Some things are too good to last. I long for the days when I could whip into a gas station and have my tank filled, under the hood checked, tires gauged and windshields cleaned. All this happened in five minutes — service with a smile and I never had to leave my comfy seat behind the wheel. And ... I didn’t have to leave a tip.
Now I have to choose between 15 pumps, get out and pump the gas myself in rainy weather, go stand in line to give a surly clerk my money. By that time I’ve forgotten the number of my pump and lose my place in line while I have to go back out and check.
However, some things about the good old days weren’t all that cool.
Nowadays, almost every kid has a cell phone, a stereo, a TV, a game system and a computer in his/her room — or as I like to call it — “you’ve died and gone to heaven sanctuary.”
In my good old days there was one telephone in the house and it was a party line with four other families. I had to wait for Miss Mary to get off the gossip line before I could hook up with my buds. Sometimes that could be half a day. No texting going on here. If I managed to “get the phone,” Miss Mary would always pick up and eavesdrop. There could be no secrets kept because our nosy old busybody was always (always) listening in. That was her calling — her purpose on this earth — and she did it well.
Sometimes she would get so caught up in her eavesdropping and interested in what was being said that she would forget and inject her thoughts into the conversation. Busted!
There was one television in the house — a huge monstrosity in a wooden cabinet sitting in the corner of the living room with a glorious black and white picture. It was a communal thing. You watched what the majority wanted to watch which usually consisted of my grandparents, parents and me. I hate game shows to this day. Game shows and 7-year-olds are not a match made in heaven.
And do you think there was a remote? I was the remote. By popular election I got to be the one to change the TV to the “other” channel. We had two channels in Tupelo. Well, when the weather was just right we could get a snowy illusion of Channel 5 in Memphis but the moon had to be in the seventh house or something.
I thought we were so ultra-modern and on the cutting edge of technology. Dad would reinforce this idea and regale me with tales of hardship from his good old days. He would tell me of having to walk five miles to school in snow five feet deep carrying five pounds of books with five biscuits for lunch. And, it was uphill both ways.
I’ve only recently begun to question my heritage.