A Visit to the Maul, and a Great Use for the Pesky Remaining Balance on Your Gift Card

I had to go to the mall a few weeks ago to get an existing gift card balance updated for a wedding present.

Disorienting much?  Image source

Yes, I am tacky enough to use the balance on gift cards we haven’t touched in years towards a wedding gift; but no, I am not tacky enough to send the self-same card that’s been stuck in a drawer in our house all those same years.

You know the ones…they stare accusingly at you every time you open said drawer, asking why you haven’t used them yet.  Your half-hearted rejoinder goes something like, “Well, the store is so far away,” “There’s not much money on you anyway,” “We never used the last thing we bought from this store,” or “I could use you to buy online but the cost of shipping will use up half your balance!”

My solution?
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Friday Thrift Camaraderie

I met a gentleman at the thrift store recently who caught my attention when I accidentally thought he was asking me a question.  (I just assume strangers will speak to each other at thrift stores—it’s one of the nice things about the communal space thrifting creates).

Turns out he was just talking out loud to himself, but he took the opportunity to share his conversation with me.

“Is this too loud?”  (holds up a white shirt with orange/pink/green plaid striped over it, similar to below but with a lot more white/no blue:)

 (edited for excessive male model brooding)

He continues: “I mean, I wear bright colors—this (points to a faded mauve madras shirt) is pretty tame for me.”

“I think it’s great,” I respond, “It’ll bring a pop of color without blinding anyone.”

“You think?  Good.  I hate being boring at work.”


This is thrifting camaraderie at its best: encouraging someone to live into their own style even when it’s a bit outside the norm.

Plus, who doesn’t love seeing masculine types wearing something besides a plain ol’ blue dress shirt?  (This is why the spouse has a purple/red/teal plaid shirt in his closet…)


What’s your latest/favorite thrifting camaraderie experience?  Do you talk to strangers (or solicit their advice) in thrift stores?  Or does it totally rub you the wrong way?


Happy Weekend, Thrifters!