Oct. 11, 2017

Yesterday's Elegance....forever buried in the past.

 

There was a time when life had a simple elegance. When going out in public meant people dressed in their nicest outfits; men wore ties and jackets while women wore seamless hose, heels, and carried matching purses. On many occasions, both men and women wore hats.  People demonstrated respect for themselves---and others--- by having a nice appearance and a kind word.  In return, others could be expected to extend the same courtesy.

Homes, regardless of one’s income, were neat, tidy.  When someone visited, that person was served a glass of sweet tea, a cup of coffee, or a "coke." Everyone used silverware, nice china, and linens----not disposable plastic or paper towels or paper plates. No one drank from an aluminum can or a plastic bottle and people were expected to be on their "best behavior." Manners were important, conversations were pleasant, and people valued their reputations. Words like "thank you," "please," "yes ma'am," or "no sir" were everyday niceties. There were no canned, impersonal greetings like "Have a nice day" or "Make it a good one."

Today, all-the-above sounds old-fashion, outdated.  Today’s generation wouldn’t waste  ten seconds watching television shows like Andy of Mayberry, The Nelsons,  Father knows Best, or The Partridge Family. Reality Shows dominate today’s airways.... with such meaningless trash as the Housewives of L.A., Living with the Kardashians, my 600 Lb. Life, Real Barbie's 83 extreme plastic surgeries, or Why I Enjoy Screwing a Robot.  

For this generation, such responsibilities as: Shining Silver, Serving Tea, Hosting Family Dinners, Dressing Your Best…..even Showing Good Manners…..is a waste of time.  

I remember when life was as programmed as television. Before supper, we watched the national news, local news, followed by the weather forecast and later--after the dishes were done and the kitchen cleaned--the family sat down to watch a good movie like Breakfast at Tiffany's or The Sound of Music. Everyone looked forward to Sunday nights when we watched The Ed Sullivan Show…together.

Looking back...... there's something to be said for remembering a better time....a time when life was sweet and simple, when families spent time together----when life and traditions were respected and valued.  Those were the times when people—growing older--- were as valued and respected as the family’s precious heirlooms.

Sometimes, the worst heartbreak comes when we are forced to face facts.  How devastating to realize that---like the silver, the ironed linens, and proper manners---- many today have no time or appreciation for anything classic, or vintage, or old----like me.

Sally Miller