Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, maybe a foot, but definitely not a spoon…

Last week I was at the WalBall, that would be Walmart for most of you, but I call it the WalBall.

I don’t know why, I just do.

I call lots of things by other names because I get some sort of weird thrill from this. I know it’s a genetic thing because my father never calls anyone (or anything) by his or her real name. He has a nickname for everyone and sometimes it’s not the most endearing of nicknames if you know what I mean. This is a cruel thing to do to a child growing up in a small town. I was often confused with what was one’s real name or my dad’s self appointed name. I learned the hard way.

Just ask Gut Bucket.

Anyway, back to the WalBall. I realize that most Americans must enjoy shopping at the WalBall, being that it is the largest employer and corporation in the world. I mean, come on y’all – they didn’t just become this without any merit.

I, however, am not one that contributed to their high-ranking status because I do not enjoy shopping at the WalBall ONE BIT. For me, going to the WalBall is kind of like going to the dentist. I do it because I have to, not because I want to. I would much rather go to a hardware store if I need hardware, or a clothing store if I need clothes, or a grocery store if I need groceries. Wandering around 15 acres of concrete not knowing where to find anything, or anyone to ask, is just not enjoyable to me.

Now give me 15 acres of Tarjay and it’s a different story.

I just don’t feel the love at the WalBall. And last week I found myself forced to feel unloved and wander about their acreage. And since I was going to have to go on the WalBall scavenger hunt, I decided to go ahead and scavenge for a couple of other things I needed. Okay, maybe it was about 50 things…

Somehow the WalBall just sucked me in.

One of the things I needed was some silver polish. PLEASE, if anyone out there in blogland is reading this and knows what I’m talking about will you please let me know?
I’m yearning for a sense of peace and relief that you know what silver polish is, because NO ONE at the WalBall knew what it was.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. At least the first 2 employees, whom I estimate were under the age of 24, didn’t know what I was talking about (or the 3 customers that couldn’t figure out why I was asking them where anything was in the first place). Finally, the third employee whom was over the age of 50 was able to help me. But this is what I find concerning:

Have we become a society that doesn’t know how to polish silver, or even more so, what silver polish is?

The first 2 employees, both girls, didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. They both thought I was looking for something to clean my jewelry with. I explained to both of them that I wanted to polish my silver, as in silverware, not my jewelry, and they both gave me this look like I must be nuts.

So this is what I want to rant about and the purpose of this whole WalBall story: Have we become so accustomed to instant this, disposable that, and drive thru this, that we’ve forgotten about utensils for a holiday meal?

Is polishing silver a dying art?

Now don’t get me confused with some kind of hoity toity chick trying to be all fancy and stuff. I have a busy life and I’m all for conveniences that can make my life easier. I do, however, appreciate a nice dinner table and I really LOVE my silver. My mother gave it to me, and it’s the same pattern that my grandmother, my great aunt, my aunt, and some of my cousins have. I cherish it and use it often, not just for holidays. I think silver, crystal, and china should be used and enjoyed regularly – not just displayed or used once or twice a year.

But, my real concern is what I fear: That young girls growing up today aren’t growing up to appreciate this. Or worse, even understand this.

Is this lack of silver polish knowledge an actual symbol of what we’ve become?

Okay y’all - have I gotten myself all worked up over nothing, or is this something that concerns you, too? And let’s face it, sometimes I feel better when I can blame someone. Ordinarily I just blame Jack, but this time it may not actually be his fault. So is there anyone else to blame? Can we blame anyone?

Maybe the WalBall, or even McDog’s? Or us???


LivingTheLife said...

