Today’s guest post comes from Clyde.
A warning: do not ever give me wife any of your prized canned goods. She will turn them into a decoration.
Several people over the last thirty years have given her canned jellies, pickles, vegetables, salsa, and mixed concoctions of uncertain origin and purpose—not one of which we ever opened, even the mystery jars. They held a prized place long past their rot-by-date. Surely it is the effect of reading too many Country Living magazines, and its fifty clones. In the perfectly-circular orbit of these magazines and their TV equivalents, old things are decorations, if not in their natural state, then in some re-purposed form.
For all those thirty years I have shook my head in puzzled bemusement at this, an internal shake of the head only, being the wisely silent partner in our interior decorating. Over those same thirty years, and a few years before that, we collected a variety of household objects de fonction which were the working elements of my childhood. They were not collected to give me the warm glow of nostalgia, which some have, but to be objets d’art, to provide ambiance and grace, or color or poise or form or whatever are the components of interior design.
It is hard to imagine any objects of current manufacture being used in interior design in 2053 or on the The Antiques Roadshow, 2113. What will the magazine of 2053 be called? What word will hold the charm that the word country does today? I suppose by then suburban will hold a certain cachet, depending on where people will be living, assuming that they are, living that is.
But why is: if old things are perceived as prized decorations of beauty and interest, why aren’t old people?