Older people always reminisce about the good old days. About how great things were back in the day. They can’t help but comment on how different things are today. ‘Different’ being used as a synonym for “it’s-really-gone-to-shit”, off course.
As kids we were bombarded by tales and urban legends of how awesome and simple things were when our parents grew up. We used to roll our eyes when they would start to talk about all the stuff they did, around the time when dinosaurs roamed earth.
For everything we don’t know about the meaning of life, the one thing we do know is that life has a twisted sense of humour. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. This epiphany normally occurs in the middle of a serious discussion with your teenage kids when it dawns on you that you sound exactly like your parents. When, in a moment of weakness, you utter the words you promised yourself you never would:
“You know what, when I was your age…”
And we use the words only because it’s true. Things were very different when I grew up. Albeit in an era that was post-Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In the good ole days we walked to school. Walking is that odd thing you do with your legs when you put one foot in front of the other. Even when it rained. At least we had rain coats back then. Car pooling didn’t exist. The choices were walking or walking in the rain. Some of us even had to take a bus…the horror!
In the good old days we ate peanutbutter-and-jelly-sandwiches for lunch and a decent home cooked meal for dinner. Mainly because most families didn’t require a double income. Moms were moms. They didn’t need to organise transport to the thousand-and-one extra-curricular activities kids have to do today. Activities that could change the course of history like learning how to play the clarinet at age three.
In the good old days we called all fathers Sir! and even used a capital letter when we addressed them. Because anyone of them had the legal right to whip your arse into a frenzy if they caught whiff of you disrespecting them. Not even to mention the father of the girl you are planning to date. That’s a whole different ballgame. And post.
In the good old days kids didn’t automatically received a car when they reached an age where they were allowed to drive because that was why bicycles was invented.
In the good old days we had real friends who visited each other every so often to engage in actual face-to-face discussions. Not fake friends that require a poke just to get their attention. In my day poking was optional and never occurred on the first date.
In the good old days dining implied a family sitting in a restaurant having conversations about life, school and all the things they hate about parents. It didn’t start off with kids complaining about the fact that there is no Wi-Fi and then progress into an evening where they spend a copious amount of money on data, listening to some random seventeen-year-old kid on Youtube, who is sharing all of the wisdom as per his extensive experience.
In the good old days kissing on the first date was actually a thing most of us got excited about, thereby giving meaning to the phrase “Never kiss and tell.” Getting to first base implied that you could break rule #1 and tell every single one of your friends. Boob touching was big. And not necessarily a given fact. I’m not even talking about that other thing…
Just like our parents who had to accept that some things improve with time, so do we have to accept our new reality today. I have to admit, the modern age did bring along a few of life’s little pleasures.
Improvements in web based activities imply that I can write ramblings and post it online for anyone to read, like and even comment on. Some can even self-publish their books, flipping the bird on all the wealthy authors out there. Because now one can achieve the title of a published author and still remain poor.
Improvement in technology implies that I can now go for a jog and listen to Britney hitting me one more time without clipping a bulky Walkman to my belt. I can actually listen to the song over and over and over again, without touching the device. Which helps because I’m not really allowed to touch my device in public, as per condition of my restraining order. Now I just click the round thing on my bluetooth earphones.
Improvement in social networking implies that I don’t need to manage a birthday calendar on the side, trying my utmost not to forget anyone special and look like a jerk in the process. Facebook keeps me informed of birthdays as well as a ton of other shit I don’t need to know.
Improvement in telecommunications imply that I can communicate instantaneously and effortlessly with all the important people in my life wherever and whenever I find myself as a result of this awesome/crap job I have now. It also provides me with an opportunity to ignore the idiots in my life thanks to caller ID.
And an improvement in medicine implies that I never have to suffer the humiliation of bending over and have some pervert, with a latex glove, shove his finger up my arse, using a “prostate” examination as his excuse. Take me blood please.
And that my friends is pretty, FRIGGING awesome.