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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again Vintage Classic Still Old

Sarabelle was initially perplexed when I mentioned a strong distaste for 70s era styles; she thought they were very cool. I tried to explain how I'd already had to wear those horrible things once and would never pay for such an indignity again. We've already redone the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s fashions -- where's the originality?

When the kids came back from camp last Friday, I had Meatballs waiting for them courtesy of Netflix. Sarabelle was less concerned with the lame story and Bill Murray's lovable goofiness than she was appalled by what she saw: Look at those ugly cut-off sweatshirts! Gross, look how high his pants are pulled up! Oh my god, none of the girls have bras on! Welcome to the 70s, honey.

Then the Pottery Barn catalogue showed up in my mailbox, loaded with retro looks. This time though, I was not so disturbed by the backward glances. Elements of the 20s, 30s and 40s, big club chairs, dark wood, curly wrought iron, old office swivel chairs, distressed paint, even a bar made to look like an old workbench... That's my house, pretty much, except our antique carpenter's bench is currently being used as a computer desk. After struggling to edit and rearrange the heaps of old furniture sitting around this place, used for the past several years primarily as a live-in storage unit, I was finally able to make some kind of comfortable sense of the odd shaped living and TV* rooms during the week I was alone, and was even complimented by my harshest critics, the children, when they returned.

The highest acclaim came today from my mother-in-law who popped in for a surprise two-day stay and announced that everything in our house is so interesting, even though it's the same old stuff we've always had.

Originality, apparently, is overrated.

*We only call it that now out of habit; the TV since having been removed to the garage where the kids can watch it while playing on the treadmill.

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