Friday, March 13, 2009
So Many Stories (Thank You For Yours)
My name is John, Kelly’s husband, and I’ve been thinking about stories. This one finds us at one of many thrift stores in our town. Kelly begins putting clothes on actors by shopping second-hand. It is cheaper, faster, environmentally savvy, and it supports local charities, but Kelly does it because she loves the adventure, the treasure hunt. I do it because I like being with Kelly.
We spend a lot of our free time at flea markets. Kelly has an expert eye and can spot the rare or remarkable. Me, I just look. If I see something interesting, I look closer. I buy old VHS tapes of chick flicks. It’s more fun to risk $1.50 on a used copy of While You Were Sleeping or Ever After and come home with sweet and sour chicken and spend the evening on the couch than to go to a first-run movie.
But I digress. We were at thrift stores with a long list of items for male actors. The theme of this year’s play is Laugh In, Moliere’s Tartuffe with mod outfits. So we were looking for those kinds of pants and those kinds of shirts. We also needed a Dick Van Dyke gray suit, some sweaters and some skinny ties.
We found all of those and more on five excursions last weekend. While looking for play clothes, I found three new dress shirts for me, with tags still on, $1.49 each. I found a nice belt for $1, so I can wear my brown shoes again, six great ties (great if you like paisley), 79 cents each, a sweater vest for $2, and three, count em’, three very nice wool sports jackets for $3 each. A whole set of new work clothes for less than $25. Sweet!
Kelly inspires me, as some wives do, to give some thought to my attire. I will never dress as funky as she does, but suddenly I’m stylin’ at work and around the house, a cross between Don Knotts, Charlie Harper and Tiny Tim.
So that’s one story. But the stories I’m thinking about are these clothes. Everything we bought last weekend has a story. That brown belt? Who made those scratches on the side? Did some man I will never meet have it on when he proposed to his wife? Was he wearing it when he got fired? Was it in the store because he died? Has it been to Hawaii?
Did the person who bought that blue and gray cardigan 40 some years ago ever imagine that one day a lead actor in a play originally written for Marie Antoinette would prance around on stage with it on? What has that sweater been doing for since 1967? What adventures did the owner have wearing it, what triumphs and tragedies? Did that person ever conceive that one day we would mention it on a blog about domestic life in 2009?
So many stories. So many stories. I know I speak for Kelly in saying that’s why she blogs, and that’s why she reads your blogs. She loves being part of your stories.
Note: Tonight is opening night, so Kelly should be back soon. I hope she tells you about her costumes, because they look terrific.