Thursday, June 18, 2009

I guess I'm getting old

Lately I find myself increasingly interested in, even in pursuit of, life the way it used to be. I'm so nostalgic. I long for things I remember from my childhood or the way life used to be when I was a kid. I strive for the slower pace, the atmosphere, the character, values, and attitude. I want the tastes, the smells, and the look of things I remember from long ago.

So is this what it's like to get old? Is this the beginning of senility, focusing on the long term memories instead of the more recent ones?

I think we've discussed nostalgia on my previous blog before... Americana, vintage postcards, tin signs, old metal clocks advertising cola drinks and beer. I love old things, and finding something that is uniquely southern in its nature and history is a bonus. I'm dying to find an authentic RC Cola and Moon Pie metal sign. I think since I come from such a rural area, the things I associate with childhood actually date from earlier years. I was a kid in the late sixties and seventies, but a lot of the things I remember from childhood are from the fifties or even forties. I guess things just didn't progress as quickly here, which to our southern dismay, was not always a good thing. But there are some things that I'm glad were still around, like country stores, dirt roads, and old advertising and signage.

I've not got much to do today. No doctor appointments for my parents, no errands to run for them, no yard work since there's a heat advisory and heat index over 100. So I think I'll spend a little time on eBay, iOffer, and some of my favorite nostalgic sites looking for things that take me back to the days of simpler living and slower pace. And innocence. I think maybe I'm searching for the innocence and decency we used to have.

God, that does make me sound old.

Of course, I do realize that there is a hypocritical side to my nostalgia. I am a girl who is used to her creature comforts and couldn't go totally Amish in my desire to slow things down and live simply. I like to eat good food, drink good wine, take bubble baths in sweet smelling potions and soaps, have soft skin, and good furniture to live on. But right beside my Lane leather club chairs and four poster carved mahogany bed are tin signs advertising the American Seed Company and an ornate brass phone that is still rotary dialed. I believe in taking the best of both worlds, but leaving the mistakes (like Naugahyde and harvest gold appliances) behind.

Some good places to find nostalgia, or at least re-created nostalgia...

American Nostalgia

The Vermont Country Store

Vintage Metal Art

50's Retro Signs

Heinsohns Country Store

Crusin' the Fifties

Good stuff, but one of my favorite things to do is to browse through antique and junk stores. The Captain likes to do that too, and he's 12 years older than me, so he really knows the history of junk and always has good stories to tell about the things we find. I love finding old things.


The Captain said...

I love finding old things.

Before TWC, SASOB, or the Col. has a chance, I'd better say it first:

So, THATS why you liked finding me.

Chatelaine said...

Heh :)

I wondered if you'd catch that.

But I must say, Cap, I always knew I'd marry an older man. Notice I said "older", not old ;-)

Col. Hogan said...

For men: Fedora hats. Wearing suit jackets to work and out in the evening. Wearing real shoes in public. Gold and silver money. Airports without government thugs. Schools without chain link. Revolving doors. Burma Shave signs. Short baxabaw shorts. Plain white tshirts. Coke in glass bottles. Three Musketeer candy bars with three different flavor bars in each. Mars bars. Helping a date into and out of your car. Dancing cheek to cheek (not butt cheeks, either!).

I'm sure I can come up with more, given time.

Col. Hogan said...

But, that's not because I'm old. I'm merely being young a lot longer than most people.

TWC said...

NoStar, you funny guy. Are you as old as me? I can't recall. Prolly, but it doesn't matter.

I married a younger chick too. It has its benefits. :-)

I'm not sure why some of us are drawn to Roadside Americana.

I have a sign similar to, but more cool, than the one you can see if you click my name. Col Hogan's seen it. I think it appeals to me because of the colors, but there is no discounting the memory of the day I walked with my mom down a hot and dusty dirt road to the little store when the second car, a '47 Ford, wouldn't start. She needed milk I guess. She got me and her a 7-Up and we drank it as we walked back home in the sweltering heat with a hot, dry wind in our faces. I musta been all of four or five years old.

Chatelaine said...

"Helping a date into and out of your car. Dancing cheek to cheek "

Me too, Col Hogan! I love that the Captain opens doors for me and pulls my chair out at the dinner table. I miss most of those things you listed too. I'm keeping my flip-flops, though ;-)

Chatelaine said...

Twc, that's a nice memory, even though it was hot and dusty...still it's such an atmospheric moment. I love those moments.

There's definitely sort of a little cult of us that dig that roadside America thing. Ever been to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky? There's a lot of Route 66 memorabilia there.

God said...

God, that does make me sound old.

Not as old as I am. ;-)

Chatelaine said...

Oh well, no one's as old as you, "God" :-)

Col. Hogan said...

Prolly wants a cracker?

Col. Hogan said...

Flip-flops. They were required in the Navy for the shower. They were forbidden anywhere else.

When I see someone wearing flip-flops in an Outback or a Red Robin, I feel like getting up and walking out. Yecchh! Toejam!

TWC said...

For a while, when I was in about sixth grade, flip flops were called "go aheads". Even at the time I thought WTF?

Uncle Sam's Misguided Children referred to them as "shower shoes"

The Captain said...

It bugs me than "thongs" no longer mean footwear, so I wrote this limerick:

Thongs were flip-flops to wear on your feet;
Now they're undies for framing your seat.
This absurd little string
Doesn't cover a thing.
Displayed buttfloss is most indiscreet!

Col. Hogan said...

I was waiting for someone to make a crack about that!

TWC said...

Jesus Chrysler Bill!

Chatelaine said...

Heh :)

He's on a limerick kick lately, y'all. I get them all the time. It's kind of cute.

smartass sob said...

It's kind of cute.

It's not easy to write a good limerick - lots more difficult than writing haikus.


Chatelaine said...

I just don't get haikus at all. At lease limericks are funny.