“The Old Days”

Some where along the line I’ve turned into one of those old folks who reminisce about when they were young. But something’s wrong. My happy memories are of the fifties and sixties, and … that wasn’t “the old days”. “The Old Days” were when people had horses and carriages not cars. The Old Days were when people wrote letters, and phone calls were, when available, made through an operator, and a long distance call was only for emergencies (or the profligate rich). In the “Old Days” people cooked on wood stoves, and electricity was for “in town”. Old Days were when grandparents were young.

Somehow I’ve turned into the old person. I’m afraid the “old days” are now “pre-internet”. The “old days” are reel to reel tapes, and maybe even cassettes. Non-digital, if not simply black and white movies, (and photos), clothing that wrinkled and needed ironing. People wore hats. Drive-in theatres. 95 cent paperbacks.  Adults all smoked. T shirts were underwear. Jeans were for working in.

We didn’t eat yogurt, the only artificial sweetener was cyclamates, there were no microwave ovens, TV dinners came in aluminum foil and you put them in the oven. There were no toaster pastries. Coke was Coke (not New or Old Coke), and you could also find Royal Crown, and Nehi, and other brands of soda. There were a LOT more brands of everything, “penny candy” cost a penny, and “ethic food” was something you only got if you lived where it came from.

Hippies are “old days”. Wow. If “Groovy” slips past my lips, I receive pitying looks. Bell bottoms are “retro”. People expect to be able to find everything from shows to commercials on the internet.

I don’t remember my youth as being in a paradise, but it was pretty damned good. We as a culture, may have kept many bad things hidden, but MY life was good. The lies our parents told us probably contributed my feeling that the world was wonderful, but I suspect that most people had a pleasant view of the world as a child and gradually learned about problems as they got older. Someday another generation who are children now may wonder how what they grew up with and seems normal was “old fashioned”. Like the child inside every older person wondering how they got old, I am trying to cope with the fact that “normal” to me is “the old days” to others.

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