Notes From an Untrendy Person

I seem to have been born with a bent to untrendiness. It’s somewhat about being clueless, and more about being stubbornly resistant to the things that are cool with the masses. But I am also forty now, which means I no longer spout meaningless opinions quite as readily as I used to, and hopefully am more open to the big idea.

However, I will part ways with caution and political correctness to spout some opinions. I have been getting one of those glossy magazines titled Flower for about a year and as I flip through it, looking at the showpieces that cannot possibly be actual homes as much as they are museums to designers, I see things that puzzle me. Every house seems to have these floral installations hanging from the chandelier. It confuses me. An amaryllis, upside down amidst some greenery and a few straggling vines. The glory of it is lost upon me. I have hung plenty of roses upside down to preserve their glory a little longer, but never straight from the florists as an installation. I puzzle, too, over brand-new mansions with antique farm implements polished on the walls beside electric fireplaces topped with scarred barn beam mantlepieces with preferably an animal skull adorning the room under a nature print of a dead rabbit beside a victorious fox. I find it all a bit alarming, like a city dweller has had an identity crisis and brought home Grandpa’s treasures instead of selling them at auction.

Then there are the houseplants. They are all good, and wonderful for the air of the home; it is simply fascinating to watch the trends from ficus to fern to fiddle leaf figs. If I had room, I would probably try them all. Except snake plant. I just can’t see it. My grandma always had them, and though she had a green thumb, her snake plant languished thinly with a few yellowing spears. In my Flower magazine I notice a lot of viney plants that straggle across everything from pianos to open shelving in kitchens, where you have to be careful not to disrupt it when you want to use the crockery. The thing is, the Amish ladies have been doing this for as long as I can remember, only they don’t have the open shelving. They use little hooks to hold up the vines on the wall, and I applaud their creativity. I used to say I dislike succulents because they are squishy, but wow! We have them on many of our windowsills for the winter and I really love them. I guess there is hope for a future snake plant.

On to coffee. I wouldn’t say it annoys me when people post pictures of fancy coffee on their Instagram stories. It doesn’t; they look wonderful and I want some too! It’s just the need to assure everyone that this happened! This coffee right here that is too beautiful to drink did, indeed, happen, and here is the proof that I have 5 extra dollars every day. Okay, sorry about that snark. I have a friend, a millennial who has insights into trends, who was laughing with me about this, and we decided to start a new thing: buying McDonald’s dollar coffee and posting pictures of it in all seriousness like it is the treat of the day. Honestly, I love their iced-French-vanilla-sugar-free. I took a picture of pumpkin spice that I brought home for my husband one day, but then I neglected to post it, so here’s the proof. Michelle, this is for you!

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(It wasn’t actually very good. Too sweet.)

Here’s another surprising thing from Flower: a super trendy jewel designer posted a picture of herself in a floral cotton dress with puffy sleeves. I would wear the dress myself, if I could get about a yard of extra fabric to fill in the neckline. On either side posed her adult daughters, one in calico and the other in a lavender gingham pinafore. My girls had almost the exact same pinafores when they were 1 and 3 years old. Isn’t it amazing? (If you wonder why I get this magazine… it was one of those $2 deals and I thought I was getting a gardening instructional. haha.)

I still can’t get into enneagrams. They make me feel dim-witted because I can’t remember what the letters are for. But that’s a personal problem. Last night I had a dream that was so vivid, I awoke from it feeling like I needed to make amends to the people who had been hurt by my actions. It took a few minutes of wakefulness to realize that I had not even done that awful thing that I was repenting of in the middle of the night. What letter is a dim-witted, apologetic person?

Here’s all I really am saying: go right ahead and buy that plant to beautify your house. Don’t mind me and I won’t mind you. Also, I do like some things. Wanna hear about them?

I do love emojis. I thought of a shruggy one right at the end of the last paragraph.

When it comes to household trends, it’s kind of a personality thing: I like cozy, easily maintained spaces. I tend to look for warm colors because white would have to be washed for ever more. I like things that work double duty, like a pretty hat box that doubles as storage for the card games. There is very little in our home that is strictly ornamental.Β  I readily admit that I am trendy-decorating challenged, and I feel humbled by the fact that there are pieces that have been hanging on our walls for 15 years. I do believe in rearranging the furniture. It truly sparks joy for me, and my girls light right up when I suggest that we figure out a new way to place the living room furnishings. The men in the house? Not so much. “But we just carried that heavy old thing downstairs last year!” I play this game with them every year when I deep-clean the places and shampoo the rugs and furniture. It’s really fun to make our small space work for us the best it can. That just naturally involves dragging things around.

