Arkie Mama: Antiques are NOT our friends

I feel as though I should be whispering that because who — I mean WHO? — hates antiques?

To admit that you don’t like old, beat-up furniture is akin to insulting someone’s Granny, worse than telling sweet great-aunt Betty that you never did like her blackberry cobbler.

It just isn’t done.

Yesterday, I lied to two sweet retirees when they asked me if I liked antiques.

They clearly did. So really, what could I say?

“Er, no, actually, I find old furniture to be dark, looming and depressing. And knick-knacks? Ewwww. Give me minimalism any day, baby.”

Go ahead. Judge me.

But you haven’t lived with an antique freaking hall tree in your tiny dining room for four years. You haven’t watched in horror as your husband moved said hall tree to your BEDROOM — your sanctuary — in order to make room for a big, blockish thing that I’m told is a buffet.

You haven’t come home from a business trip to find that your toddler daughter’s room has been re-outfitted with Grandpa Winstead’s hulking, masculine bedroom suite. We’re talking about a bed, vanity and dresser with log cabins etched onto them, people!

: shudder :

My husband’s family can’t bear to get rid of anything. So various items slide through one household after another until they chance upon their final resting place.

That would be my house.

If it were just me? I’d be living in an IKEA store. Lots of bright, modern furniture and appliances. Clean lines. Lots of open space.

But I married a man who rummages for and clings to old things.

When, as a newlywed, I moved into his house, I inquired about the old, rusty doorknob sitting on a living room bookshelf.

“Oh, I found that on a torn-down house near Grandma Hattie’s place. I figured I might use it one day.”

Of course! I, too, run around collecting ugly old doorknobs. Because there’s no better place for them than a shelf that could be holding, oh, say … books.

My most disturbing discovery? An ancient train set, stashed away in a linen closet. Apparently, some ex-girlfriend had been touched by Hubs’ sad tale of the Christmas when his new train set flew out of the car trunk on the way home from Grandma Hattie’s.

I tried to imagine a woman buying a grown man a children’s basic train set and really couldn’t muster up any emotion but disgust. I know. I’m awful that way.

So here I am, the lone member of a family that can’t bear to get rid of anything, not even a set of Grandma Hattie’s 1950s bath towels.

I’ve adjusted, kind of, over the years. But it takes every ounce of self-restraint I possess to keep from shrieking when my father-in-law invites my spouse to browse the contents of his shed.

Once, I swear, they emerged with something resembling a coffin. (It turned about to be some sort of woodworking apparatus.)

And really, put yourself in my place for a moment. Imagine sitting down to dinner with winter coats and scarves dangling over your head. Imagine closets stuffed with banished doorknobs, hair tonic bottles and rusty tins. Imagine tripping over boxes upon boxes of your husband’s brothers’ old records.

I do  love Hubs. I just don’t love his vinyl.

2 thoughts on “Arkie Mama: Antiques are NOT our friends

  1. Ughhh. I’m so with you. I love playing with antique costume jewelry, but that’s about it. (OK, lamps and some books, too.) And am I the only person who also thinks that antique stores usually reek?

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  2. I’m with you on this one. Just remember how many things came our way via your dad’s mother – things that are still tucked away in overflowing closets.

    Like

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