“I Joined the Crowd”

Taking a break from my whole house reorganizing, I sat down with the New York Times Sunday paper. Opening it I found the above photo and accompanying article. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I had joined a huge community across the United States busily shedding unnecessary items. The thrift stores are overflowing, the charity shops are having to rent extra storage space, and organizing books are best sellers.

Here I thought I was just puttering along, taking care of things like the attic chaos that had bothered me for some time. Who knew I was part of a large scale clean out? One of the troubles of being a member of the gigantic bulge in the boa constrictor known as the baby boom is the constant reminder that I am not special! It has hit me across the years of course, but I was reminded of it when I saw that piece in the paper.

It sent me back to fondue pots. Yes, I thought of fondue pots. Now I hope that any others my age have now remembered that pot poised over a sterno can and the little forks that came with the set, a required gift for every baby boomer wedding. Cheese or sirloin seemed to be the only two choices, but we all felt quite adult around the hot oil or cheese. Then there were the Chemex coffee pots. Everyone I knew had one.

I find the subterranean tranmission of shared possessions and activities amusing. Somehow, without any obvious cue, I learn I am behaving just like thousands of people my age. And then, of course, there is this very blog!

34 thoughts on ““I Joined the Crowd”

  1. I had to look up chemex coffee pots because we didn’t call them that, but I still have a filter coffee maker which looks very similar (not that I use it, but you just hate to throw them away, in case… (in case I break the cafetiere?)
    I remember the fondue sets, and did you have a hostess trolley? We couldn’t have afforded such things back then, but I got mine as a dealer promotion when I was selling Tupperware (I still have LOTS of tupperware – as well as those takeaway containers that we always wash out and use again in the freezer. But at least those break eventually.)


    1. I think calling them Chemex made them seem very scientific and “modern.” At least that was how people I knew seemed to regard them. We didn’t have a hostess trolley. I escaped being a Tupperware dealer, but I sure went to my share of Tupperware parties.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never had one of those coffee pots, but we did have a fondue set in an awful 1970s brown/beige colour combination. We mostly used small strips of steak in it, as I recall, rarely cheese. It was later given to a much younger gay couple who told us it was, ‘all the rage and so retro’, just over 20 years ago.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  3. I’m with you! We have our fondue pot in the hutch. Once, since we moved here seven years ago, we used that pot for a cheese fondue. I loved it, and John enjoyed it. The grandsons could have liked without it. Oh, they were polite, but I think it was too much work for them. When the weather is really cool, we should try again.


  4. Earlier this year, when I had a mind to sift/sort up again – I started putting things on top of a cupboard that I want gone, one corner of my living room. But also “dead electrical items” – I had planned that about now, I would be ready for a thrift store to collect. But now we are in lockdown, and the collection of said items has not occurred.
    I have however bought some new plastic see through storage boxes and they are getting filled with craft/art items – a/I can basically see what is inside b/they stack nicely.


  5. I loved fondues! We were given one as a wedding present and when I met my new partner, he had one too – a wedding present from his marriage! Sadly now, we have neither. The decluttering became a national obsession here too, to the extent that charity shops were no longer taking much of what people wanted to give them. There must be many houses sporting a new minimalist look!


  6. Hi Elizabeth, my mom had a fondue set and I thought it was fascinating but she never allowed us to have a fondue. Strangely, it popped into my head just yesterday and I asked her what became of her set. She gave it to my sister so its still around. Maybe Cath will host a fondue someday.


  7. That’s hilarious Elizabeth, as I too have been doing a big clean/reorganize & I’m in the baby boomer generation!

    Although you & my newly married granddaughter (they’re decorating their new home) were the inspiration for my efforts.
    So maybe it’s just more about influence then anything else. 😉

    And yes I remember the Fondue sets!
    Here in Australia they were 1970’s bright orange lol! Blessings,


  8. Well, what a cool post. I like the feeling that I’m far from unique or unusual: I’m part of humanity, one of a crowd –what a surprise! For a poet that’s wonderful, because you can describe a personal experience and find that it resonates with others. As for fondue and their singke-purpose pots:Asa young woman I lived in Geneva, where cheese fondue was a regular dish, featuring esoteric knowledge. So when we brought our fondue pot back to provincial New Zealand in 1964 it was a hit for… 5 years? 10? A while. Then it became a knick knack.


    1. I am always amazed by how many people connect with what seem like idiosyncrasies to me. I think it is about time for fondue pots and the names Winifred,Edith and Lydia to come back into style.


  9. I did not know what a Fondue pot was, looked up in Google 🙂 A few weeks ago I too was clearing up and and sold them to scrap merchant. We don’t get much but at least they are out of the house 🙂


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