• Terry Groves

Time to Update


So often I hear the comment ‘nice but dated’ and I think back for what that might mean for me.

I remember my childhood in the 60s and 70s and recall fondly the furniture, clothing and housewares with comfort and nostalgia. My parents were frugal, raising six kids on a single income and trying to give us a good upbringing and not having to say no too often due to a lack of budget.

Mom was home, giving us solid guidance, planned meals and a well attended house. Dad fixed things and made them last, and was given things to fix that ended up joining our household. We, my brothers and I, were taught to make things last, take care of them, and my parents still have many of those things that bring back great memories whenever I visit them. Most of what has been lost happened due to downsizing, not wear or neglect.

In today’s world we are encouraged to update every year or few years. Having something for five years seems to make it old. In a society that talks a lot about quality, it would seem to me that longevity would be expected. If I am going to buy something for the short term, why would quality be much of an issue…except maybe pacemakers.

Why does style and fashion change so quickly? Chic today is faux pas tomorrow. Something tells me it is more a need created by the manufacturers than the individual making the realization ‘oh, this couch is worn out and needs to be replaced’. Someone else is dictating what we want and we just follow their guidance and remain up-to-date (or finally get there if we have been lagging behind).

It would seem to me that a society so focussed on quality and with a millenia of experience in furniture craftsmanship, we should be turning out sofas that last a hundred years or more. But where’s the profit in that? Better that we pay top dollar for something we are only going to replace in a few years (or less) and keep feeding that economic monster that provides us with all these things we can’t live without until we replace them tomorrow. Not to mention it keeps our landfill operators well employed.

I think we have been duped into disposing of the things that help keep us connected to our roots, that manufacturers have found the perfect way to keep us dishing out our hard earned dollars, filling their wallets.

I find great comfort in the things my parents have held onto from my childhood. I wonder if there will be anything like that for my grandchildren to enjoy? I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time I hear it is time to update.

#waste #greed

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