Dylan and I have this inside joke when we go out and see other couples holding hands and doing that couple thing, especially in places like the movie theatre, thrift stores, and farmer’s markets. You know, that moment when you realize that everyone around you is coupled up, holding hands, smiling, being in love — We call it The Great Coupling. Dylan will say, ” Ah yes, the couples are coupling” or my favorite line when he grabs my hand, “Come, come. Let us partake in the age old tradition of coupling”…
…If there is one spot where The Great Coupling takes place, it is definitely an antique shop. There must be something about the way antique items glisten with a sense of new adventure waiting to be discovered. Old hot wheels in nostalgic packaging collecting dust next to beanie babies we once loved. That “oh yeah, remember this..” sort of moment that has our brains gushing with dopamine, topped off with the visual sensory of our lover to share the moment…. It’s the perfect scene. People of all ages love it.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from many hours of research watching 90 Day Fiancé and Love After Locked Up, is that it’s the everyday little things that seal the deal on a relationship. So many of them on the show pine for the chance to just hold hands with their long distant lover doing simple everyday things like walking down the street or shopping at the grocery store, it’s a feeling we can all relate to.
As for the people on the show… well they have no one to blame but themselves is what I say. As a girl who always found herself in a long distant relationship in college, I swore it off because of the exact thing I am talking about — missing someone while you walk around and everyone is coupling! It just sucks. Why do it to yourself? As Dylan puts it after living 10 years in New York City, you gotta have a no transfer rule: Only date people who are within a straight shot of your house, no bus or train transfers.
I will be the first to admit that Sundays strolling around town and popping in and out of thrift stores, antique shops and the like outweigh my wedding day in terms of being deemed as “magical” because it’s the accumulation of these moments that make a relationship, not one day charged with stress and angst of wrangling 150 people and the pressure of upwards to $20k on your mind… just saying.
On these days, we have the best time, as I’m sure you do too. Probably because as a couple, or even as a single person, antique shops ignite that sense of imagination: How can I decorate my home to look like this? Or the thought of “someday” rings in our minds. There is some domestic instinct that kicks into gear in couples that have us feeling giddy over the thought of someday sharing a home, a life, with that special someone. Or it’s that, “Someday I hope to afford this dope-ass cigarette table even though I don’t smoke…”
Insert sepia tone visions of Dylan and I in Mad Men suits overlooking a city skyline playing poker while puffing on cigars. — antique stores, they’re transporting.
For me, it’s definitely a vision of some higher self that will someday be able to afford it all and just sit around the house enjoying what I’ve made. Or the vision that one day I will be organized enough to have everything in my house as one matching aesthetic…
For those couples starting out, this long tradition of coupling and antiquing may be a way to test out a new love interest’s taste like our friend Charlotte from Sex in the City: Bay of Married Pigs; when she decides that the date she was set up with likes Mid Century Modern plates while she likes Farmhouse French Plates… She knew it would never work out.
On this day, we stumbled into Antiques Then & Now in Redwood City. Speaking of magical, my friends, this place was magical. The store was split up into mini rooms, each with its own aesthetic.
Working at a jewelry retailer, I know how hard it is to visually merchandise jewelry pieces on a table, so I respect those who do it well, and they definitely merchandised well here. Great visual merchandising happens when you entice the buyer to not only buy one item, but all the pieces displayed with the item because they work so well together.
The inventory here covered everything… and for as long as we took walking around, picking things up and taking pictures, the owner let out a little chuckle when I walked up to the counter and presented my one little item…
… Which was an opal sphere for $3.25 lol. I think she was a little disappointed. But I was over the moon about my purchase… and the whole adventure leading up to that moment.