In this day and age the strangest things have gained momentum and popularity at a stupendous pace… things I’d most definitely struggle to explain to my grandparents, things I don’t entirely understand myself. Things like selfies, the thigh gap obsession, Cross Fit and trendy facial hair. It doesn’t necessarily make these things wrong, but I do wonder what happened to all those things that were once so important to our grandparents.
My grandmother was born in 1918 and died in her 80’s, she lived through World War Two, The Great Depression, the introduction of television and telephones which eventually morphed into the arrival of mobile phones, the internet and things like satellite TV. She never drove, although at one stage my grandfather did make her get her licence. She had a fancy lounge and more casual sitting room but no microwave or dishwasher. My grandmother’s artificial Christmas tree resembled a wooden broom handle with 5 or 6 neon green tinsel branches accompanied by some sad decorations yet her dining table was magnificent.
There weren’t many new things in my grandmother’s house; she only really replaced what was broken rather than what was out of date. I remember finding what looked like a small stainless steel shovel crossed with a spoon in one of her kitchen drawers, puzzled I asked her what it was for… much like the meat grinder or old fashioned coffee jug I just assumed it was something no longer present in modern kitchens. She looked alarmed, and confused “it’s a spoon” she said, “its just old and worn down, a bit like me I guess.” I have no idea how long you need to own a spoon or how much use it gets in order to wear out like that and I imagine I’ll never know.
I think my grandmother would be shocked to learn I own no tablecloths, I didn’t brush my hair today, we hardly ever cook a roast for dinner and I haven’t written a proper letter to someone in years. Very rarely do I send Christmas cards or birthday cards and seldom do I invite people over for a proper cooked dinner. I have no regular, set in concrete plans which require my attendance… church, bridge, coffee group, Sunday lunch, or trips to the bank or post office. Other than work I don’t really have any regular plans.
Perhaps we all need to hone our love and enjoyment for the classics like large dining tables to cater for friends and family, photographs on the mantle or wall rather than just in the realm of social media and working with what we’ve got rather worrying about thigh gaps (or the lack of).Pictures like the below of 1945 Miss America finalists remind us that women of 1945 didn’t have a thigh gap, not one of them and as internet memes would suggest “Mother Teresa didn’t have a thigh gap, she had better things to worry about”.
Maybe by sharpening my old fashioned values would allow me see things in a different light. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to completely revert to my grandmother, I unlike her know how to drive and do wear pants… she on the other hand, never in my memory did she wear shorts, jeans, pants or trousers EVER!
So clear the dining table, keep the telly off more, invite your peeps over for a meal and channel your Grandma… I’m going to.