Becoming our parents and mid-century modern…

There is a Geico commercial about becoming our parents. I think their commercials are a cut above, and this one makes me laugh each time. In the commercial the actors, who are about 35-40 years old, go to a hardware store, put throw pillows on the couch (if you can’t sit down it’s too many) and oversee someone else fixing the under sink plumbing. I found this commercial funny initially because I saw my parents in it….but then like the ice bucket challenge of a cold bucket of water, I realized that the parents were actually me, and the “kids” are my kids.

OK, I use throw pillows. My husband hates them but Chester loves them. When he gets on the couch he rearranges them to his liking. Usually he will push one off, and lay on the other. He then watches television or looks out the back door into the yard until he falls asleep. Hmm….sounds familiar. It got me thinking of other parent-isms that our kids probably roll their eyes at but are turning into.

When she was in high school our daughter wrote an essay on how she really wasn’t a cat person. She said that she advocates for animals but doesn’t really want to own one. She now has 2 rescue kitties, and had a third. Yes, that’s my girl!

Our oldest son and my husband took the grandson camping during the summer. On the way back they stopped at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn. They then made a detour (I’m hearing Dueling Banjos here) and came home with two very large metal Shell gasoline signs which are proudly hanging on ours and our son’s garages. Why? It’s unknowable. Probably from generations on both sides; my dad was an oil/gas/map collector as well. Enarco motor oil and White Rose Gasoline were his favorites. One Christmas we got pencils that said “use white rose gasoline and En-ar-co motor oil.” Who knew that Santa is a motorhead also? This fact is belied by the reindeer and sleigh get up. I mean if he can make reindeer fly why not a Dodge charger? Or a nice Model A sport coupe? But I digress…

The second son seems to have escaped the auto or cat genetic predisposition. He drives my old car; a Toyata Rav 4 with about 300,000 miles on it. Duck tape is holding it together, literally. He has lived and used it in Brooklyn for years and it hasn’t gotten stolen. That says something, right? Recently though I saw a glimmer of hope that we did pass something on. He asked me about this orange chair my parents had. It was vinyl, had no arms, and was bright orange. The back and seat were puffy. I wish I had a picture. The son wanted it, but we had given it away. He called it “mid century modern.”

Mid-century modern…which if you do the math is when I grew up. Our whole house was mid-century modern! We had the hexagonal end tables, the television with legs that you had to (gasp) get up and turn the channel (but there were only 3 channels anyway). We had “princess phones” and avocado cabinets. We had lavender (the color) and white tiles in the bathroom. We had the orange chair. Two of them in fact. Well apparently mid-century modern is in style again. Who knew? My husband said things go through the in style phase, then the ugly phase, then what survives is in style again.

We have been looking for something for the small foyer in our home to put Chester’s leash and poop bags on. We went to the Antique Coop (not to be confused with the Junk and Treasure Barn) and wandered around until a “telephone table” caught our attention. It’s perfect! We bought it for only $75 and took it home. I love it! When I looked it up I found out it was…you guessed it, mid-century modern. Not sure how modern it is but it fits! It feels good to recycle. I may do a lot of my shopping down at the Antique Coop or its rival the ever popular “Antique Barn” but never the “Junk and Treasure Barn”.

If something is good, why not pass it on? Just like becoming out parents…if throw pillows are useful why not? The traits we pass from generation to generation, whether inadvertently or advertently (is that a word?) are what make our family unique. I didn’t try to be like my parents but certain traits keep showing up. What’s wrong with that?

What traits did you pass on or receive? Ask your kids or parents what they think. For us, I’d have to give it some thought, which I fully intend to do while walking Chester. Have a good week and a Happy Halloween! Below is a photo of our new mid-century modern telephone bench, an amazingly wonderful Halloween candy chute made by the other grandparents, Joe and Kathy, and the Shell sign in our garage. And of course Chester and his throw pillows…

Ready to watch tv