They are the things that my Mom did that I swore I would never do. When I was younger, she would walk the aisles of Goodwill for hours. HOURS. It was like she was hunting for treasure. I just didn’t get it. Everything was just old and dirty and gross in my preteen mind. While she was roaming around, I would linger behind bookshelves and camouflage myself in the clothing racks, afraid that someone from school would see me. I swore I would never do the same when I was older.
I would put pots on the stove, and she would always push the handle away from me. ”In case you bump it” she would say, because boiling liquid would spill all over the place. Whatever, I would think. Who cares? I would never be that particular, I’d tell myself.
When we would stroll around a kitchen aisle, she would find a cup she liked. Then without question she would stick her hand straight into the cup, and if it didn’t fit comfortably inside, she wouldn’t buy it. ”It’s too hard to clean” she would lament, and I would scowl. I could never understand what the big deal was. It was JUST A CUP. A nice cup! I would think. I will always buy the things that I like, regardless of minor inconveniences, I promised myself.
These days? I am exactly like her. I like searching for old and charming items at Goodwill. I’m unnaturally paranoid about splashing scalding water, and can never seem to get the bottom of the narrow cups. Somehow in my determination to become the exact opposite of my mom, it’s like I’ve become her clone.
This year over Christmas break I did my impressions of the things she would do, that I now do, and she laughed and laughed. And you know what I thought?
This is the best thing ever.
Recent Goodwill finds: A Better Homes and Gardens book from the 50′s or 60′s (with actual inserts from the magazines of that era!) and a White House cookbook from 1919. The latter advises you to do things like stick a muskrat fur to your bare chest to relieve asthma symptoms. It also has pictures of various First Ladies sprinkled throughout.
They’re trasures, I tell you.