I was lucky enough to have a Grandpa who knew About REAL quality….
On a cold winters evening inside my small apartment I looked at my desk chair I felt a feeling of dissatisfaction wash over me….
You see I was brought up mostly by my grandpa and he had an awesome Art Deco office. I can still remember the brown and gold colors of the decor. Things just looked and felt solid to the touch. I talked with my grandpa one time only several months before he passed on “Why don’t they build to this quality anymore? He smiled and said in this deep, gravely wizened voice “Son, your generation is Generation C”
I thought for a second. My grandfather was often cryptic “Generation C?” I am a millennial so was confused. My grandpa had a dark sense of humour but I knew he didn’t mean the C Word!
He saw I was confused from my face and I had fallen quiet for too long. He continued “In my day there wasn’t consumerism like there is today. People took care of things and things even though they were built better so it all lasted longer. People wouldn’t stand for anything less!”
I thought about my generation for a second. We hadn’t come through the Great wars of the 20th century or experienced true hardship even though we were poorer than our parents.
I had to agree with him, not just because he was Grandpa but because he RIGHT. Everything is now DISPOSABLE.
Well I wanted to live how the old timers like my Grandpa had. It was unfortunate that I was now in an old peoples home with him. He had sold his things years before and I was off travelling somewhere I can’t even remember… I didn’t have the right mind to ask him for anything. Dumb of me.
Now as I had said bye to him and walked back to my small apartment in a cheap area of the city I was determined to have a little of the past in my life. Something that would last, not just photos on a computer that would end up in a trash one day. Something I could be proud owning of and in a way, remember my Grandpa.
You see I did a lot of writing outside of my Starbucks job, like I am writing this now. I had gone to college and taken Journalism major. Dropped out with a ton of debt and had nothing to show for it. UNUSED SKILLS.
Life was so unsatisfying it was beginning to hurt. So one night after a shift I sat in my uncomfortable desk chair and wondered what I could do about changing my situation. I read something online about how what surrounds you makes your reality. Maybe that’s true I though. So I went onto the biggest place most Americans look for things online (apart from Wal-Mart and Target) Amazon.
“I wonder if they sell old fashioned retro chairs like my grandpa had in his study?” I mumbled out loud to no one.
I didn’t own a dog or cat so it wouldn’t get chewed up or anything. I was being to feel a flicker of excitement in my gut. I wasn’t just thinking of the chair but a whole setup. Really old-school.
So I logged onto Amazon and began a search for Retro Modern Faux Leather. (Like I can afford REAL leather….) So as soon as the familar Amazon page loaded on my cell phone I saw it. As beautiful black and wood sleek elegant beauty.
I knew I had to have it but at the same time also knew my credit card balance… or should I say lack of credit. Well after my Grandpa had died he had given me a little money from his inheritance, what as left from the medical bills and nursing fees.
Even then I needed to wait a week to get paid from lousy Starbucks….
Finally the day came when I got my money in my account and I logged straight onto Amazon and saw there was only 2 left. I didnt “tempt fate” as he used to say so I bought it there and then.
Fast forward another 24 hours (Amazon are crazy fast even with a bulky item like a upholstered chair) the delivery guys placed it on the curb outside my apartment- which was the top floor of a 8 story block.
The delivery driver gave me a surprised look after I signed it and a “Good luck buddy” before jumping into his truck. (I couldnt afford the extra for help).
I thought of the hardships my Grandpa had told me all about living through in WW2 and almost laughed at how ridiculous and trivial this was in comparison. Im a young guy, still in ok shape…
This is for Granpa I said to myself as I began the climb with the chair gripped in my arms. (Happy it was lightly constructed. Walking up a girl with her head in her cell phone (sounded like the new kids TikTok video app) just pushed past on her way down. “Hey! thanks a lot!” She didnt even acknowledge me. This damn generation. Ooops I mean my Generation. I was only 28 but had the mindset from my Grandpa and his generation.
Sometimes nostalgia and Retro runs deeper than just memories of imagined better and simpler times. Sometimes it means more…..