WHY NOT WHAT NOTS? I expect many of you may not have a clue what is a WHAT NOT and this is primarily the reason for this post. For some of you around my age, you will know what a WHAT NOT is, you will look around and see plenty of them around your home. Allow me to explain for those of you who have seen these trinkets, souvenirs, etc around houses of people in my generation and those who were in the latter generations. It is the collectibles you were warned as a child to not touch or pick up. The collection may consist of valuable collectibles or junk yard quality statues. Now, it is beginning to jog your memory. The curio cabinets with all of the glassware that have filled up to the point you have to turn your head to see them all. Why would I be asking WHY NOT WHAT NOTS? I have given this some thought since this inspirational topic and I think it is significant to our current life and events going on in society.

My curio cabinet of treasures of the heart and not of the worldly value


First, I concur we can collect too many what nots but who gets to decide how many is too many. I have noticed a pattern beginning in the generation younger than me and it represents a huge difference in our lives. Have any of you noticed that when Grandma or Grandpa dies, no one is claiming the WHAT NOTS and immediately an estate or garage sale occurs. The treasures of the past (whether actually monetarily measured) go for 5o cents or up to a few dollars. What I wonder, “Does the history of the treasured WHAT NOT leave the home too?”


I am a realist and understand that younger people are not into the same collectibles as we have been. I have accepted the future of THE WHAT NOT and it is not looking bright. I want to make an analogy of my observation of the loss of the real treasure in our society. As I observe, we are now a disposable society and younger people (there are exceptions) have lost the respect for history and tradition.  See from the list I composed how would your children respond and I think you will see where I am coming from:

  • When my parents or grandparents die, I want to receive some of the what nots.
  • I stop and look at the collectible in the cabinets at your house.
  • I know the story/history of some of what nots/collectibles from listening to my parents/grandparents.
  • I am not interested in any of the stories on how or where the what nots came from.
  • I had rather collect Rock Bands/Celebrities paraphernalia than those antiques.


I LOVE LUCY collection at a beach bungalow. Yes, I heard the history behind this magnificent collection


  • yard sale 1
    Many what nots are found at garage/estate sales. History lost.

    Wonderful collection of Lucy treasures
  • Kitchen Sips and Tips
    This cast iron skillet is from 3 generations in my family.

    This antique chair has a history of its own.


    How many of you received one of these as a wedding shower gift?

    I have the first birthday present my Dad gave my Mom. Priceless to me.

I could have made the list a lot longer but you can make your own list and it may open our minds of a new way of thinking and I am not sure our disposable society will endure. Before we lay blame on the young people, let us absorb what got them to thinking in this direction. WE MAY BE THE BLAME.

Technology found its way into our generation. I remember the day I first touched a computer, DOS to say the least but that day changed my life. I found I could research all of the things I could find in a library at my desk. I stopped going to libraries. I found out I could make foods easier and I stopped cooking fresh, nutritious meals and substituted fast or frozen foods. I found out I could communicate online with emails, texts, tweets, and posts and I don’t call people as often. In this conversion, did I forget to listen to my parents and grandparents’ stories? Did you?

One more thing to think about? We are depending on DNA tests, ancestor links, but when did we ask our parents their life stories? Some of my favorite times were sitting down with my Mom and Dad and hear their adventures. Now, I ask, “When have you set aside family time to tell your story to your children?” Have you explained the history behind those WHAT NOTS in the cabinets? Did you tell them that rock you keep on the shelf was from your first time you met their Dad and it is priceless how he gave it to you? Have you explained the crochet doily was handed down from your great grandmother who could crochet even when her eyesight failed and she made it from memory?

When did we decide we had time to collect our WHAT NOT memories but not have the time to share the history behind them? We, our generation, have busied ourselves out of significance and young people found other things to occupy their minds.

Blogger’s note: I am not saying young people have to collect all of our WHAT NOTS but a few WHY DID YOU COLLECT THIS stories might give that angel on the shelf, that rock, that tiara from your beauty pageant participation, the statues from the horse shows, first place ribbon from the 4H project, and on and on. I suggest we all walk over to the curio cabinet and tell the story behind it. You may find the children or grands will find it and you more interesting. WHY NOT THE WHAT NOT? Just food for thought….Arline Miller

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known to original location for credit reference. Photos are not exclusive property of Sipping Cups and are sourced if known.



Author: sippingcupsofinspiration

A blogger since 2012, a published author of three Five Star romance novels, A MISTRESS, A WIFE and TELL ME LIES; LOVE ME STILL and RIDDLE ME THIS, LOVE OR BLISS. Still a small town girl with a lot of experience of people watching. Ten years of blogging experience.

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