just always rushing out the door at the last minute and barely have time to stop at the bank, let alone to then go find change. Anyhow, I don’t contrive it and I feel guilty about it, but if you’re so inclined, you can take it as a pro-tip. I am, myself, a very bad bargainer. If he’d said, “how about I throw in this glass jar and make it $40 then,” I probably would have agreed to it. Luckily, I mostly barter with Canadians who seem, on the whole, to be every bit as bad at it as I am.

“So what are you going to do with them?” The seller asked me conversationally as he helped me carry them out to my car.

“Oh well I’m not sure yet – we just have a thing for the trappings of character houses. We have this old character home – but someone re-did it in the 80s and so there’s nothing left. No old windows, moldings, heat registers, hardware – so we collect it whenever we can find it.” And I told him about our kitchen window and said how maybe I’d use these windows for similar jazzing up of crappy aluminum windows.

And then I said how we’ve been collecting a bunch of vintage doors too and I’m hoping that we can modify our closets so that instead of bifold doors, they’ll have these vintage paneled doors and look a little more old-school and built-in. And also I want Ian to build me a linen cabinet right into the upstairs hall closet and I thought these might be a nice size to make cupboard doors for that.

He listened to all this quietly and said, “wow, those are really good ideas. I guess maybe now I’m sorry I sold them.”

I gave him a suspicious look and he said, “Oh no, no. I know. It’s too late.” Damn right it’s too late. Four of them were already in my car at that point.

But it’s funny. I got that exact response when I was buying a wooden french door with glass knob. I told that seller about wanting vintage closet doors instead of bifolds or crappy sliding doors and she said something about how maybe she shouldn’t have sold the door.

Maybe this is just something people say because they think it will make buyers feel grateful they got the thing. But these aren’t people who start out going, “well I really didn’t want to let this thing go…” so I suspect what’s going on is that once you get me talking about vintage things and project potential, I light up and hold forth a little bit. I always hope that the moment when they see all that potential means I might have converted them, just a little bit, to thinking about ways to repurpose things and keep some of that antique beauty in their homes. Just not until I’m safely away with their windows and doors.

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  1. Alison

     /  2011-08-07

    I spend so much time these days wondering where the original 1950s trim went in my apartment and cursing out the person who replaced it with the crap that isn’t even real trim it’s just boards-pretending-to-be-trim. But people look at me oddly when I say that I wish I had the money to restore this apartment to its 1950s glory. Do I have a thing for the 1950s – no, but I have a thing for authenticity.

  2. judith

     /  2011-08-09

    Thrift, thrift, Horatio!

    Can’t argue with Shakespeare . . .


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