I picked up this pint-sized piece of pre-loved percussion on a lazy morning of op-shopping. My alter ego, Thrifty McThrift, loves a weekend of foraging. So it wasn’t unusual for me to be elbow-deep in knotted necklaces and broken bits of bling.
Whilst I prefer trinket hunting as a solo expedition, on this particular morning I found myself with a companion. We first knocked elbows when trying to dismantle a tangle of pendants precariously perched on a dilapidated display stand.
While I had my eye on the tambourine, she was honing in on a bunch of old keys. Looking back, she was clearly the leading lady and I was but a backing singer. Roughly thirty years my senior, this woman was a vintage thrifter. Patient but persistent, she possessed that meditative look that indicated she knew she was in a place of recycling reverie. I knew the look because I wore it too.
“We’re quite crazy aren’t we?” she said. “I waste hours and hours in here.” We laughed for a while, before returning to the serious business of searching our surrounds.
Turns out, she was obsessed with keys. She displayed them in her home and wore them as necklaces and brooches. After examining a handful of rusty specimens, she settled on a bronze beauty, roughly finger-length and perfectly shaped for a potential pendant.
We stretched out our goodbyes, both knowing we’d met kindred spirits. I was her mini-me and she was my future-me. Both of us had places to be and things to do but instead we’d answered the call of the wild; tackling terrains of unkempt and discarded trinkets, in the hope we could resurrect a few that took our fancy.
Later, back home, I inspected my rescued tambourine. I noticed one of its metal jingles was missing. It was very unlike me to overlook such an obvious imperfection. How had I missed it whilst browsing? I stopped short of chastising myself.
I thought about future-me and wondered what she’d do. Most likely, she’d grin and wear it. After all, that’s the key to thrifting.
Have you ever had a boutique buddy or a second-hand sista?