Post # 1
I was talking with my mother the other day and she commented on how I treat Pinterest as an online hope chest too much. I had no idea what a hope chest was until I googled it and found out that a hope chest was a chest back in the olden days where a girl would put stuff in that would be useful for her future marriage (If she didn’t get married, I don’t know what she would do with that stuff, I assume nowadays you could just use the stuff for when you move out on your own.)
So basically, it got me wondering… Does anyone have a hope chest? Does anyone’s mother, grandmother or ancestor have a hope chest, do you agree that Pinterest is sort of becoming like a modern hope chest of sorts for some women like my mother says? (planning their future wedding and their dream houses and gathering homemaking related stuff). Maybe my mother is telling me to lay off Pinterest for a while, especially since I’m not even engaged yet and probably won’t for another year or two depending on how my career stabilizes.
I’m guessing hope chests are sort of a dying tradition since it seems like most of the stuff that are often kept in hope chests can be used by women who begin living on their own which obviously is a socially acceptable thing for a woman to do nowadays. Maybe modern day hope chests would be not really stuff for marriage, but suited for stuff when you live on your own or go off to college since not everyone gets married and the stuff you put in hope chests are useful if you start living on your own.
Yeah, I don’t know exactly what board to put this under, but I decided traditions since it is a tradition, but I am curious if anyone has heard of a hope chest or has a hope chest in this day and age.
Post # 2
Hope chests were very practical because a woman would often arrive in a marriage with little to nothing of her own. It was a lot less frequent for people to move out on their own and have independent lives before marriage; they’d go directly from family home to spousal home. I do know people who still do hope chests, but they’re friends who belong to an extremely conservative religious order where their whole identity is tied to homemaking and they’re typically married before 22 or thereabouts. Sewing projects, baby clothes, family heirloom quilts, plus little decorations and things they want on their mantlepiece when they move into a new home.
I don’t think Pinterest is a good analogue for that.
Post # 3
ladyspectrum : That’s an interesting way of looking at it. One big difference though is that the hope chest contains actual stuff. Pinterest is things you want, a hope chest is things you have. When my husband’s grandma passed away, her hope chest went to her oldest granddaughter. I agree with you that it’s a dying tradition.
Post # 4
ladyspectrum : Pinterest is just a wishful thinking list, to me. Nothing you pin there is something that you can take with you in reality to your marriage. As mentioned above, we’re talking about quilts and doilies and the like with a real hope chest. And yes, my grandmother did have one, it’s in my mom’s room now. I did not, but I did have some inherited things that were mine, to go for when I got married, like a quilt and good china that was my grandma’s. Had I not gotten married, I presume I’d have still been given them when I purchased a permanent home. They were just in storage at my parents’ house.
Post # 5
I think I have more of a ‘hope rubbermaid’ lol. Theres a few items I’ve collected over the years, and have always dreamed of having a nice cedar chest to put things in but have never been able to afford one.
Post # 6
My mom has a hope chest, but she uses it to store priceless/sentamental posessions and memorabilia (photos, keepsakes, etc.). Like you, I use Pinterest to help plan and organize things (home improvements, clothes, recipes, and yes, bridal planning stuff), but some are posts are just wishful thinking, not actual “I am going to buy and use this in the future” things.
Post # 7
I have one! My dad made it for me when I was a little girl and I take it with me wherever I go (I even made space for it in my dorm room). Mine is fairly large so during my senior year of high school, I crammed it full of things for my dorm room. After moving back home, my FI (bf at the time) decided to move in together so we filled the chest with home necessities. It now sits at the end of our bed FULL of wedding related things that we have been acquiring for about the last year or so.
Mine is obviously very sentimental to me because my dad made it with his own hands especially for me. I plan to fill it with baby items when the day comes and then use it as a way to store special things for our children and eventually pass it on to one of them.
Post # 8
DisneyHoneyBee22 : oh I use it for “I’m gonna buy this and use it for the future things”
Post # 9
I think this is a very sweet tradiiton and I could see doing something like this for my (future) children, because I have inherited a lot of ancestral jewelry and what not.
…But the first time I heard the words ‘hope chest’ was in a less inoccent context on ‘Mad Men.’ I believe that was a reference to a suitcase/bag a woman would have with her in the event that she slept over at a date’s house. 🙂
Post # 10
ladyspectrum : I’m Australian born but my parents migrated as small children from Italy with their parents. (My grandparents) My siblings and I all had a hope chest of sorts which both of my grandmothers contributed to over the years. Every time they found good quality linen ware, bedding, tablecloths, towels etc they would buy them in quantity for each of their grandchildren. They would also make stuff like crotchet blankets or tablecloths to add to the collection.
It is/was pretty custom for this to happen within my migrant background. Younger generations don’t but older ones did. I actually loved receiving my hope chest when I got married. My grandmother’s have passed and every time I use one of the things from my hope chest, it reminds me of these two very different but amazing women who shaped who I am and I really feel the link to my past and heritage. Lots of this stuff was from many years ago and the quality is amazing. They just don’t make them like they used to with linen type items. So not only are they lovely but it causes us to think of these people when their items make its way into use. It also makes you realise how lucky you are to have been thought of by these women and how much they loved you. Ours was never dependant on when we got married. It was for life when you establish a home of your own. My grandparents did it for both boys and girls which isn’t so customary. I had traditional but modern grandma’s!! 😉 It may be outdated to some but to me it’s a beautiful tradition…
As for Pinterest being a modern substitute, I actually don’t think that is true. Its stuff you pin that you like. A true hope chest is home making stuff you or others purchase/make to put aside for your future.
Post # 11
- Wedding: April 29th, 2016
ladyspectrum : Hope chests used to be a big thing and some of my cousins (mid 20s) still have/had them. My mom told me to start one but all I bought were two baby outfits that I thought were cute lol Some women buy things like lingerie, bedding, china, etc. to go in theirs. It’s a nice idea, I just never really got all the way on board. It was fun making a registry with my husband and picking things out together, so I wouldn’t have really used one for future housewares. I don’t think you can really compare Pinterest because it’s just a site/app for inspiration and ideas.