Oldies but Goodies?

I let my sister talk me into antiquing. Because I’m leaving for college next week, we’re spending a lot of time together, trying to do some last minute bonding. Before I start into my thoughts on antique stores, let me explain a few things about my sister.

I have three sisters, two older and one younger. The younger is only two years younger than myself, so by no means little. Unlike her clearly normal and well-adjusted older sister, she has some odd interests, like westerns, old TV shows, books about wars, and antiques. None of those are things in which I have the least interest. However, I am a doting older sister, hence the antiquing.


For any of you who actually know anything about antiques….you may want to skip this post. If you choose to read it, prepare to be humored by my ignorance. The only antiques I want are books or adorably vintage jewelry/clothes. And unlike my sister, who could shop every antique store in the city, my patience wears out rather quickly. Today, we only visited one. Here are my observations.

Antique stores are an odd mix….there are very valuable items and there is junk. They are very subjective….one man’s treasure, another man’s trash type deal. For instance, right in the front of the store was a paddle boat. Not any paddle boat though! A remote control paddle boat that was massive….think the size of a medium coffee table. It was tagged $2900. For one thing…why not $3000? Perhaps this is just because I like round numbers, and I understand the whole theory of using nines, because 29 hundred sounds like less than 3 thousand, but it makes me wonder how they came to that price. And also who would buy a remote-control paddle boat…I suppose an eccentric collector type, but it doesn’t seem like they would frequent antique stores just looking for that type of thing.

Then there was the jar of buttons. I do not need a jar of buttons, but it caught my eye because we have a similar jar in our house. Looking at the one in the store, any of those buttons could have been the same. It’s fascinating to me that while not single piece of clothing may have been the same, the buttons look virtually identical. This makes me wonder…who else had button jars? When we were little, my sister and I would sit on our parents’ bed and dump all the buttons out, sorting through them, and running them through our fingers, like in the movies when someone finds a treasure.

Despite my impatience with sorting through stuff that looks like it belongs in my grandmother’s garage, we did find a few neat items. Being the sucker that I am for good deals on books, I came away with three hardbacks, two of them recent publications (Eragon and Eldest!) and the other an old collection of poetry. I blame my older sister for that. She had two falling apart poetry collections that I could not read enough. But she got married and took those with her when she moved away, so I had to add something comparable to my own collection.

As for my little sister’s purchase….she bought a sword. Yes, you read that correctly. No, it was not Nerf or wooden. It is a massive, very heavy, somewhat decorative sword. She even haggled the price down on it. We’re not sure what our mom will say about the sword she will now want to hang in her bedroom, but it was certainly an interesting find! She also wanted the Rifleman lunch box, but $95 is a bit much for an antique lunch box, even if it is from her favorite TV show.

All in all, I did enjoy the time with my sister, and the antique store wasn’t too painful an experience, which makes it a productive morning! Now I just need to find room for those books on my already over-crowded shelf…