Infinite Trash To Treasure

One woman's infinite trash can truly be another man's treasure.

"Can you zip me up?" said Mariosh as he fidgeted in my mother's gold charmeuse blouse. Well, it was polyester with a silk charmeuse sheen. A stockier Laurence Fishburne, his muscular arms were too tight to reach the zipper on the back of the neck. It stretched snug across his chest but if he raised his arms he'd burst like the Incredible Hulk. He saw the doubt in my face. I'm not a very good shopgirl.

"I wouldn't raise my arms anyway!" He lifted his arms to reveal a soft abdomen. The gold actually looked good against his tanned skin.

It was a thrill to watch this man preening himself in one of my mother's silky business blouses. She had dozens of business tops to match her hundreds of business suits because she had fashioned herself to be a serious business woman. From sorting through her suits, sequined dresses, and floral Easter dresses in the past year, I've come realized that the clothes we wear are aspirational. Whether we pursue those aspirations is another matter.

Mariosh, the gay Latino actor/ model from Norway told me the blouse would be perfect to wear to parties. His parties were probably the farthest thing from the business meetings my suburban Chinese mother envisioned herself attending in the blouse. Maybe she'd wear them to a church meeting or a trip to the accountant. This is why I love seeing who buys our clothes. It gives me to chance to see both scenarios on a split screen in my head.

Occasionally I work at my friend's vintage store, where I get to see people try on, get excited about, and take home our things. Sometimes I tell them about the Garage, but then I wonder if it's TMI. Strangers might not want the weight of your family history in their impulse buys.

Item: Ralph Lauren Polo Country chambray print shirt
Belonged to: my dad
Purchased by: works at The Hundreds

Item: Forenza cardigan from The Limited
Belonged to: my mom
Purchased by: Kelly, teenage tourist from Vancouver

Item: Francois (?) button down 
Belonged to: my dad
Purchased by: Nathan, works at Scout

Item: Michelle Stuart blouse from Casual Corner
Belonged to: my mom
Purchased by: Mariosh, actor/ model from Norway

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