Post last updated: January 4th, 2019

As I approach my 65th birthday, there seems to be a conspiracy afoot to make me feel OLD.


As I approach my 65th birthday, a conspiracy is afoot to make me feel OLD.

I went into a big box store for a broom. What I wanted wasn’t on the broom racks. I consulted two clerks who were nearby. When I asked for a “regular” broom I got blank looks as though I had asked them for a manual typewriter and really, just what was a typewriter? See what I mean? It was a conspiracy to make me feel old.

I couldn’t describe a regular broom to them.  I just knew I had always owned one and I sure hoped it hadn’t followed that manual typewriter into the black hole.

Finally, the guy said, “You mean like a straw broom?” He emphasized straw as though I had asked for a broom right out of the Middle Ages.

“Yes, yes, that’s it!” I exclaimed.

They looked over the broom rack and decided there MIGHT be such an antiquated broom somewhere in the dimmest reaches of the back room. The clerk who knew about straw brooms turned to the other one and they seemed to synchronize their walkie-talkies as though the One With Knowledge was about to begin a trek into the unknown and might need back-up.

My wrinkles were getting deeper by the minute and I was now fearful that if I hung around, a dinosaur might bust out of the stock room door from whatever black hole this guy disturbed.

“I’ll be in the paper towel aisle if you find it,” I told him and promptly took the remains of my shriveling self-esteem with me before I admitted to these youngsters that I still drove a car that required a key for the ignition.

I hadn’t been in the paper towels very long when the clerk reappeared with a big grin on his face while dragging a large cardboard box.

“I only want one,” I told him.  I also thanked him for his efforts but you know my heart wasn’t in it. He made me feel OLD and it was all I could do not to ask, “Slay any dinosaurs, did you?”


33 thoughts on “I WANT A BROOM”

  1. I am the proud owner of a straw broom TOO ! I like them because they – gasp – sweep ! My husband, before he knew for sure I was a straw broom woman, kept trying to get me to use one of the angled nylon bristled ones … and that was after he cut the bristles down to about 3″. How can you sweep with that ? So I’m glad they went into the unknown and found a decent broom for you. You are NOT old. They are just uneducated – at least in history.

    1. Ginny – They are surely uneducated in history but we didn’t have to learn certain parts of history. We lived it! I have no use for those angle brooms. I also use a swiffer-like broom with that microfiber cloth that can be washed over and over. Most excellent. But those angle brooms? They should have given the straw to the birds for nest building.

  2. I see brooms at Home Depot, Lowes, Krogers, Meijers and sometimes the dollar stores. Not all are straw but they are of the bristles attached to plastic base with long handle models. some are outrageous in color and price too. No plugs ins…no cable service, no passwords to operate. Man power only. Old tymie craft shows offer handmade straw brooms at prices that require loan payments. Avoid them. Those brooms are made for display purposes only. No God fearing Amish will sweep up horse pies with a $50 broom.

    1. Loysetta – The God fearing Amish MIGHT sweep up the horse pies with a $50 broom if they made it themselves for next to nothing. I have one angle broom with PLASTIC parts and it sits in the corner. Useless.

  3. Lol! See, I would have called it a corn broom. And probably no one would have a clue. I knew what you meant. BTW, there is a man at the Ozark Folk Center who makes the brooms from hand. They are beautiful and meant to LAST. I find that the newer ‘corn brooms’ wear down to nubs. Check this out: http://www.laffing-horse.com/

    1. Doolittle, I’ll bet “corn broom” is the correct name but I couldn’t think of ANY appropriate names for the broom of my choice when I was in the heat of the moment. It just wasn’t THERE and I was upset because I had needed it for days. I had retired mine to the greenhouse because the greenhouse broom went missing.

  4. I still have a Straw broom, never heard term corn broom. It sweeps great, also use the top end of strand to see if a cake is done. My mother taught me that and boy it works great. Glad you found the broom.

    1. Nancy – Whether you Google straw broom or corn broom, the same image comes up. Remembering either one of those names would have probably made my shopping easier. I use a toothpick to test cake.

