Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Flea

There is nothing I love more than a cup of coffee and a flea market. When I know a flea market is in my future, my palms start sweating and my heart rate increases from the anticipation. I need to see everything. I will spend hours. Thus, there are only few people I will take with me to the flea. If you are going because you think I would like the company, but it's not really your "thing," consider going with someone else. If you are tired, go sit. Do not sigh, complain, remember an appointment you have to leave for, or roll your eyes if you rode with me. I am serious about my love of the flea.

People frequently ask, "What do you look for at the flea market?" The honest answer is that I have no idea. Whatever the perfect item is, it will let itself be known to me. Sometimes I leave with nothing, other times I am texting friends to see if they brought their minivan.

To me, the flea represents my best self. I am stress-free, relaxed and open to possibilities. A meat smoker in the shape of a giant steer, a camel door knocker, vintage clothes galore, a mid-century sectional sofa, a "No Nukes" belt buckle, are all treasures I passed on. The only regret was the belt buckle.

On the other hand I've acquired branding irons, a mermaid necklace, 1970's era orange fabric, low slung chairs, five rocking chairs, a Christmas tree topper from Sears, trivets in the shape of men's shirts and ties, an urn, sunglasses that make me look like Iris Apfel or Edna Mode, and the list goes on and on.

Although stores such as Kohl's and Target certainly have their place in my life, the things I buy from those stores are purely functional and typically consumable. My favorite things in  my life have been handed down, bartered for, picked up in an alley, purchased and acquired at art shows, bought at the side of the road, one of a kind stores or boutiques, and flea markets. Each item is a reflection of me.