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October 30, 2017

Dear Miss Monday – For The Love Of Vintage

By Miss Monday

“Dear Miss Monday – Every time my father-in-law comes over on holidays he talks about how dated everything is and needs to be updated. How do I get him to understand about my love for vintage and keep quiet?

— The Sparkling Holiday Hostess”

Dear Miss Hostess,

A home without well-crafted furniture, streamlined design, and pre-loved decor? I can’t even imagine it. It’s too horrible. *Faux swoon and faint.

Our little 1949 bungalow in Nashville, TN.

Although I guess a lot of people probably live surrounded by relatively contemporary furniture that doesn’t need to be darned, de-wobbled, or deeply sanitized before nestling into. Not everyone has a taste (or the constitution) for the stuff. And honestly, thank goodness! That means there’s more for just us vintage lovers.


A furniture advertisement from a 1961 LIFE Magazine.

That being said, OUCH, I get why this comment is hurtful! I know how much time you have invested into searching far and wide for that sofa, that chair, that wallpaper. I know what it takes to peel years of paint off of a 70-year-old armoire and breathe life back into it. I know how many times you had to soak and sun those barkcloth curtains to make them as vibrant as new. Our homes are so deeply connected to us. We sleep in them, brush our teeth, roll our hair, make our meals. Oh, and my goodness the celebrations! Celebrations like the one that has brought Mr. Critical to your doorstep in the first place.

But maybe his critique of your painstakingly collected treasures is not a critique at all, but surprise or a sincere lack of understanding. Redirect his comment by sharing your favorite story of a prized piece in your collection. Who can keep a mean-spirited attitude while hearing about the woman you bought your record player from frenetically telling you stories about San Francisco in the 60s, or that guy at an estate sale who wanted you to have his great aunt’s lambswool coat because it would make her happy to have it worn out on the town? You my be able to buy brand new mid-century knock-offs, but you definitely can’t buy those stories.

One of the things we love most about vintage is it’s history; the hands that have worn soft spots into these objects. It feels connected to something before us and will hopefully be connected to something after. By sharing that with your father-in-law, hopefully you’ll diffuse an awkward situation and maybe next Thanksgiving he’ll ask you for another story instead of crinkling his nose at that incredible ceramic flamingo collection.

For the love of vintage,

Miss Monday

Have a question you’d like to ask Miss Monday? Send it to dearmissmonday@gmail.com or tag it on Instagram with #DearMissMonday!

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6 Responses to Dear Miss Monday – For The Love Of Vintage

  1. Sandi Reply

    October 30, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Your father in law must be related to my sister in law who hates my 1965 livingroom and the art in my kitchen. I have the exact chair as yours which we bought in 1965 while my husband was in the Army. Everything in my livingroom has a story, and that’s a part of the appreciation. Thanks for posting this–I loved it!

    • Miss Monday Reply

      October 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Well, you obviously have delightful taste! I love hearing about the stories of the things mid-century lovers collect. Thank you for reading and sharing the story of your chair.

  2. Arleen Hillyer Reply

    October 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Great response Lindsay! Your living room is simply drool worthy!

    • Miss Monday Reply

      October 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Thank you, Arleen!

  3. Maureen Reply

    October 30, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I think people either get this or they don’t. I have a good friend who absolutely cannot understand why I love my box of silverware from 1903. When I tried to explain how it isn’t just how beautiful it is, but I love to think of the long line of people before my family-who would pull out this wooden box for every special occasion or holiday, eat together and hopefully enjoy each other’s company-it is deeply satisfying to me.

    Maybe you could mention that this is actually a highly desired decorating style, so much so that Target has launched a line to imitate what your house looks like authentically!

    • Miss Monday Reply

      October 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Maureen!

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