hats. specs. thrift. these are a few of my favorite things! (bikes too, but that's a whole other story and crows! and coffee!)
if you've been a blog reader for awhile now, you probably know of my love for finding bargains at retail stores - my long standing faves being ross dress-for-less and target. even though most of my blog is about our family's journey with lyme, i've been known to write about some of my ross shopping adventures. (read about my travelling pants adventure here). despite my honed bargain shopping skills even these stores now exceed our tight budget... so for the past 2 years, i have tried to exclusively shop at thrift stores. no more ross or target for me! (mind blowing, i know!)
there are a few retail exceptions though... Zenni Optical for my specs, Forever 21 & Ardene for funky jewelry...and then there is this hat i recently bought from the hudson bay company. however, it was sort of a thrifty purchase as i did use a gift certificate to help purchase it. i found the gift certificate in a dresser i inherited from my nana (grandma) many years ago!
|my nana's dresser|
the gift certificate was from 1995... which, in my daughter's opinion, makes it so old it's practically vintage. lol. indeed, it was so old that i was actually worried about trying to purchase the hat with it. in fact, it took me nearly two weeks from the time i saw the hat in the store until i went back and purchased it.
i currently live with a social anxiety disorder that has been triggered by a post-strep autoimmune illness. (read "this is my brave" here), so going into a store and making a purchase can produce anxiety for me. add to that, a vintage gift certificate that may or may not still be valid and i was worried i'd get arrested or questioned - like they'd somehow think i was printing fake vintage gift certificates! i know it's so irrational but these are the types of thoughts that were running through my mind.
yet, the hat was calling my name! i was imagining all the looks i could create with it and the bonus of not having to spend time and energy on styling my hair, well, the allure of that finally trumped my quirky anxiety.
off i went to the bay. before going though, i took the time to do my hair and create a look that i hoped made me look trustworthy and un-scammer like. when i finally showed up at the cash register, i nervously presented my gift certificate and breathlessly murmured, "i have this gift certificate. i have noooooo (insert high pitched squeak) idea if its still valid."
the sales lady took it from my shaking hand. she lifted it to the light and inspected it. then she asked the clerk next to her if she'd ever seen anything like it.
i tried my best to look nonchalant and legit.
then the other clerk said, "oh i've never seen anything like that. you need to call management and have them come take a look."
i nearly vomited.
5 heart stopping minutes passed before the manager appeared. i could feel my heart pounding in my throat as i saw her approach. the first sales clerk waved the certificate under her nose.
"what do you make of this? have you ever seen one of these?"
the manager grabbed the certificate and turned it over and over and over in her hands. then she held it up to the light.
i suddenly felt woozy. fearing i may topple over, i grabbed at the counter to steady myself. in doing so, i dropped my purse which clattered noisily to the floor. the manager's eyeballs left the certificate and gave me and the purse at my feet an appraising once over. then she returned her gaze to my face with one eyebrow raised. i stopped breathing. i knew with absolute certainty she was sizing me up as a counterfeiter.
then she exclaimed, "oh wow! i haven't see one of these in 20 YEARS!"
it took me a full minute to start breathing again.
then she called over another manager. and they began excitedly exclaiming over my gift certificate and they wanted to hear where on earth i'd found it! so i started to tell them my story. before i knew it, there was a total of 4 sales clerks and two elderly customers milling around and listening to my story. then suddenly everyone was reminiscing about the good old glory days of the hudson bay company.
oh my word. it was a total hoot but by the end of it all, i was more than happy to pull that hat on low over my brows and flee the store. no more retail for me.
there's a bit more i'd like to add to this little hat story...as my love of hats has been born out of suffering. i wasn't a hat person until i became profoundly ill with neurological Lyme Disease 10 years ago.
during my sickest years, hats became a way for me to still feel styled & put together when my body was falling apart. being someone who finds creative inspiration & joy from putting looks together this was important to me. in essence, hats helped me feel like me when the symptoms of Chronic Lyme left me with a body that felt foreign, uncomfortable & unrecognizable.
more thoughts on hats, thrifting, chronic illness (& biking) coming to my blog soon. as well as an update about the LDI/LDA Immunotherapy that sparky and i have been undergoing for almost a year now. (i've had a number of inquiries about this specific treatment and i'm sorry the update is taking so long!)
i'm beginning to write again and it feels good. really good. yet, as good as it feels to be able to start blogging again, i have to admit, i am still having FB anxiety. psshtt! this social anxiety thing is a real beast to contend with but i am just allowing myself to be okay with that. having never been anxiety prone, it's weird to suddenly live with it but that is just the way it is right now. i am wanting to be as real about it as i can and not not feel silly or less than or beat myself up over it. that's just where things are at for me.
FB weirdness aside, i have recently activated both mine and our dog harrison's instagram accounts again. (as if posting as a dog isn't weird or anything.) i am comfortable hanging out on there and am enjoying creating mini posts. i don't always feel that what i post there is blog 'worthy' so please feel free to find me on instagram under @ticksandtrust. and the dog can be found @worldaccordingtoharrison
thanks for reading my little hat story!