So Sunday we decided, since we had spent most of Saturday cleaning and entertaining guests, that we would go thrift shopping..! My favourite.
Something I have found that I love about Sweden is that the second-hand shops are *amazing*. The one we visited in particular has four floors, each dedicated to different stuff, and each as enthralling to me as the last!
With no real agenda, we loaded up the car with the kids and made the twenty minutes or so drive into the city centre. Once parked up, we got ourselves out and trundled in.. This is where the fun reeeeally started.
First floor, masses of crochery, pots and pans and basically a load of “oh-god-eddie-dont-even-breathe-in-here” breakable items. Both me and Eddie are notoriously clumsy, so my anxiety was approaching through the roof. We browsed briefly, but I could feel my core temperature rising and my stomach tightening with each tick of the second hand grandfather clock.. Patrick keeps his cool and points out two mugs he likes, and asks “which do you want?” to which the inner psycho in me practically chews off his head about not *CARING* which one and threw it back to England.. 😂 He tentatively puts the cups back with a small sulk, and we head upstairs.
Second floor is books. Oh, how I love books. The rage of the modern age is the Kindle, but I hate them. I love the feel and smell of a book, the way it’s yours when you’re reading it but potentially has had so many others before you holding it, and likely many will after. Books give me the chance to expand on my ever hungry mind, and escape, and boy at times do I need to escape.
I gravitate towards the psychology and self-help section and begin to peruse the titles. A few catch my eye, and so does Eddie.. Climbing under the tables which are also situated on this floor and generally being a dumbass! Eryn senses my stress and instantly begins wriggling and crying, her weight in my arms suddenly feeling like 200lbs, sweat beginning to gather on my brow.
I dump the books I had picked out and tell Patrick we need to leave, now. He tries to reassure me that it’s fine, like he always does and I retort angrily that I ‘can’t concentrate, I’m going to pass out’. He looks, the way he’s looked a lot lately, helplessly at me. I can see he wants to help, but he simply doesn’t know how.
I shuffle hurriedly out of the shop, Eryn now flailing her weight left then right and screaming, Eddie trailing behind complaining of hunger and asking what’s next. I unlock the car, pull out my breast to feed Eryn, and I cry.
I stare up through the window at the rainy sky, and I cry. I cry for the old me, the one that could go and look around shops freely but never really did.. The one that was going to be a ‘success’, but then never really needed it to be happy and the one that was thinner, but never thin enough.
Eryn stopped crying and fell asleep at the breast. Patrick sat in the drivers seat, calm, and I could see the cogs in his mind whirring as he tried to think of a way to help me enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
I shook myself off, my family needed me to get it together. I asked Patrick, was there anywhere else we could park so we could look longer now Eryn was sleeping.. I saw him perk up, relieved I was done with the mood-dive and found somewhere close to park the car with Eddie.
I popped a now settled, sleeping Eryn into her sling and the two of us went back to the book shelves, hoping the ones I had happily selected and then angrily dumped were still there, and they were. I found at least half a dozen books related to my degree, and I was smitten.
Patrick and Eddie joined me then, and I took Eddie with me for a while so that Patrick got a chance to wander alone, too. Eryn slept like a log and we looked around for the best part of two hours.
Upon leaving, Patrick spotted an old mechanical clock. He is mad for watches, and clocks and so it came home with us and he was very happy. I had missed seeing him happy, I’d missed seeing him be him and not a robot tied to the routine of work, help with baby, sleep, repeat. It’s in the small, seemingly unimportant moments you revisit the reasons you really love someone and Patricks passion and dedication to learning about the things he takes an interest in is definitely one of them.
We headed back to the car after paying by card (yes, in a second hand shop.. Sweden for ‘ya!) and chatted happily about the things we had bought. Sure, it was a clock that likely didn’t work, a dress from the 90s, a load of psychology bumf and a pot bear – but we were pleased.
Patrick turned to me before starting the car, squeezed my leg with a smile and said he was proud of me. That meant the world. It was an achievement, I had beaten the stress and the craziness, even for a little while and the good vibes in the car now made up for all the unease earlier in the day.
We called at the huuuuge coop (blog to come on that, this weekend!) and got air fried chips. It was a good day.
Here are some photos of the thrift store just to illustrate how big this place was.. Amazing! We will definitely be going back, and, even if anxiety tags along.. She can wait in the car.
Over and out,