Adventures in antiques with a thrifty woman


Some call it “savings”. Others call it a “garage sale”. When it comes to my spouse, I call it torture.

Michael DeWitt, Jr.

My 18-year-old fiancee likes to spend Saturday mornings jumping from thrift store to garage sale to a bargain bin – with just a few antiques for more poverty.

The problem? My wife is a browser who doesn’t like to spend money. I am a desperate consumer with no self-control. I collect cookbooks, old bottles, outdoor magazines and anything rusty. Let’s just say the antique store is not a safe place for me to go unattended.

“I must have this! I exclaim, in every thrift store or trash can we visit.

“You don’t even know what it is!” the spouse argues.

“I don’t care, I still need it!” “

“You don’t need that,” the woman tells me, and she will repeat this phrase often throughout the day.

Now the local store employees know her well, and they don’t even bother to greet her when the bell rings to announce our entrance, but they love me.

“Come in, Mr. DeWitt!” We’ve got great new old fishing gear, old tools and a whole stack of National Geographic magazines just for you! “

“Come back when your wife isn’t here,” they whisper. “We will keep them for you! “

Before you think of the maid as a miser, her main fault is that while she appreciates fine antiques like furniture and porcelain, she does not have an appreciation for the most interesting historical treasures that can be found. find in such places – the vintage 1970s Tupperware that served thousands of meals, the ‘bricards’, the ‘bric-a-brac’, the classic beer signs that would look great in my man cellar. And I’ve never come across a faded yellow Nat Geo magazine that I haven’t saved and brought home.

Every shopping trip is like an adventure in the past, where I am again a child begging his mother to shell out money for a new toy.

“My grandmother was cooking with one of these!” I exclaimed at a stop.

“My mom was spanking me with one of those!” I cry to another.

“I once stole one from my father’s tackle box!” I confess.

It’s probably a good thing that my wife has more self-control than I do, because when she breaks down and buys something, it often has dangerous results.

Bless her heart, it was a used copy of The Kama Sutra. For those of you who attend my church and don’t know, this classic book, originally written in ancient Indian Sanskrit, is a text about sexuality, eroticism, and physical growth. Let’s just say, in front of the kids, that this is a detailed, creative, and informative how-to guide and leave it at that.

This one was missing its cover and sealed in a plastic bag for the sake of modesty. The only visible page was the table of contents.

“Look honey, this is an exotic cookbook,” the woman across the store called me. “Didn’t you tell me you wanted to try different ethnic dishes?” I’m on vacation this weekend and I can prepare something special for you.

“Honey,” I said after a quick glance. “I don’t think that’s what you think it is.”

“Oh sure. There are seafood dishes here: “The Crab” and “The Frog”. I don’t want to try the frog legs, but I’ll cook them for you, and I’ll eat the crab with you.

“Honey, this book isn’t what you think it is,” I try to lower my voice as the store associate walks over. “Just put it down and let’s look at something else here. “

“I don’t know, some of this stuff is quite weird, like this’ elephant ‘and’ butterfly ‘, but there are some vegetarian dishes that I wouldn’t mind trying, like this’ Lotus Bloom’ and ‘Split Bamboo. ‘ I don’t know that ‘Scorpion’ or ‘Crouching Tiger’ – it sounds spicy – but ‘Cow Congress’ might be good for Sunday dinner when the family is finished.

At that time, the nice old lady behind the cash register was just setting there listening, with that weird look on her face. She looked like she had been another Southern Baptist, so I didn’t protest any further or bother to enlighten me. I just smiled when the woman paid $ 2.50 and took her new “cookbook” in a brown paper bag.

I don’t know how this is all going to play out, but for safety’s sake I don’t think I want to hang out at home this weekend.

Maybe I’ll save money without my wife. I’m sure those nice ladies are still holding old Tupperware and beer signs, just for me.

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