Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

To Thrift, or Not to Thrift, That Is the Question

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

To Thrift, or Not to Thrift, That Is the Question

Article excerpt

My friend Mark called last week. "What are you doing on Saturday?" he asked.

"I don't know," I said. "I want to look for a new refrigerator. And I need some kind of bureau to put in my bedroom. My whole apartment is a mess. I just have too much junk and no place to put it."

Mark said, "Oh, I was gonna suggest we go thrifting with Jamie and Maja."

(From Urban Dictionary: "Thrifting. When one visits several different thrift shops ... in the hopes of buying several items of cheap and unusual clothing and other items. One usually does this with friends.")

And I, naturally, said, "Great!"

Like most people who have too much junk, I am always looking for more junk. And more. And more.

In fact, the first time my friend Donna came to my house in Wood- Ridge about 12 years ago with her friend John, she looked around my living room and said, "Ooh! Can we buy stuff?"

No.

But, yeah, I like ... stuff. Which means I am unlike most kids today, who detest stuff. They don't buy books. They don't need records. They don't collect DVDs. Or photo equipment. Or photo albums. Or stories clipped out of newspapers.

Everything they own is digital. It's on their iPhone. Or their iPod. Or their iMac.

When they grow up and move from one apartment to another, all they'll need is a tote bag.

(Trust me: Ten years from now, iPhones will put U-Hauls out of business.)

I, on the other hand, love having things around. Art. Books. Plastic dinosaurs. Throw pillows.

Between my house in New Jersey and my apartment on Long Island, I have about 750 pillows. I also collect candlesticks. And boxes. I love boxes -- square boxes, round boxes, hand-painted boxes.

I also needed an icebox. So, around 10:30 Saturday morning, Mark came to my place and we went looking for a fridge.

"We'll meet up with Jamie and Maja around 11:30," Mark said. "I found a few good stores we could go to."

The next thing I knew, we were in an appliance store, looking for a new refrigerator for my apartment. I hate the one I have now. It's too small. But, the space I have to put it in -- an "alcove" between two walls -- is only 27 inches wide.

All the fridges we saw were smaller than the one I have now. …

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