I recently was reading an article in a widely respected home magazine. A consultant was discussing table settings for a company dinner. She said not to worry about using tarnished silver; the patina gives it a nice touch. Really?
Among the chores that I dislike most about preparing for a special occasion is polishing the silver. More than once I’ve changed my theme from linen tablecloth and china to paper plates and plastic forks because I simply did not have time to clean the silver. And now I learn that it would have been all right to set the table with blackened flatware.
Another trend that goes against my home economics class teachings is flower arranging. We learned about formal and informal balance, how desirable long stems were on everything from roses to field daisies and that the container should be no more than one-third the total height of the arrangement. Now we see big balls of blossoms scrunched together in the mouth of a vase, no stems showing. I used to throw away short-stemmed flowers, considering them unusable for a bouquet.
I realize it’s a style thing and styles change. Someone introduces an idea, it catches on and before you know it, former rules are out the window.
In my youth, a girl with naturally red hair would never wear the color pink or red; always greens and blues for her. Now anything goes, and it’s fine. Those of us who had straight hair spent frustrating hours making it curly and worrying about the curls’ staying in until we got back home from an outing. Straightening curly hair is of greatest concern for today’s teens.
It’s ironic that after electric steam irons were invented wrinkle-free fabric was also developed; but more ironic was the trend to accept wrinkles, they were okay. Back in the days of starching and flatirons, wrinkles in clothes or curtains were an embarrassment.
One of the hardest fads for me to endure when our girls were growing up was when faded fabric was the style. They wanted brand new garments to be washed a lot so the colors of madras plaid would run together. I couldn’t help remembering how much trouble my mother went to in an effort to prevent fading in the washtub and on the clothesline under the shade tree.