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On Becoming Antique

I was never one to collect antiques. In fact, it was rare for me to buy furniture. Most of my furniture came as hand-me-downs from the older generation. Through grandmas and aunts, I received a dining room table and chairs along with various dressers and chests of drawers. My “telephone table’ was handmade by a grandpa as well as the side table next to my couch. That came from another side of the family and is a work of art, with wooden balls hanging from the underside of the round tabletop. But it wasn't something I picked out for myself.

A lot of my friends really enjoyed antiquing. They told how they had “bought this dry sink from an old guy in North Carolina” or “found this pie safe in Pennsylvania.” I admired their finds but I would have liked to have money to buy Danish modern….let alone shell out my hard-earned cash for antiques. I sometimes resented all the hand-me-downs that weren’t really my style.

Well, since I am in my seventies now, I have done some reappraising of my furniture. “Let’s see…that chair belonged to my grandmother, who would be 120 years old now.

It’s definitely an antique.”

“That mahogany dining room table was probably built in the 1920s….oh my goodness, it is becoming a genuine antique!” And they don’t make it like this one anymore. It opens to three leaves, but if you want it smaller it can be card-table size. Even more incredible, it can then be lowered for a coffee table. It was made by the Sligh furniture company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has an identifying serial number. It's not the round oak table I once dreamed about, but it has grown on me.

My Pyrex four-piece mixing bowl set that was a wedding gift now sells on E-Bay for $68.00. It probably cost $10.00 back in 1965. Do you still have some Corning Ware with the cornflower blue pattern? I do…and my mother’s egg beater and ice pick!

Now, when people come to my apartment they gush, “Oh, I just love antiques. You have so many wonderful things.”

And they are right; I do. It took me a while to appreciate them, but I’ve come to cherish them. If you wait long enough, you will become an antique, too.

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