Yesterday I went to Goodwill and picked up a couple small flower vases to round out my collection. Found just the thing, and paid a total of $6.52 for the both of them.
I like shopping at Goodwill, a pleasure I share with my late mother, who loved to shop at places where used goods had a chance for a second life. A child of the Great Depression, Mom always felt guilty about spending money on herself. But she could walk out of Goodwill or a Salvation Army store with the light, airy step of a woman who had just spent 75 cents for a piece of costume jewelry that absolutely nailed the new dress she’d agonized over all week, before finally buying it at the dress shop downtown.
I also like Goodwill because it feels like community. Wandering up and down the aisles, I’m surrounded by shoppers from my town — my neighbors, whether known to me or not. The jacket I try on may have once belonged to one of my neighbors. They belonged to somebody’s neighbor. My favorite summer shirt, found in a Goodwill’s men’s department years ago, could have been a favorite summer shirt years before I ever saw it. My new vase may once have held flowers from someone else’s beloved garden.
We’re all connected. Shopping in a store packed with memories helps me feel it, and it feels good.