I know what you mean...it's sort of sad to see things like this happen...but sadly they do...I know my daughter knows about silver...but honestly I don't think she would think it had to be polished...but she at least has seen silver polish! I think a lot of things such as the silver polish have gone by the way side over the years...I mean...I don't do near what my grandmother's and mother did as I was growing up. I think today...as you mentioned we are cheating ourselves of some great luxuries in life...b/c we are a "want it now", "fast food", "drive thru" type of society! I mean really...I can't stand to watch commericals on my favorite shows...b/c I am used to TiVo or whatever...so I can record them and fast forward through those annoying things. Sadly, some of us are fast-forwarding through life...and most young people; just as we were are always more than a little anxious to get to that "next" thing or stage in life! So we as a nation have done this to ourselves...generation after generation...all in the name of trying to make things better...we may have done a disservice to ourselves and future families...by not taking the time to learn the timeless arts and enjoying life as it happens...we need to stop being a disposable/ throw-away type of people AND ...remember to learn all we can from those who can teach us and slowly enjoy the wonders of it all...no matter how our time is spent... we need to slow done and LIVE each day to its fullest!

I enjoyed your insight on this blog...it really did strike a cord with me...I think b/c I am of a certain age...I am realizing life is too short...and why the heck didn't I take the time to learn more while going through it...but as my dad always said..."there is no better time to start than right now!"....I think I'm going to listen to those words...thanks again for sharing...



Theresa said...

I would never have thought to look at WalMart for silver polish! I just automatically would go to our hardware store. My youngest daughter learned all about the merits of silver polish vs. quick cleaning cloths because she played a silver trombone in school. The polish worked better and lasted longer!

I agree with you, though, on our microwave/fastfood society. It is robbing us of some valuable memories.

Painted Groove Girl said...

When Teeni and I encounter the exact type of silver polish that my grandmother used, we each buy a few cans. I don't know if anyone else has ever used the kind in an aerosol can, but I love it. And I don't know that it's the best kind, but the application is certainly user-friendly. God knows we know how to maneuver a can of hair spray in these parts.

Now I need to go pry Mary away from her cell phone and teach her to polish silver.

Chrissie said...

Hello there! I've been a long time reader, but I never feel I would be able to contribute anything worth reading on your comments. I love your blog, especially the animals! I just couldn't help popping in today to say that I totally agree - it's true! Young folks are missing out on some of the wonders of living. Growing up, that was my job to clean the silver and brass, because we always used them every Holiday. Your experience reminded me of a funny thing that happened to me in the grocery store years ago (when I was a even a dumber blond). As I was going through the checkout, the young lady asked if I found everything. I told her I couldn't find malt to make some milkshakes. She had no idea what I was talking about, and asked a couple of the co-workers who didn't know either. A dear lady, with a British accent, in line behind me, said, 'I saw jaws of mault near the coffee', very lovely accent and so sweet to tell me, but my brain immediatly pictured a package of malt with sharks teeth, entitled, 'Jaws of Malt'. I still, this day, don't understand why my mind went this way, but then, dummy me, I parroted back to her and said, 'Oh! Jaws of malt! Thank you so much!' The lady gave a sweet grin, and it wasn't until I was in the parking lot, that I realized what was said - arrrrgh! I felt so dumb! but I was soooo amazed that this young clerk and others her age had no clue what malt was. I never look at malt again without thinking of 'Jaws of Malt'. VBS

Patriot said...

Speaking as a young woman (twenties) I will tell you that not all of us are clueless! Haha! I always help my mom and grandma with cleaning the silverware when we get together for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Maybe it's because I love history and tradition, but I wish that our society would slow down just a bit. I sit in traffic and wonder what everyone is so rushed to go do?? I feel like I'm always in a hurry - but for what? I'm realizing more and more every day what a treat it is to slow down and relax. Life goes by so quickly . . I'm hoping more and more people are realizing that . .


Boyz3Mommy said...

Eh...just blame Jack. Love you Dee-boe...now THAT'S a new one, huh?

Kari & Kijsa said...

Okay- we could go on and on and on cheering you on with this one!! (both about walball and silver polish!) We do love silver too! -one word......
fabulous! Nothing better than a cold diet coke in a silver mint julep cup!

kari & kijsa