What Happened to That Fantastic Wallpaper?

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe)


NOTE: The WordPress weekly photo prompt for March 13, 2015, is wall: This week, consider the walls you’ve erected and decorated, the halls you walk down each day, or the exteriors you’ve ignored or neglected. What do these walls reveal about a place, people, or you? 150313 IMG_9050EWallpaper has drifted in and out of popularity over the past century.

Until this decade, it was out for some years. Now wallpaper is hot…*

I’ve explored the web but cannot find that 1970s wallpaper. Even if wallpaper is hot, that 1970s wallpaper is nowhere to be located.

In fact, I began wondering if I imagined its existence. Except I have evidence it wasn’t an imagination.

After investing in the retirement home where we now live the former owner moved into another dwelling across the street, and she came over and helped me wallpaper. She noticed I had a plastic covering over the back wall in an attempt to ease cleaning.

“You don’t need to do that,” she said. “We had that wallpaper for the entire 35 years since we added the addition to the dwelling. And I never washed it once.

We got this dwelling in 2000, and I have never washed the wallpaper since she told me I didn’t need to. And the wallpaper looks like it was pasted on, well, yesterday.

What she was telling me was that she got the wallpaper in the early 1970s, which verified me that it did exist.

What made this wallpaper so special?

Permanence. It was made to last. It lacked obsolescence. The only reason a person had to remove it was to redecorate. Otherwise, their great-grandchildren might enjoy it.

Apparently this wallpaper went on the market and off the market in a very short timeframe, at the time my mate Monte and I designed and created the second 4th home we lived in. Back in the early 1970s, at the time I was searching to wallpaper some rooms. I heard this wallpaper was being sold, and I searched the stores for it. I was not able to find it.

And I started imagining it existed.

Why was this item removed from the market so fast? I’ll take a stab at the answer.

We live in a world having two contradicting philosophies: living green and obtaining-new-goods to keep the economy going.

This wallpaper fit the being-green philosophy, but contradicted the obtaining-new-goods to keep the economy going philosophy. Obtaining-new-goods to keep the economy going overpowered the being-green.

Another example: we obtained a new refrigerator to replace one at least 35-40 years old. The plastic shelves are cracked already.

I asked the store clerk to tell me of its expected life span. Six years was his reply after he gave me a startled look.

That is the green life we are told is desirable, good for the earth. Economics wins the competition.

So I ask: What happened to that fantastic wallpaper? 150313 IMG_9050ENOTE: The WordPress daily prompt for March 13, 2015, was Twenty-Five: There are 26 letters in the English language…Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it. (Feeling really brave? Make it a vowel!) I wrote this piece without using the letter U.


*   http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/home-and-gardening/headlines/20140103-wallpaper-makes-triumphant-return–and-theres-no-shortage-of-options.ece?nclick_check=1

About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com. My novel site is www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com.
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5 Responses to What Happened to That Fantastic Wallpaper?

  1. timelesslady says:

    I had wallpaper in my living room for years, and years and years…just as you say in your post, it lasted until we were ready to redecorate and took it down. I rarely see wallpaper in homes now; I am sure it will make a comeback one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debbie says:

    oh, the wall papers sound just like toasters, tv’s cars, fridges… everything especially made to be obsolete in five years so that the ‘economy’ keeps turning – read the super rich get super-richer –
    yet 50 years ago things were made to last 100s of years.
    no-one fixes things in the west anymore. i wanted to recycle my old tv when i bought a new one – they said they just throw them on the rubbish tip these days. once upon a time old electronics were recycled.
    i live in china where one can still get things like toasters fixed. hope it stays that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Wall | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

  4. judithhb says:

    Oh dear me built n obsolescence is how my late husband described the ‘things’ we buy now. But I do still have a divided Pyrex dish that was my mother-in-laws and we used it daily for many years. 🙂


  5. Pingback: The Concrete Wall | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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