One Man’s Trash…

We all know the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. It’s one of those sayings that people say without thinking about it. It’s why we have yard sales and flea markets.  Why not make a little extra money by selling something we don’t want anymore right?

And now with so much emphasis on recycling and reusing, it seems this is the responsible thing to do if you’re not willing to donate such items.

What I find fascinating in the world of selling junk are antique malls. Have you ever been to an antique mall? If you don’t know what an antique mall is – well think of it as a fancy flea market where vendors rent out booth space and fill it with used junk – I mean antiques.

Don’t get me wrong there are some beautiful pieces that truly are antique, but you have to search most of the time for quite a while to find them. And then of course they tend to be over priced, but what do I know. I don’t really want to spend thousands of dollars for a table that I’m afraid will get ruined someday.

I went to one just yesterday, not because I was looking to buy anything, but because there are so many stories in places like that.

Antique MallTake for instance this doll. She was strapped to a high shelf in one of the booths and her face captivated me. Usually porcelain dolls have Mona Lisa smiles, but she seems to be in pain or maybe just smelled a skunk.

I don’t know, but the back story made my imagination come alive!

I used to want to collect such dolls, because while I find some of them extremely creepy (the looks on their faces and their lifelike poses make it believable that they will come to life one night) most are truly beautiful. And after all I am a girl and that’s what girls are supposed to do – right?

Anyway, this particular beauty wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye, but she was the only thing interesting enough to make me take a picture!

The people at these places are also fascinating –  both the customers and the vendors! I’m thinking the vendors are either full blown or boarder line hoarders and this gives them an excuse to keep most of this stuff a little longer. I was really wondering yesterday if some of them ever expected to sell most of their stuff either because it was way over priced or because it was just dirty junk that no one would want.

Like I said I go to these places more to spark my imagination and to get a glimpse into the past than to actually purchase anything. Although I have bought a couple of things in the past at other antique malls. It all depends.

Yesterday’s trip left me wondering, though, why do we continue to manufacture and buy new items when perfectly good versions of the same thing exist at a fraction of the price? Is it because corporate America cannot make a profit? Is it because businesses would die out? Or is it because we have become accustomed to needing (translate wanting) the newest, the latest and greatest of everything that we can no longer see the value in what’s already around us?

Take it one step further, why are new homes being built at a dizzying pace when there are so many homes already standing that just need a little renovating. If we as a society focused on renovating homes and neighborhoods wouldn’t that bring life back into the communities? Wouldn’t that help those who so desperately need it most?

How about the next time we need something we check out the yard sales, the flea markets, or antique malls to see if there’s something we can repurpose or reuse?

Fallacy Graphic

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