The diplomacy of vintage

A while ago I was at my parents’ house and I was looking at my mother’s buttons. She doesn’t sew much any more and I asked if I could have some of her vintage buttons:

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This was a fairly tense moment — after a pause she said: “I don’t think I am ready to think of buttons I bought as vintage.”

Now my mother is not very old and as far as I could tell some of her buttons go back to the 30’s or 40’s. Obviously she was not buying buttons then, she wasn’t born then. But how to save the moment? I had called my mother’s buttons dated, kitschy, and old.

I did point out that it would not have been possible for her to purchase certain buttons as they were older than her, and she did mention getting some from various individuals, which seemed to defuse the situation somewhat.

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I am not sure that the rift in the crafty fabric of the family was healed, but I did get the buttons I wanted.

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