Though I vowed it would never happen, I have become my mother.
My mother, rest her soul, was legendary in these parts as the Queen of the Resale. Until health slowed her down a couple of years ago, she spent every Saturday morning for as long as I can remember scouring garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, auction houses, and the occasional dumpster and curb-side castoff pile.
When I was a young girl, I frequently surveyed the landscape of our home and thought to myself, “My place will never look like this!”
Amid the ’70s orange shag carpeting and heavy oak furniture were enough knick-knacks and “found objects” to fill a re-sale shop. Brass candlesticks, salvaged chandeliers, an old school-house clock, vintage iron beds, a collection of discarded kitchen utensils nailed to the kitchen wall, an iron wood stove turned end table — this was the decor of my youth.
The decor of my adulthood is only slightly more upscale. If I were to scan my entire household, I could likely point to little more than a dozen major items that were purchased new. Vintage and antique are my vernacular and nothing makes my heart sing like spotting a “find” in a dusty re-sale shop.
Just last week I picked up these fabu-loso candlesticks at a dive not far from my office.
I spotted them from across the room and rushed to claim them lest a nearby female shopper dare put her hands on them. The proprietor gave me $10 off just because it was Wednesday. (For the record, and for benefit of my husband who’s reading, my bill came to $40.) They are so very Domino and I’m feeling decidedly Boho chic with them on my dining table.
What I really want, though, is not to stroll the dusty aisles of flea markets, “antique” malls and re-sale stores, but to shop the virtual halls of commerce where the primo castoffs find new life — 1st Dibs.
Have you heard of it?
Oh my dear . . . please pace yourself.
I spend every Saturday morning there because every Saturday morning I get an email advertising their “Saturday Sale.” I click on the unassuming link and I’m transported to a world where everything from 19th century stone fountains from France, to antique oushak rugs from Turkey, to mid-century architectural salvage from Texas, to clothes tailored for Lana Turner all beautifully co-exist in one eclectic marketplace.
I’d show you a picture, but they won’t let me. (Even my screenshot won’t work.) So you’ll have to click here and go to the store yourself. You’ll also have to create an account and log-in, but it only takes a moment and an email address is all that’s required.
Sadly, there’s nothing thrifty about 1st Dibs. After more than a year of devoted shopping, I have been smitten by hundreds of “finds” but I have yet to spot a single item I can afford. There are no $40 candlesticks, though there are $2,500 schoolhouse chalkboards and $25,000 Persian rugs and $75,000 Art Deco marble vessels. With the occasional $650 1950s mercury glass garden sprinkler and $1,500 1940s silver cigarette tray.
It sure ain’t my mom’s junk, but it’s somebody’s castoffs and they sure are purty. Somebody turn off the internets before I hurt myself.