On the clothing scene, I love polka dots. This was evident today when I wore my navy skirt with white polka dots, and my daughters ended up with teal/white dots, pink/white dots, and grey/white dots. Our bench at church was a merrily uncoordinated sight! There is another trend that I would like to encourage you to try if you are on the fence about it. I bought it at Wally the weekend my husband and I were going camping to celebrate our anniversary. In his words, “That is one impressive sweater!” meaning those below-the-knee chunky sweaters. My idea was that it would be great for running to the bath house in the middle of the night, etc. etc. I didn’t expect it to be so cozy. It’s literally like wearing a blanket, but much more acceptable in public than one of those snuggies from a few years ago.

I have a few pictures for you to prove that it really did happen: we did go camping all by ourselves, in a tent, for the first time in years. It was wonderful.

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We ate out. Every meal we ate out there. We stopped at Aldis on our way and bought easy stuff but yum!IMG_20191012_175123309

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The sweater adorns the folding sofa chair up there. It kept catching on the picnic table benches when I was cooking, but otherwise I wore it day and night.

And one more picture (below) taken on our actual anniversary. I get so tickled by the contrasts in this picture. My husband can pull off the millennial look very well, but we have agreed on no skinny jeans, ever. He doesn’t mind my conservative safeness, either, (no way Converse) so… match made in heaven.

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I know you want to know if I have bought a fanny pack yet. Nope. I still have one from the 90’s.

 

P. S. Small appeal here: please comment anything. I have been playing safe and not writing for various reasons. The Lord (ok, maybe it was people) prompted me to stop being afraid, so I plunged right off the cliff with a bunch of tongue-in-cheek to see if anyone is still out there.

 

54 thoughts on “Notes From an Untrendy Person

  1. I knew there was something up with that picture of the McCafe that came across my instagram page the other day. It’s fun to know the back story.

  2. I am here! I, too, am untrendy. Some days I am not sure where I fit. I am just 6 months from being an millienial, but most days I feel very old fashioned.

  3. Haha, I really like you in all your untrendiness. I always say, I’m about 5 years behind the trends just because I don’t wanna follow the trends. The pic of you and Gabe is the BEST! πŸ™‚

    1. The irony of a person who posts endless pictures of mugs on Instagram having any objections to people posting pictures of coffee has just given me a fit of giggles. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      1. I’m laughing. I had not thought of that irony but I appreciate it now. Once I’m back on IG I most certainly will have to post a picture like this for you.

  4. I enjoyed this. Maybe because I enjoy thinking that I, too, like to scoff at the trends of the day. Except for snake plants. They are one of my favorites. Anyway, I raise my (figurative) cup of deliciously cheap McDonald’s coffee in appreciation of your post.

    1. This is what I love about your posts too – you’ve encouraged me often as a mom just behind you. Of course, your older children don’t appreciate mention on your blog as much now and that probably affects how much you can write. 😏

  5. I spent the first twenty years of my life trying to be different. I’ve spent the last 19 trying to understand why I thought I was morally superior.πŸ€”
    Because, in fact, I like many trendy things – just not everything. πŸ˜€
    I love the farmhouse trend, for instance, and succulents are cute(though I haven’t gotten any yet), but I still can’t stand coffeehouses and the whole millennial craze about them.
    I am not afraid to own my love if cozy, old-fashioned everything β€” but I also love everything tech and want the newest iPhone! (Not that I can actually afford it, but if I could…)
    But like you said, nearing 40 definitely made me lose any peer pressure I may have had.

    1. Lol… Your first paragraph makes me snicker. I truly don’t feel morally superior. I’m just out of the loop and don’t care. Except a carefully curated part of the loop which I do care about. πŸ€—

  6. Oh Mrs Peight!! I would like to have you over to my house. I really think I could do that without feeling self-conscious about how I decorate. Our styles are quite similar. And I’m really happy to hear in such a public manner from someone else who is trendy-decorating-challenged and honest about it!
    And by the way, remember you sent me a dahlia tuber a long while ago? I suppose you sent it in the winter, I don’t remember for sure, but the poor thing sat in a corner, neglected, for a long long time and then promptly forgave me when I paid attention to it. Here’s what happened. The spring after I got it, I noticed it was sprouting but alas, our landlord had just informed us that he was selling the house we were living in, so I wasn’t sure what to do with it. So it sat there. For an entire year. This past spring I planted it and we had the most beautiful dahlia anyone could wish for!! So thanks again! We enjoyed it immensely. πŸ™‚