  5. Cute post! I experienced a parenting-fail when I had to explain to my kids the concept of an iron. You know, that chunky thing that heats up and is pressed over clothes to remove wrinkles? That one. My kids – not a clue. Had never seen one in use before. Luckily, they are all to familiar with the concept of “broom”, and not those wimpy plastic ones with the bristles that fold if you try to use it to dislodge a dried Cheerio stuck to the floor. When they were little, we had the big Mommy broom and the little kid-size broom, both made of straw, (and both equally suitable for flying around the neighborhood.)

    1. Ah Sofie — the real writer! Published! I still use an iron and know where it is at all times. Odd, I know. Most women have abandoned them. I have no use for the wimpy plastic brooms and the only reason I don’t fly mine around the ‘hood is my tendency to hang from a Crooked Moon.

  6. I bought a ewbank for my student room because the one vacuum between a lot of rooms keeps breaking down, just doesn’t suck up properly and is never there when I need it. My friends look at it in amazement because they’ve never seen one but my Nan recommended it.

    1. Charlotte – Most of the vacuums sold in the U.S. aren’t worth squat, either. About 20 years ago, I finally went to a vacuum STORE and bought one that the woman promised would suck up good and last long enough to be passed down to my heirs. So far, she’s been right. Good to hear from you!

  7. brooms do seem to have gone out of fashion, people feel they have to have those terrible noisy blowing things. I love brooms, they are very calming as they talk to you, swish, swish. As for getting old – I always think there’s only one way out, and maybe wrinkles are the better option?

    1. Catmint – I, too, do not like noisy blowing contraptions. I live in a very quiet house because that’s the way I want it. Ditto for driving my car. I have what I call a “sports” watch. One of those decorative watches with a colored leather band and a big watch face. I can hear it ticking when I’m at home. Yep, think wrinkles are better than being 6 feet under.

  8. I am sure the young whipper snappers wondered if you were planning on taking to the skies with your “real” broom. Next time describe it as the kind of broom the Wicked Witch of the West uses. Although they are probably too young to have seen the original Wizard of Oz movie.

    1. Priss – I don’t know for sure but I probably have only a few handfuls of whipper snappers reading my adventures. I told them, quick enough, what a “real” broom was. Besides, I can’t remember what the broom of the Wicked Witch looked like. You know I don’t have a memory. I can’t believe you still expect me to have one.

  9. I love my straw brooms. We have three of them. My favorite looks a bit like your traditional witch’s broom. Now that is old!

  10. Ha, quite the funny story! That’s like the old-fashioned plastic toy telephones that toddlers used to pull around (and the eyes wiggled, remember that one?). My kids couldn’t even identify it as a telephone. My daughter once asked me why we call it ‘hanging up’ after a telephone call, and I realized that none of our telephones actually ‘hang up’ any more. That made me feel dated. We do own several different types of brooms, though, including a straw one.

    1. Indie — Remember transistor radios that came out in the 60’s and 70’s? Your children won’t believe that one, either, because they can listen to music on their cell phone. Everything makes me feel dated these days. I’m turning 65 in late November and have LIVED history that the younger generations can’t relate to at all.

  11. You are not old Miz Chairman. I was 6 yrs old when you were born. When something was difficult to my Mama, she would say this is like sweeping with a new broom. I still use a straw broom just like hers and it sweeps good cause its’ old like me.
    Just this past week, I explained to my 14 yr. old grandson, how tobacco on our farm was harvested then strung on a stick with twine and hung in a barn and cooked off. I helped my Daddy unload that barn and take the tobacco off those sticks, and pack it up on huge crocker bag squares and tied up. Daddy would then take all of it to a warehouse in town for selling. It seems like yesterday. It was a memory that seemed to fascinate him.

    1. Well, Farmpest, that IS a fascinating memory. I don’t blame your grandson. I do feel old, though, when so many consumer items that were a part of my world are unknown oddities to the young people I run into in stores. I’ve gotten to where I like hanging out in my ‘hood because it’s full of senior citizens who share my history. BTW, I took a couple of soap classes and bought all the stuff I needed to make soap. In April 2016. Haven’t made a bar yet. I’m like the cowardly lion in Wizard of Oz.

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