Don’t Call Me an Antique

I was born in the middle of the century.

The term “mid-century” inherently refers to the most recent century that is comfortably beyond  its middle years. When I was born, mid-century referred to the 1850s,  A lot was happening in the middle of the century that I was born into, although most cultural and technological milestones are attributed to specific decades. There are, in fact, only two instances where I regularly hear the term mid-century used as an adjective.

The first is mid-century modern. This is the architectural style that, when I was growing up, we just called “modern.” Or sometimes, “50s.” This style also crossed over into home furnishings and I certainly grew up surrounded by it and influenced by it. I have no problem with this use of the term “mid-century.”

More disconcerting to me is when I happen to be roaming thru an antique store and stumble into a section that is labelled as “mid-century antiques'”  Most disconcerting is when the reason I had wandered over to that section is because I saw something that I recognized from my childhood home…or that I still own. “Wait,” I exclaim, “that’s not an antique table, that’s just a table!” Surely, something from my own lifetime CAN NOT be an antique…or else….that implies….don’t even think about calling me mid-century.

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