WHITNEY CAIN, PHD

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Classic Vintage

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Finding something I’m not looking for in vintage stores is one of my favorite treats.  I’ve become something of a regular at one collectibles mall and recently stumbled on my best finds yet.

Bitsy owns the mall.  She’s a tell-it-like-it-is type who refers to herself in third person.  At first, this was disconcerting, but now I appreciate it and recognize our third person selves can access a sassy courage oftentimes unavailable to our first person selves.  

After a difficult customer left, Bitsy said, “Bitsy doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Ms. Snoody Britches.” My first-person-self wanted to say something supportive and Quaker-ish, a la “You were very reasonable, Bitsy.  She’ll come back and you two can make amends.”  But my third-person-self jumped in and said, “Whitney thinks Ms. Snoody Britches can put her attitude in her pipe and smoke it.” 

Randy told me he’s known Bitsy since “before she wore a brassiere” (to which Bitsy responded: “Randy, don’t make Bitsy box your ears”).  Randy’s a renaissance man who dabbles in a number of trades, among them a booth at Bitsy’s.  He knows something about almost everything coming and going through the shop, and pronounces rhyming, philosophical adages like a Vintage Resale Oracle.  The other day he caught my eye, nodded toward a customer, and said: “People buy for freedom.  The question is, will their purchase feed ‘em?”  When a new booth owner asked his insight on an item’s value, Randy responded, “Price it to buy.  Watch it fly.”  

The proportion of time I spend wandering the shop versus talking with them has shifted.  I still love to look around the place, but the real draw now is the connections I’ve found with my two new friends.  They are my favorite finds.

Bitsy recently suggested I open my own booth for a more official, regular presence around the joint. My first person self wonders if I have time or if I’d end up with a bunch of unsold knick-knacks.  Whitney, on the other hand, thinks “Why the devil not? When there’s potential fun, join in and pop a squat.”  Whitney also knows there are still plenty of treasures to be found in my favorite vintage mall, and while I’m looking or even selling some, I can enjoy my two favorites. 

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Photo Credit:  Skitterphoto. (November 4, 2016). Untitled.  Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/antique-shop-vintage-old-retro-1863905/

Whitney Cain