  7. I love reading your posts. There’s just something about your humor and honesty that gets me every time. Just now, it dawned on me that the snake plant that was given to me and never really thrived, is one that I don’t even like. Why do I do this to myself?! 🀷 I will pass him along to someone who actually loves snake plants. I won a fiddle leaf fig that brings me great amounts of delight. Every time a new leaf opens, it’s like a new life, and I feel so happy. Sparks joy, I guess. πŸ˜‰ Moving furniture around does too. πŸ‘Œ

  8. Hugs from another untrendy 40 year old. 😊 Enneagrams make me feel dim witted too. I’ve taken multiple tests, and the results are not always the same. I actually really enjoy the study of personalities, just not that one. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ (emojis are so fun.🀩)
    I live in a small house, so I do not rearrange furniture. My excuse is that this is the only arrangement that works well, but the truth is, I would probably not rearrange even if I could. It gives me anxiety. What can I say?
    I do love coffee and Converse shoes though. 😁
    Go Mccafe. πŸ‘

  9. Loved the post! I’m human enough to like some of the trends, but very human enough that if someone in my close circle is doing it, that’s it! And if people gush about something, saying you HAVE to try this, well, see if I have to!

  10. Snake plant for the win because it’s the only plant that survives any length of time in my house, and I must have live green in my house when it’s winter. Also, I’m not a trend follower because my person prefers timeless classic and practically. But I will frequently ask my classy younger sister if something I choose to wear just looks like a middle aged Mom look. πŸ˜†

    1. Your comment made me chuckle! I could have written and it would have all been true for me! Even better than calling my sister is having her buy clothes for me.

        1. Yes! I did that too with the sister until she decided NYC needed her presence. I told her I might be naked after a while if she’s not around to find clothes for me.

  11. This made me laugh πŸ˜… Just yesterday I ran across an etsy shop on Instagram selling little girl dresses with the exact same pattern I used on the dresses tucked away in a tote somewhere for my babies! I sent a picture to my sister saying, “40 bucks!! What am I waiting on?!”

    PS. I hate to burst your bubble but the Enneagram is numbers, not letters. Maybe that’s your problem πŸ˜‚

  12. Oh Dorcas. I just love you. It feels so wonderful to know that you dare to not follow trends and are still happy. As for decorating, I just can’t. My house is still pretty and comfortable. And welcoming.

    1. But that is decorating. Comfortable and pretty is what we all strive for…some of us just do it our own way and then we keep it that way for a very long time. πŸ€—

      1. Slightly. I don’t really know why I disliked people doing my hair so much, but memories of you feel like fond memories, so at least child-me didn’t hold it against you.

  13. Well, I read your post with great delight! I like some trends if they’re practical and budget friendly. But I can’t get on board with leopard spots on anything, not doing it! Your sentence describing the unique decor in some houses had me scrambling to see if it might possibly be diagramed.πŸ˜‰

  14. Yes, yes, yes to this post and so many of the comments. This modern coffee craze is absurd. Is there a contest to see who can spend the most on fancy coffee in a year? And it amuses me to no end to watch those out of date fashions come back around, being sold as so Cool! I’m two years inside the millenial bracket but feel rather sensible and old fashioned. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one!

  15. Please write more! I just went 13 days overdue with my 4th baby and to pass the time I went back and re-read lots of your blog because I love the way you write – just down to earth… Living the normal mom life AND enjoying it. I am a millennial but I was born a couple decades (or centuries?) too late because I can never figure it all out 🀷 and I really could care less (most of the time ha!)

  16. I am definitely not a trend follower. As for having a well decorated house…. let’s just say I have some mottos on the wall but no knick-knacks at all! I want a clear surface unless it’s plants then I am ok. I really do love your posts and relate to a lot of what you write even though you are ten years older! I also really like your pottery! It is really pretty!

  17. This is so good. I admire writing packed with wit. But might I point out that your mustard sweater is quite trendy? 😁 The grey, chunky one sounds wonderful! Please model it for an Instagram post.

  18. I’m a new reader thanks to Bethany at About My Fathers Business blog. an
    I’m’ not trendy really but I do love a fancy coffee once in awhile. Actually we have a coffeemaker with settings to make our own fancy coffee but they just don’t taste as good as those made by baristas.
    Have a blessed week!

  19. My biggest confusion with following all the trends – where do people get the time and energy from to do that??? About the time I have one thing switched up and (let’s face it, halfway trendy;)) its time for something new. I have two little girls to take care of and I have no idea when I’d do some of that extra stuff!
    Also, what exactly do they do with the stuff they are gifted that doesn’t fit the newest trend??? I have a mom and mom-in-law, both lovely but neither is trendy. I heard someone say once that its OK to get rid of stuff like that because the giver already received joy in giving it to you and that was the point. But that seems wasteful and just an excuse to me?!

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