Do you ever just have those days that instantly suck from the moment you wake up? Monday was that kind of day for me. The alarm brought my dream to an abrupt halt, which made me angry and sad because dream me was cuddled up in a hospital bed with a very much alive Emily while one of our friends kept watch on the door to the room (long story).
The kids grumbled, groaned, and yelled at me the entire time we got ready for school. A client’s blog broke. Kroger isn’t have several items from my Clicklist order in stock. You name it, it probably went wrong. So, I called it quits a little before 4:00, threw a piece of “magic chocolate” in my mouth (IYKYK), and went over to the battlefield park near my townhouse.
I spent over an hour at the battlefield mindfully walking along trail and sitting to read in the grass for a bit. The sun started to set, so I left, but I knew that my mental state at that point wouldn’t be safe at home alone. So I went to Bargain Hunt. And, of course, about 5 minutes into my time there, I started crying because I thought of Emily.
Shopping on a Budget
In case the posts about Costco and Target weren’t enough indications, I’ll just spell it out for you: Emily loved to shop. Didn’t matter if it was clothes, books, or home decor — she loved it all.
But, here’s the best part: She loved thrifting and bargain shopping just as much as anything else.
Over the years, I went on many adventures with Emily to stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, and Bargain Hunt. We also frequently hit thrift stores, Goodwill, and McKays (I’ll probably do a whole other post about McKay’s because there’s a lot of history there). And, of course, I will never forget her love for Five Below.
Sometimes, she went into these stores purely to walk around. But, other times, she went into them with a mission, and that mission was to get whatever items she needed for as cheap as possible. In fact, I watched her price compare things on several occasions, because she was determined to get the best possible price for whatever item it was.
It’s funny, because I don’t think I would have ever guessed by looking at her that Emily was a serious bargain and thrift shopper. But, honestly, I’m pretty sure she knew about more of those stores than I did, which is fairly impressive.
My Favorite Thrifting Date
I’d say Emily and I ended up in some type of bargain store at least once a month. However, I very distinctly remember a day when we intentionally set out to have a thrifting date day, which meant we basically just hit every discount or used goods store in Murfreesboro.
We started at Plato’s Closet and each found a few clothing items there. Then we ran next door to Play & Trade to see if they had any good deals on used Switch games (they really didn’t). From there, we went to Uptown Cheapskate, where we found even more clothes for both of us. I especially liked this part of the day because Emily had several items to try on, so she did a mini fashion show for me (my rendition for her wasn’t nearly as attractive or fun). Then, we ran next door to… Bargain Hunt.
I think this date stands out in my mind to this day for several reasons. For starters, Emily is just incredibly fun to shop with. Also, we each picked out a couple of silly things for the other person to try on, and we both laughed out asses off. And, of course, it was a relatively cheap date, which was nice.
Yet, despite all of that, the best part for me was something that probably doesn’t make sense to anyone else, but it did to Emily. She was totally chill with my buying clothes from the “men’s” part of the store. In fact, she wasn’t even just chill about it — she literally encouraged me to buy things that I liked and made me happy, regardless of what part of the store they were in.
I already knew before that day, but seeing her so openly support me and say how good things looked on me just sealed the deal for me. It was clear that I’d finally found someone who saw, understood, accepted, and loved me just the way I am. And, I hope that day helped her see the very same thing, because I know how hard shopping for clothes could be for her.
An Aisle Full of Tears
It’s funny, as I look back on that thrifting date and many of our other shopping adventures, I don’t think anything overly significant ever happened at Bargain Hunt. But I think the emotions hit me hard yesterday because of the way our brains just associate things, and I’ll always associate stores like that with Emily.
After I finally moved on past the aisle I fell apart in, it was like I kept seeing signs of Emily throughout the rest of the store. There was several beach things and some camping gear. Then I found little decor items that were funny little plant signs: one had a pun that said, “You had me at aloe,” and one that was just a snake plant (which she claimed to be). There were even some damn Boosts in the grocery section… It was all things that made me continue to think of Emily.
My love of a good bargain probably won’t ever disappear. But, because Emily loved that type of shopping as well, I think my mind will always think of her when I step into any of those stores. But, hey, at least she won’t judge me for overspending if I’m buying stuff at a discount store?