Sunday, December 06, 2009

Epiphany: Matched Sets

I had an epiphany today: The biggest difference between my mother’s generation and the Baby Boomers (my generation) is that my mother and her friends prefer MATCHED SETS. We were desultorily shopping at a small hardware/dime store in my hometown and I started to load my cart with Lang mugs. (Yes, un-chic, I know, a Wisconsin-based company, very midwestern-y, but one of my mugs developed a hairline crack and I wanted to replace it.)

Then I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted and of course I could only buy two. “C” Is for Cat? One with a bird design? The one with the bicycle?

My mother suggested that I buy two that match. I was floored. I’ve never bought anything that matched in my life. AND WHAT A GOOD IDEA IT SEEMED!

A Lang Mug: Not the One I Bought, Though

And it does look really nice to have two matching mugs on the dining-room table though my husband is a little surprised by the Lang thing and perhaps I should keep them to decorate the dining room discreetly since they’re not in my usual taste.

Anyway, this housewife thing has its advantages. Decorating for Christmas could be fun--if I could stand it. YOU CAN BUY COLLECTIBLE DECORATIONS THAT MATCH AND PUT THEM ON YOUR MANTEL. WHO KNEW? (Okay, I just haven’t done it.) I haven’t really looked at Christmas decorations since we visited the windows of Marshall-Field in childhood. And, suddenly for no reason that I can see, I want one of those old-fashioned aluminum trees! In the ‘60s I wanted real trees so what on earth is going on?

Earth to Mad Housewife: you really are more the rebellious type who doesn’t buy a lot of things, waste a electricity on cheerful Xmas lights, or deck the roof with illuminated Santas, so get real here! There’s nobody to gather round the tree on Christmas so you don’t even bother to put it up till Christmas Eve! And things are really a bit out of control among shoppers! At a truck stop you saw a Barbie town house in the middle of the front aisle generating chaos (can you imagine trying to pull your kid away from that when you’re rushing to the restroom? We did hear some whining).

But would Christmas be more fun if you celebrated Merry Capitalism?

It’s better for me to be a hipster housewife. I’m going to have to get out some of my hipster books to remind myself that I’m a socialist! But I do respect the spirit of my mother’s generation: they celebrate the holidays with cheerful decorations and gifts bought with coupons. It’s fun!

"Talkin' 'bout my generation..." You know Who said that!

AS FOR MY ‘60S READING: i’m reading Pamela Frankau’s 1966 novel, Slaves of the Lamp, the second of a trilogy (I'm not sure if she finished the trilogy). Not her best work (but more about this later). I strongly recommend The Willow Cabin, The Winged Horse, and A Wreath for the Enemy. (The first two are available from Virago.)

TOMORROW: I report on The View. I’ve decided it’s a good idea to tune into pop culture. I’ll hear the latest news from Barbara Walters, Whoopi, Joy, and the rest--and see what all the fuss is about!

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