Monday, January 17, 2011

The flip side of the “new” coin

camping 012

I suppose it would be dingy, scuffed, and nicked but as I am not a coin connoisseur, I can’t be more precise than that.  Last week I rhapsodized about the benefits of new, new, new.  My two X chromosomes are kicking in the guilt from suggesting all those sparkly, shiny, crisp, and brand new things, threatening to overwhelm me.  But to paraphrase dear Jane Austen’s Mr. Bennett, don’t be alarmed, I’m sure the sensation will pass away, no doubt sooner than it should.  Let’s celebrate the crusty, musty, flaking, stretchy, squeaky, and just plain old, shall we?

1. Favorite sweatshirts or sweatpants.  Assuming one wears sweatshirts, that is.  The hubby has an old green hockey sweatshirt from UAA.  At least fifteen years old.  My ratty navy one is from when I was sixteen.  Don’t tell my mother I still have this one.

2. Photos.  As the kids get older, I get more (disgustingly) sentimental about all those silly pictures.  As they get older, the images become more dear…or maybe just the fact that pictures don’t talk back is dear.

3. Certain types of footwear.  Ice skates, the hubby suggests.  Hiking boots, soccer cleats, and other shoes of the kind that are broken in and molded to your foot.  Do Birkenstocks count? 

4. Any sentimental bits: teddy bears, blankets, etc.

5. Some food and beverage items.  Wine, from what I hear.  Being a teetotaler I’ve no idea.  Cheese, I’ve had some experience with and prefer a little age to it: I adore well-aged sharp cheddar, for example.  Is any other category of food good with a bit of time?  Weigh in…. 

6. Friendships, in many cases.  New friends are good, too, I hasten to add, but some friendships of long standing are like the proverbial old sweatshirt (see number one).  Comfortable, and you can let it all hang out with no pretending.  (All my old friends will shudder at the prospect of me letting it all hang out, I imagine.)

7. Professional relationships.  I don’t want to have to find a new doctor/dentist/mechanic unless the wrong organ/tooth/spark plug is removed through incompetency.  Just lazy, I guess.

8. Movies.  Some of my old favorites are Some Like It Hot, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Great Race, Ghostbusters.  Too many more to list.  Astute movie buffs will notice these are all rather silly and absurd examples.  And those astute (and faithful) LFG readers will not be too surprised.

9. Trees.  Not too old, mind you.  Anything leaning at a precarious angle toward the house is deemed “too old.”  I have a grove of spruce trees at the new place and I’m not going to lie: I wouldn’t have picked that many of the species to plant here, but the privacy they provide is outstanding.  I don’t have to have blinds on any of my windows.  (Hurrah, no dusting of blinds, one of the most dreaded and tedious tasks ever, outranking filing taxes even.)

10. Antiques.  With the plethora of programming on TV about finding, repurposing, and/or selling old furniture, jewelry, cars, homes and other odds and ends, this one is a no brainer.  (No unkind comments from the gallery, now!)  Frankly I’m ready to sell my old Haviland Limoges china set.  The kids have broken one half and chipped the other.  Do they sell galvanized steel plates?  Surely those are kid-proof.  

And for a bonus, the LFG hubby recommends 11. trophy animals.  He points out the animals are bigger with age.  (And yes, I do have carcasses hanging in the hallway.  Not by choice, mind you, but one has to make compromises.  I came home from vacation and animal silhouettes had appeared in the hallway.  Surprise, honey!)

What is best with (a bit or a lot of) age? 


  1. Furniture, I love the richness of old wood, the butter texture of age of old leather and I also adore old movies. I watch old movies and they calm my spirit and sooth jagged nerves. When I cannot sleep at night, an old movie can relax me and lull me into rest.

  2. I have an old cardigan sweater that I adore. It has had holes fixed, it has paint on it etc etc. Can't seem to part with it. It makes me feel hugged when I put it on.

  3. What don't I like on this list?! old cheese, old wine, antique furniture, old trees all make me happy. The only thing I think I would add is old dogs.

  4. I am not a shopper, so I have been living with old for a long time. Old things have memories, old things bring comfort, and old things usually are built or made better. But underlying all the good from old and the rationalization of why I still wear 15 year old jeans, is I just hate shopping.

  5. I don't refer to them as "old" per say, but traditional places to travel for weekend getaways, etc.

  6. Do you have real Somerset Cheddar Cheddar? It must be pretty mature by the time it makes its way to your place....i love old tools that have been cared for over the years...

  7. Mike,

    I am an ignorant fool: what is Somerset cheddar? I guess that means I haven't had it. We don't have tons of choices here in the barren far north. Maybe three kinds of sharp cheddar? Quite pathetic!


  8. I've got one: old people. Someone wrote that everyone should spend more time with very old people and very young people. I've started to recognize the wisdom of this and really enjoy time spent with an 85-yr-old friend of mine. And I love my tattered old dictionary. Sure, Internet is faster, but just not the same. And songs from one's youth, e.g. for me anything from the Beatles or Stones. What great posting ideas you have.


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