SOL 20 – Getting Thrifty – Again?

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This past Saturday on the way home from a distant land called Maryland,
I turned from a side street into a shopping center,
not knowing what was there.

I thought I might grab a quick bite of something,
but the prospects were not good.

There standing boldly in front of me was a massive Value Village Thrift Store.
It felt epic and I felt sixteen again,
a world where skinny jeans and slim fit shirts never existed.

The Value Village of my youth in Alexandria, Virginia is long gone.
It had the misfortune of being too close to a metro station.

I went to an all boys catholic high school
where along with an “advance always” mindset,
a coat and tie were required.

Why go through my dad’s clothes that no longer fit him
when I could go through everyone’s dad’s clothes that no longer fit them?

Memories of one fun thrifty friend’s outfit,
plaid shirt, plaid pants, plaid jacket and plaid tie.
Yup, that meets dress code.



  1. I love how the simple name of a store can stir up such memories. The Value Village from my childhood still stands, but now you have me thinking back to treasure hunts from decades ago. Love this line, “Why go through my dad’s clothes that no longer fit him when I could go through everyone’s dad’s clothes that no longer fit them?”


  2. They told me to
    dress, according to
    code, so I did,
    wearing HTML tags
    on my collars
    and hidden hyperlinks
    in my pockets,
    and I wandered around
    inside this space,
    like a hashtag hacker in
    the mall of days ahead.

    –Kevin, not sure how this poem came from your poem, but there it is. Dress Code.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Last year I drove by an old Robert Hall store (closed all over the Northeast many years ago) and it triggered memories of shopping with my family. Your post is so vivid. That’s what memories stir up. Wish you’d taken a picture of yourself in that outfit!


  4. We always went to the Artie’s on Wadsworth Avenue! Wow! What memories your piece brings back to me – all the shopping we did at thrift stores while growing up! Oh, plaid was the rage!


  5. I love how seeing this storefront (on your way home from the faraway land of Maryland!) brought back these memories. It’s amazing how seeing something can bring memories of our youth rushing back to us.


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