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2002-04-10 | 3:53 p.m.

I was in the Target bathroom the other day thinking about how I have a jones for the thrift store. That's the actual phrase that came into my head: "I have a jones." Then I thought, I should make a diary ring (Jesus, it's true, Diaryland has completely taken over my brain) for people like me who love to shop in thrift stores. I could call the ring "thrift store junkies," I decided. Then I thought, Wow, that would really date you, using a term like 'junkie.' It's so 1975. Nowadays [especially around brain-depleting Diaryland] people say 'whore' or 'slut.' But, come to think of it, they're just riffing on the idea of 'junkie.'

Let's face the facts. Junkies are people who crave heroin----junk----beyond reason, because they are physically addicted to it. A junkie will lie, cheat, and steal for a fix, maybe even kill. Whereas a whore sells sex for money. Is she addicted to money? Does she crave sex? Not necessarily. 'Slut' gets a little closer, but it's complicated by the pathetic connotations ("feel sorry for me, I have low self-esteem") and by sex-positive types trying to reclaim the word as a term of endearment. No, 'slut' isn't neutral enough, it isn't precise enough, and it lacks the sense of desperate need and utter depravity contained in 'junkie'. And, as luck would have it, there is already a diary ring called Thrift Shoppers. There is also one called Thrifty Hooker but I'm not going there.

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