The Vintage Traitor.

By alison April 5, 2005 6 Comments 2 Min Read

Financ

O.K. I want you to bear with me now. Something is bugging me and I need to sort it out, so I am kind of thinking out loud while I type: the thing is this…

Do I surround myself with itty bitty pieces of this and that because I can’t afford to buy the things I really want? If I could afford a Bang and Olufsen Sound system would I be a minimalist, because I would understand that there is beauty in perfection and therefore no need to compensate myself for the things I can’t have with lots of the things I can? Am I a housekeeping addict because I’ve got nothing better to do…   

I woke up this morning and felt positively panicky about all of this. I know- I am The Vintage HouseKeeper and I have a duty to stand by all things vintage and homely, but I am no Martha Stewart (though how I wish I was!) and occasionally I doubt myself, and feel that I should be seeking something more worthy than the best way to clean my laminate.

Please don’t lose all faith- this doubt lasts about five minutes and then my mind wanders and I start to dwell on the possibility that the pink pages of the Financial Times contain a magic formulation that makes them just so pinkly perfect for cleaning windows and wrapping whimsical presents. No, really, this is how fickley obsessed I am with the most trivial parts of keeping house: I make a special journey to the newsagents to buy the Financial Times,  then take it home and without even looking at it, scrunch it up and pop it into my powder pink HouseKeepers Caddy. God forbid, I should lower the tone and use the Liverpool Echo! 

Do you see? Do you see how thoroughly single minded I am? How strangely vacant my mind is of politics and poverty and pop music? I can’t help feeling that if I had a higher purpose I wouldn’t make the time to dwell on such trivia…

And then there is the house itself;  it is stuffed to the scrumptious roof with all kinds of yummy little whatties and yet we can’t afford the new kitchen floor we so desperately need. When I am feeling sorry for myself because I don’t live in Sharon Osborne’s house, I take myself on a creative excursion to purchase lots of little things I don’t need, and rather than saving up to buy an exquisite example of modern craftsmanship or artistry I satisfy my urge for beauty by buying the chipped remnants of yesteryear.

Is my love of all things vintage nothing more than COMPENSATION?

What a terrible thought. I am a traitor to my own cause.

Feel free to chuck me out of the circle.

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6 Comments

  1. Oh Alsion! How I know what you mean! We want a new kitchen floor too! And yet just Saturday I was at an outdoor antiques market buying a set of ten pretty flowered dishes I didn't need, but wanted oh so bad! (AND bought a set of purple flower cotton pillowcases, AND a faded pink tin to hold my laundry powder!) Sometimes I think, "Ok, as the Mama I've got to help save money so we can buy new tile, or double paned windows!" What shall we do?!! 🙂

  2. robyn says:

    we all go through this at sometime, in some way , Alison. Just this past week or so since finding your site, it has been the same for me.
    Those 'voices in my head' keep asking me if all this fluffing and pottering is important in the scheme of things, when people are dying, suffering and starving all over the world, is it that important to have *pink newspaper* to clean our windows?
    YES ! I think it is..we all need a little beauty in our life to escape the sadness and depression that is constantly bombarded at us through the media
    I remember reading once in a magazine about Princess Diana and Mother Theresa of Calcutta ~ Diana asked Mother Theresa what she could do to help the world ~ Mother Theresa's answer " go home and look after your family ' ( not the exact words )
    so what you are doing at home is YOUR purpose in life at this stage, it will change over the years …enjoy what your family..bringing up children is one of THE most important things we can ever do ~

  3. kali ~ serendipity says:

    Our dear Alison…Your honesty is a breath of fresh air and we all have thoughts like you do…(oh boy, I sure wish I could articulate my feelings like you do!!) You are being true to yourself and following your heart…there is nothing wrong with that, if anything you are one of the brave souls in this world who actually do have the courage to do what makes you HAPPY, and I for one admire you…you have touched many in your own special way….thank you Hon! You are a gem…

  4. Clare says:

    Lets face it Alison, if you had the money to go and buy the latest, most expensive Bang & Olufsen sound system, you would come back from your shopping trip with a wind up gramophone and several copies of "his masters voice" records. Likewise if the choice was between a new kitchen floor and a fabulous 19th century Vienesse cake stand, I think I know which one you would choose!

  5. Clare says:

    Lets face it Alison, if you had the money to go and buy the latest, most expensive Bang & Olufsen sound system, you would come back from your shopping trip with a wind up gramophone and several copies of “his masters voice” records. Likewise if the choice was between a new kitchen floor and a fabulous 19th century Vienesse cake stand, I think I know which one you would choose!

  6. mum says:

    Alison, I love you, you are unique with your wonderful view of this sometimes crazy world.

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