Jonesing for a Ten-Cent Plate

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Once when my mom was invited over to the Wesson’s summer home, my younger brother insisted on taking the brownies he’d made earlier that day. My mother securely wrapped cellophane around the colorful, floral plate, so Lindsey could offer them as a hostess gift.


I still carry the memory of the Wesson’s expansive deck and silver clad luncheon table glistening in the sunlight. The room carried sophistication and an air of “children are seen and not heard.” Of course we acted like angels, appropriately using the correct silver fork in the line up, at all times. Ha, I don’t think so!


Before we left, the hostess quipped, “Don’t forget your plate!” My brother excitedly replied, “Oh, you can keep it. It only cost a dime!” Although my brother’s comment made my mother shrink two feet, it didn’t dent my love of thrifting one bit.


Since my early teens I’ve loved vintage clothing and the finds I still treasure from all over the place. In early 80’s when I lived in LA, before people thought to reclaim vintage clothing, it was virgin territory for thrifting. I found my favorite mechanic’s jumpsuit (before jumpsuits were in) from a little vintage shop off Robertson Blvd, long since gone and so is the jumpsuit. I also scored the red poodle cardigan I wore ragged and a gold and green metallic Hollywood gown I wore to host a party. That was the same shindig that the guy I was crushing on ran off with my girlfriend. Another story for another time.


I learned thrifting from my mom and my kids learned it from me. My great designer finds, ruby red stilettos and a host of “Early Marriage ” pieces all carry sweet memories from sniffing out the finds.  

I’ve passed on some, while others have remained with me. Once a thriftier, it’s hard to stop. My Sis and I still make regular visits to Flashback on our trips home to Memphis, where I claimed my big round, Jackie O sunglasses. Although my son Sam wins the award for the most impressive finds, including an original Eames chair he got for a steal.


Treasured finds often emerge from piles of wadded cast offs, hidden amongst the rubble; others stand out like soldiers saluting or from a well garnered click on ebay.  Presently I’m into the 60’s vibe with a little flower power action.


An eclectic montage like a table lined with fine silver and mix-matched casts offs all show value, at least to me. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. The question is always where do you place value?


Value Placements

Minute to minute we make judgments about value. “I like that house” or “what an ugly dress.” One minute, “I’d never pay what they’re s asking!” and the next, “I’ll have that $6 latte.” We even do it with people, under our breath saying, “She’s squirrely, but he’s hot!”


What if we took stock of our judgments realizing that all of our varied assessments are relative to our experiences? There’s no difference in buying a $2 plate or a $200 plate (which I’ve never done, but felt your judgment, so I’m inserting this fact. :) ) They merely represent choices.


We make the choice to walk, drive, Uber or use city trans to get to a destination. One isn’t right and another wrong. They’re merely choices. What keeps us too paralyzed to act is judgment about our choices. Our own judgments or another’s can be crippling if we’re not aware of what’s going on within us.


Ever recognize your own Inner Critic scolding you? It feels terrible, because like a wagging finger, judgments are often shaming. When you take the judgment off your choices, you free yourself up to make the choices that are right for you. The best way to recognize the judgments of the Inner Critic that trigger you is to practice observing.



 You like green and someone else prefers yellow. It’s no sweat off your brow, right?

What if your choice is merely a choice and there’s no right or wrong in your selection?


Remove the judgment from the equation. Instead of judging your choices or someone else’s practice observing.


  • Observe what is without judgment around it. What is your preference?


  • Observe what’s going on in your body when you feel judged.


  • Observe how removing judgment frees you up and allows your masks to come down.


  • Observe how inspired you feel moving from curiosity and observation rather than judgment.



If you’re like me, you love watching the wheels turn as children astutely observe the world. An unimpressionable child is without judgment. They take everything in and use it as raw material to create. They might even craft an amazing table scape. What would it do in your life to shift your energy from judgment to the curiosity of a child?

Practice tabling your low-energy judgments and get curious about all of the possibilities, old and new, 60’s flow or 90’s verve. You get to choose.


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