Friday, November 02, 2007

On hand-me-downs & tag sales

I just heard about a huge annual tag sale that takes place in a neighboring town; the sale is tomorrow morning. One of my work parents told me that it's an excellent sale, great for getting gently used kids' toys and clothes. I've always been big on the secondhand stuff, but I'm even bigger on it since becoming a mama.

Wanna know something weird? I think that being a thrift shopper/hand-me-down aficionado is hurting one of my friendships. I'm trying to suck it up, but when friends who are expecting their first child told me they don't want any of Hester's hand-me-downs, I was really offended. I tried to be gracious about it, but inside I was all, "What, you're too good for our hand-me-downs?" They said that since this is their first child, they want the baby to have all new stuff. They're not accepting any hand-me-downs or doing any thrift shopping, which boggles my mind.

All this thriftiness goes deep for me. Some of my favorite outfits in childhood came from other people's trash cans, and it never occurred to me to be ashamed of that. On the contrary, I was proud that my mom got for free something that other people paid good money to have. Garbage picking made sense to me, especially when I saw the rewards. It was only when I got older that I began to understand that many people value paying full price for new things over paying pennies for used things. All I can think now is that all of us learned these attitudes somewhere, probably from or in reaction to our early experiences with shopping. I know I did; I bet my friends did, too, though I'm too chicken to open up that can of worms with them.

Whatever. The bottom line for my family is that Hester needs a winter coat and some teeny tiny winter boots (because OMG she's a biped now!), so we'll be doing some thrift shopping. And regardless of other people's attitudes, I'm hoping we'll pass on the value of thriftiness to our daughter.


Blogger Hashbrown said...

amen wifipoo!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Shirky said...

oh all the cutest retro stuff is thrift store stuff.

the sad thing is when you get a box of used stuff from someone and grow out of it before it can be worn.

that's a bummer.

6:22 PM  
Blogger frog said...

You're much more gracious than I am. I simply CANNOT wrap my brain around the idea that people would be OPPOSED to buying secondhand! One trip past a landfill ought to do it, IMO. Sheesh.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Round is Funny said...

Amen. Almost everything Roo has ever put on is a hand-me-down or bought from a secondhand store, and we intend to pass it on for a third wearing for our niece/nephew-to-be. New stuff is generally insane for a person who wears something for 6 weeks - if you're lucky.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

You are my thrifty hero. I have absolutely no problem accepting hand-me-downs I'm just a less dedicated thrift-shop picker etc. than you are so you kick my ass at that, but this only due to my laziness.

Growing up I had tons of hand-me-downs from older cousins and I actually loved when I was old enough to wear old clothes of my mom, grandpa, grandma, dad, etc. Of course, this probably didn't help my "coolness" factor in middle school (poor Jenn! let's remember some of those pictures for a moment) but I guess I didn't really care and I'm glad I'm all about the hand-me-downs!

You're right, I'm sure it comes from your childhood experiences with this sort of thing. I became very anti- having the newest thing at my incredibly preppy middle and high school in PA where many kids in my class would literally almost never wear the same thing to school twice, going shopping every weekend, etc. It was totally insane.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Amelia's Mom said...

I am totally into hand-me-downs - they are like treasure troves and I love, love, love the mixing and matching that results. I am also a thrift store and yard sale queen.

I totally don't get the people who won't accept hand-me-downs or thrift store shop, especially since there are usually items with their original tags still on them. I've decided that while everyone has the right to choose how to be, those people are just missing out.

8:19 PM  
Blogger art-sweet said...

I love having handmedowns for my baby.

I feel like they carry some love with them from the previous owner.

Those people are... strange.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

new clothes aren't important. besides health and happiness, things like food and education are always ready to take any extra dinero. Or a security blanket, that's nice. I'd rather have $ in the bank than bunches of Baby Gap receipts.

But whatever. Have a baby after theirs and take all THEIR handme downs. :) (just kidding,they might be shellac-ing them?)

1:18 AM  

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