We're Not Getting older, We're Getting Better

As purveyors of Mid-Century Modern design, we fully understand the importance of maintaining the underlying integrity of a piece while lovingly restoring and tweaking it so that it is the best it can be at any age.  So naturally, we strongly agree that Clairol hit it on the nose when they introduced their Loving Care ad campaign in 1971 with the tag line: You're not getting older; you're getting better.  Maturity and aging are not to be shunned, but rather appreciated and embraced and above all else…honored.  And while we must all surely work at being the best we can be at any age, we need to embrace the benefits of aging gracefully and the life experience it offers.

 

Clairol's 1971 Ad: Time tested and still true

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Mid century Bench: Lovingly restored with integrity maintained


This is not always so easy to do.  In this youth driven, disposable age, the pressure to compete with younger has motivated more than a few to take extreme measures in the hope of defying the aging process.   And when news, trends and even material goods become obsolete in mere nanoseconds as epitomized by AT&T’s plethora of commercials chanting “That’s so 30 seconds ago”, and almost nothing is built to endure, it is easy to lose sight of the truly timeless beauty and character that are some of the many benefits of “maturing”.

 

 

So 30 seconds ago

photo courtesy of AT&T

 

 

 

Just last week our Bosch dishwasher in the country stopped working.  It has been a reliable piece of machinery for twelve years necessitating only one other service call, yet when I called to have it repaired, the head of service discouraged me from making the repair and suggested purchasing a new unit instead.   With the cost of a new unit being about triple the cost of the repair, coupled with the fact that the life expectancy of that new unit is a mere six years, we opted to repair the old one, hoping for another five to six years of reliable washing.  

 

And that used to be the status quo, double-digit years of productivity for major appliances and electronics; furniture that was built to last fifty or more years and a society that respected honored and held in esteem those amongst us with life experience.

 

While baby boomers are redefining aging, it is a steep mountain to climb in these youth driven times.  So when, back in February, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Jennifer Mehditash a wonderful interior designer and author of Dec-a-Porter blog shared a captivating image on Facebook, I was immediately smitten.  The photo of a mature woman in red- lipped shaped sunglasses was so striking that I was compelled to see more.  I clicked the link and was transported to a parallel universe where maturity is queen and style is timeless: Advanced Style Blogspot. 

 

 

 

A Sweet heart of Style

photo courtesy of Advanced Style blogspot

 

Advanced Style is the brainchild of Ari Seth Cohen and offers a respite from the plethora of images touting youth.  An oasis where there is comfort in seeing style on someone other than a pre- pubescent child.  It is not only beautiful to look at but infinitely inspirational as well.  In fact, I pre-ordered the book Advanced Style on Amazon and gave it to my Mother-in-Law who just celebrated her 85th birthday last month.

 

 

 

Advance Style: The Book

 

As a candid photographer I love to zoom in and capture the face. An expressive face, especially one that is not focused on the lens or the necessity to smile, is imperfect and utterly magnificent at any age.  But to see a multitude of images of so many gloriously proud and strong seniors is truly breathtaking and moving.  AND... gives all of us pause to broaden our definition of true beauty and style.

 

  

 

Imperfect and utterly magnificent

 

photo courtesy of Marcy Feld Photography

 

 

Ruth: Breathtaking at  100

photo courtesy of Advanced Style Blogspot

 

So, while we are all clamoring to find that ever-elusive key to the proverbial “Fountain of Youth”, let’s take a moment to appreciate our maturity and the beauty and Advanced Style we all possess, because: We’re not getting older, we’re getting better!

 

A toast with a little bubbly, or bubbles, as it were:

Here is to ageless Beauty- Let's all embrace it!

photo courtesy of Marcy Feld Photography

Irwin celebrated a milestone birthday this past Friday and he and I learned a phrase that had somehow escaped us thus far: Double Nickels.  Turning fifty-five, which we all know is the new forty-five, Irwin was welcomed into the “Double Nickels Club”, an honor we had no idea even existed.

the birthday boy

 

We had just come to the realization that we were no longer “the kids”, and now, without a moment to digest our pre-geriatric status, Irwin was a confirmed “Double Nickels Club “ member and as if that were not enough to process, I will be following in his footsteps in six months. 

Life really does creep up on us.   We work and raise families, always pushing towards the next vacation, the next summer, the next level of success, the next milestone, when all the while life is moving forward.  Unlike the endless summers of our youth, the days quicken and the years pass and while you may have been considered the “kids” just a handful of years ago, you are now referring to your children as the kids and receiving Long Term Care mailings from AARP, to which you have been a card carrying member for a nickel’s worth of years.

But is this really such a bad thing?  While we might be longer in the tooth, we have attained years of life experience.  Being born smack dab in the middle of the ‘Boomer” Generation( 1955: A “double nickels” year), we have had the best of both worlds.  While we were taught the old fashioned way, with paper and pencil, were forced to do research with books in the library rather than on line and witnessed monumental historic events, we were still young enough to learn computers after Fortran and move from the Space Age into the fast paced virtual world we live in today.

That is probably why we love MCM furnishings so much.  It is not only because we are from the same period, which we are, but also because we share so many similar attributes.  Both of us were born in celebration of the new post-war era.  We were designed/raised with old world know-how and the belief that anything was possible. 

  

1950'sAtomic Steel & rope lamp

 

1950's Bat Winged Chair

 

1950's cerused oak console

Fran by lu Jarvis

As pre-Sesame Streeters,  who grew up with The Beatles, The Jetsons, TV dinners and Lost in Space, we were not married to anything that came before us, and were open to almost anything new.  Although we were born only ten years after the end of WWII it seemed like ancient history even when we were still toddlers.  And because we had lived through so many turbulent events, we learned how to reinvent/re-purpose ourselves to suit ever-changing lifestyles.

The Jetsons

 

 

TV Dinner

 

 

Lost in Space

 

We might be slightly marked like the Double Struck 1955 Lincoln Penny, but as in the case of the penny, it only increases our value.  Our imperfections, like those of our MCM counterparts serve as reminders that we are resilient survivors whose practicality and function are always in style.

 

double struck penny

 

Irwin & I were born in an amazing year- the one where the Dodgers beat the Yankees in the world series, Germany became a member of NATO, seat belt legislation was first introduced, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus AND...Disneyland opened!

1955 World Series

 Rosa Parks Arrested


 

 

1955 Pontiac Star Chief -the car I grew up with AND was NEVER equipped with seat belts

  

Disneyland Opened

 

So, cheers to  “Double Nickel “ club membership!  We wouldn’t want it any other way!

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