Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things We Used to Do

I guess I'm getting old when I start talking about the way things used to be. I suppose every generation could create one of these lists.

We used to go to the bank on Friday night to get pocket money for the week. Either that or we'd cash a check at a local grocery, liquor or other store. This was before ATMs and at a time when communities were small enough for the local grocer or liquor store owner to know a person personally and trust that his or her check was good.

We used to get up and walk over to the T.V. to turn it on, change channels or turn down the volume. There were only 4-5 channels so surfing wasn't very rewarding and we mostly just passively watched what came over the air waves. I sometimes wonder how this "watch whatever is on" versus channel surfing has changed our cultural and psychological make up over the past 30-40 years. I doubt the general satisfaction with television is higher today than back in the 1960s or 70s.

We used to put snow tires on our cars in November and take them off in March. We had a spare pair of rear tires made specially for driving in the snow mounted on rims that we stored in the basement or garage.

We used to put a toolbox in the trunk of our car when going on a long trip since at one time it was not unreasonable for a man to fix his own car if it broke down.

We used to call one another and if nobody was home it would ring until we hung up. (A courtesy rule of thumb was to let it ring 10 times before hanging up.) There were no answering machines so if no body picked up, there was no evidence that someone had called.

For the very few of us who could afford airline tickets, men wore ties and women wore skirts and heels when flying. (Then airline deregulation happened and they let knuckleheads like you and me board dressed however we wanted).

Among the more embarrassing things we used to do:

We used to perform surgery (lobotomy) on a person's brain, believing we could cure mental illness.

We used to tell our sons to grow up to be doctors and lawyers and worse, tell our daughters to grow up and marry a doctor or a lawyer.

No comments: