So a few events lately make me think I might actually be becoming “old.” I refuse that position, but the signs are there. Here are some that I know of:
- You go to the movies and qualify for the senior discount. If it is more than $.50, I might even admit that I qualify, but for a small amount, that admission is totally not worth it.
- You see those “Who Remembers” and “Share if you know what this is” posts on Facebook and you actually do remember and actually did own those things. All of them!
- You realize that you were raised without lots of things people take for granted these days, including:
- No cordless phones, in fact, it was kind of cool to have a really long cord so you could go into the pantry or a close room with a door so you could have a “private” conversation.
- No party lines. We had a party line when I was growing up. That meant that you had to pick up the phone and listen to see if another household was using the shared line. I feel sorry for the people who were on our party line. There were five of us kids and once we were in junior high and high school, one of us was on the phone all the time.
- No phone numbers with letters. I vaguely remember when I was young giving your phone number as Woodman 4-1234 (or whatever your phone number was). The “Woodman” were the numbers associated with the “W” and the “O,” which were “9” and “6.”
- No remote control–like at all–no remote. The only “remote” control was your parents making you get up to turn the channels–all 5 of them (if you count the UHF channels)–with a dial that clicked through one at a time, because if you went too fast, your dad would surely be yelling at you that you were going to “break the damn TV.”
- No rabbit ears. When all the TV you had was airwaves, you had to have a set of “rabbit ears” that were inside antennas that you could adjust, put aluminum foil on, and adjust again to get a good picture. Unfortunately, we couldn’t talk my little brother into holding them juuuust so and standing there so they didn’t move and we had a perfect picture, so we usually watched a less than perfect picture.
- No device to be in contact with your parents. We actually went to school without any contact with our parents (or anyone else) unless we were in the principal’s office or with the school nurse and they called your parents. Then once we got home, we dropped our stuff, did homework if we had it, and ran outside to play. Usually you were expected back home either when you heard your mom yelling your name out the door or when the street lights came on (the universal signal to “get your butt home”).
- No research materials at home. We had to go to the library to do research for school work. If you had encyclopedias at home, they didn’t include accurate information for very long, so most families did not bother.
- You remember riding in cars with no seat belts, including lying down in the back of the station wagon or on the shelf in the back window.
But the inspiration for this list was when I was at Disneyland recently and we were waiting in a very full waiting area for our dinner reservations, a younger (probably in her 30s) woman asked me if I wanted her seat. I declined and looked at my daughter, who was doing her best to stifle a laugh. This was a real dose of reality for me. I like to think I don’t look my age, so when someone obviously thinks I do, it was really painful for me. But at least she had good manners. I’ll have to focus on that.
This list is my no means complete. Another problem with getting older is that your memory really does go. All those years and all those people saying it and I did not believe it, until I started forgetting things. Like a LOT! So I’m sure I’ve forgotten some major signs of getting old. What are the things that make you feel like you’re old? Please list those in the comments.