FRESH THYME

Way back when I was a young mom, we had lost our home and were starting over, I remember this store that I frequented.  It was called One Price Clothing and everything in it was $7.  One could shop there with a certain amount of funds and know exactly how much they would spend, because each item of clothing (and shoes!) was seven bucks.  And at a time when we were struggling financially, if I just had about $30 I knew I could step inside and look and then exit with four new pieces of clothing!

Being a fashion lover, this was a treat for me and I went to this store often.  No, it wasn’t high quality clothing (although I did purchase a pair of pants I’d also seen in a department store), but it was trendy, cute, and something I could afford.  I absolutely loved going there and facing the challenge of putting together an outfit with the little bit of money I had to spend.  It really was fun!  One Easter, my entire outfit was purchased there!

 

And then one day, I was with a group of women and one of them started talking about shopping.  She made a comment about that particular store that I loved and stated how it was trash and not worth shopping.  I didn’t speak up and say, “Well, I shop there and love it!” Instead, I said nothing and left that meeting and went home feeling “less than.”  And it was all because of a comment someone else said about something I had loved.

 

I think back on that situation now, and I remember noting that I needed to be careful about what I said about places, people, experiences, needs, etc. because other ears that are listening might be offended if I put down what they place up high.  For example, talking down about neighborhoods, or people groups, or fatty foods, or any subject where I think I know something about it – there might be a friend nearby that’s living and loving the very thing I despise!  Something to note, for sure.

But also, I now think back and wish I had spoken up.  I think my 60-something old self would speak up and say, “Well, I shop in that store and quite enjoy it!”  But my 30-something young self stayed quiet.  I have fond memories of that store, and now – instead of feeling ashamed at my economic situation and embarrassed to confess – I feel happy about that experience.  I learned so many lessons during that stage of my life.  I could find pretty outfits for less.  I could still enjoy shopping with little.  I could still dress up and save money.

I still prefer discount stores.  I still scan the clearance aisles first, and I don’t feel the need to have the latest and the greatest.  And I feel like I learned those lessons in a time of want.  I also feel that over the years I’ve become more grateful and aware that what I have is a blessing, and what I have not – it’s not a curse. Some have more than I do, in material stuff.  And some have less.  We are neither one better than the other.

So if you find yourself in a time of luxury, give thanks.  But be careful what you say when you’re around other women.  And if you’re living in a time of lack at the moment, give thanks and find a cute little place to shop that you can afford and enjoy every minute.

WHAT ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT TODAY? DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER FRESH THYME STORIES ON THE COVER.
Happy About It
by Marcy Lytle

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