Junkilificus Myopia

by Stefani on 26-May-2007

Friends, I need to warn you about a little known, but ultimately devastating disease that has reached epidemic proportions in this part of the country. Take precautions now.

I became acutely aware of this affliction when, just days ago, my father-in-law let it be known that he thought my use of the word “thrifting” was funny. I told him that I didn’t make it up, it’s a real word, and if it’s not it should be, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. He still found it funny, I guess, because he told me later that he came up with a definition for “thrifting” and thought I should use it on my blog. It goes like this:

Thrift, thrifted, thrifting (verb) – To find good prices on stuff you don’t need.

(This is where I put my fists on my hips and begged to differ.)

Now, I like my father in law, and I know he reads this little blog-o-mine, so I’m going to state that up front, but I have come to the disheartening revelation that he suffers from an illness that many men share. The scientific term is Junkilificus Myopia. It is a refractive defect of the eye in which the sufferer cannot see the true value of previously owned objects. The afflicted are perfectly capable of seeing the cracks, wrinkles, tears, rust or other minor defects in these objects, but cannot appreciate the item in its fullness.

Sad, I know.

I’m also very sorry to say that this hideous condition has affected a rather wide segment of the population, and appears to be an inherited malformation. I know this because my husband has, when looking at a perfectly perfect specimen of thrifted treasure, say a pile of pretty canisters and little suitcases that cost a combined $2.50, uttered the words, “Did you really need that?”

I give you exhibit A:

See what I mean? The poor man! Imagine, going through life not even SEEING the inherent beauty right before his very eyes! I’m thinking of organizing some sort of telethon, or fun run or something. I just feel so sorry for him.

You should know also that there is a variant form of the disease in which the sufferer not only fails to see the value in thrifted objects, but is also unable to appreciate found objects. My poor father, God be with him, has a severe case of this affliction. The man can look right at a basket full of pine cones gathered in the woods of East Texas or a bucket full of shells plucked right from the Gulf Coast and see only trash. I tell you, it just rips your heart out to witness this atrocity.

Thankfully, there is hope.

If you recognize the symptoms early, intensive therapy and retraining can help to correct the problem. I have worked tirelessly with my husband, for over a decade now, and I’m happy to say that he is showing some small signs of progress.

Only this afternoon, he looked at this little beauty,


(a gorgeous green glass lamp rescued from an estate sale), and said, “It’s kinda cool.”

Hope springs eternal.

It appears, as well, that Junkilificus Myopia may be entirely preventable if the gene carriers are identified early and innoculated with an appropriate amount of thrifty goodness.

My children are participating in a trial study that is already producing obvious results.

When shown this,


My 6 year old immediately recognized the green cup as the newest addition to our collection and responded, “Wow Mama! That one is awesome! Can I use it at dinner tonight?”

And when I showed my 5 year old this,


He said, “WHOA! You got THAT for only $.25? COOL!”

So please, don’t let another little one grow up to suffer from this disfiguring disease. Right now, take your children by the hand and present them with opportunities to go THRIFTING. Teach them to use that word as often as possible! By all means, walk them through the various reasons to “need” a thing: for nostalgic value, for the thrill of the hunt, for the tingly feeling that comes from knowing that something a dead person loved is not going to rot away in storage or a trash heap but be cherished and loved anew and afresh, or just because you like it, it’s pretty, it’s cheap, (it’s certainly not going to prevent you from eating, paying your bills or tithing) and by golly you give all week long and if you want to do a little taking on Saturday morning you just will, and that’s all there is!

I’m so sorry. It’s just that the horrific nature of this disease gets me all worked up.

I’m going to have to go and calm myself down now by reviewing the THRIFTED finds of the day.

RangerRick May 27, 2007 at 5:14 am

That owl (2/25cts) makes me want to find a garage or estate sale…and buy something right now!

Melissa! May 28, 2007 at 6:24 am

🙂 I started taking my daughters to estate sales while they were younger. One of the will buy on a whim while the other practices practical purchasing like her father. While my husband will go thrifting when he needs something in particular (insert stunned facial expression here) he doesn’t relate to ‘just because’ thrifting. He chuckles when I come home and share with him how little I spent for all the loot to which he jokingly translates to, “Honey, look how much I saved you!”
🙂 Ah, what to do with them?!!!!

dianeinjapan June 10, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Oh, hilarious! You are so right, so right. Do you know the Dan Zanes tune “Thrift Shop”? If not, give it a listen ASAP–perfect for you and your kids!

Urban Doll September 3, 2007 at 8:37 am

Love reading your vintage posts. I can totally relate. My husband suffers from a pretty bad case of Junkilificus Myopia, easily picking out flaws in my finds before surrendering to my good old “I know what I’m talking about” lecture. My son, at 20 months has been exposed to at least 1 thrift store or garage sale experience per week since near birth however, so I can’t WAIT until I hear him say “Cool, you got that for only 25 cents?!!”

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