Confessions of an Antique Shopper
By Paula Schmitt, The All Sports Mom
Rusty irons. Cracked 1875 spectacles. Chipped, faded paintings. Dusty,
yellow paged books.
Ah, these are the good things in life.
Yes, you may know me; I am the ultimate antique shopper and my motto is and always will be “the older the better”. Just ask my sons. They see all too well how their mom will search high and low for that Dasher butter churn, even though she won’t actually be making homemade butter any time in the near future, or for that handy dandy ice cream scoop where the handle is just barely hanging on, even though we already have two others that work like a charm and will scoop on demand.
The nerve of kids nowadays. They want everything shiny, hip and new. God forbid they keep anything for more than, say, two months. Unfortunately they just don’t see the beauty in a 200 year old treasure the way that I do. They don’t seem to be capable of imagining what it may have been like for the original owner so many years ago. I once left home to pick up some milk and returned with a beautiful, slightly worn 1890’s ladies bureau. My children greeted me at the door and took one look at my pride and joy and asked if I had stopped at our local dump on the way home. I asked them to take a closer look, to look beyond the loose handles and scratches. They obliged. Then they continued to ask if the past owner had taken a sledge hammer to the piece while out in the pouring rain.
For Christmas this year the item I wanted most was a “new” antique chair for my desk. Of course, my boys thought this a riot. They asked me if Santa shops at his local flea market or watches the newspaper for a good yard sale. Comical. My quick reply was that they better talk nice about Santa or they’ll be sorry come Christmas morning. That quieted things down a bit.
So I confess. I love old stuff; objects that have meaning and have been cherished over the years. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Someday when I am gone from this world I hope that all the things I own and care deeply about will be passed down to others and bring joy and happiness to someone else’s life just the way my precious antiques have brought pleasure to mine. However, for some reason I don’t expect that my Revlon curling iron purchased at Wal-Mart will be quite as valuable or distinguished as the authentic circa 1920’s Bell telephone I bought for my husband last Christmas.