Finally back home after a long, hot afternoon & night at the Tanglin Flea! It is completely fuss-free — no racks or displays allowed, no fancy signs or gimmicks, just your wares tumbled into a pile on a picnic mat! The buyers are only too happy to dig through to snag the best deals, and examine them for fit, brand, quality and defects, in that order. Most of the deal hunters are Filipino domestic workers, and they are such a joy to banter and bargain with! It got a bit overwhelming when there were seven pairs of hands rummaging through our stash all at once, but I got the hang of it as the day went on. Prices decrease as the sun sets, it seems, and it was also tricky trying to stick to our guns and not follow the “dresses $1, tops 50c, shoes FREE!” shouts from our neighbouring stalls. Eventually, Lauren and I emerged with a decent profit and extra space in our closets. Our sweet parents even stopped by a couple of times during the day, and left us with ice cream floats to sip on as we packed up!
It was tough to pick out clothes for the sale and watch them switch hands though. It seems so silly that we attach so many emotions to physical items, but the entire sale today was like watching my teenage life fly by. There were drapey tops and flowy skirts I felt like the height of cool in, a sweet coral top I wore all the time to my first real job, clothes I wore on dates. Amongst one of the things we sold was a blouse with hearts printed all over, something I bought for Lauren on one of our very first real shopping trips together. It was the first time I felt like a nice older sister doing something a bit more generous and out of the ordinary. As we exchanged that top for some crisp bills, Lauren smiled and commented, “that day, you said, ‘I can buy it for you if you want!'”, and rested her head on my shoulder. It made me smile to know that she remembers that as much as I do, and that I don’t need the clothes or the unnecessary emotions, just the stories and the people I created them with.