I had an interesting conversation with a nice young couple, the other day. They were both around 15 years my junior, and started to talk about how “things had changed since they were young”. As they shared their thoughts, I also shared mine. This was my family, but many of my friend’s families also did the same things. It was funny to watch the reactions as I mused over some of these (in no particular order):
- Smoking – lots of people smoked, back in the day. It was everywhere. My parents smoked too. There were smoking sections, you could smoke on a plane, all restaurants, and even when you walked into a bank. The tellers even had ashtrays at all their wickets. So glad this has changed.
- Peanut allergies/lactose intolerance/organic food – What the heck were those? Food that came from the ground and therefore, it was “organic”.
- One car – that’s it…and, we survived just fine.
- Dinner table – we had dinner together virtually every night. And, you couldn’t leave the table until everything on your plate was finished. There were no separate meals for different individuals. You ate what everyone else did, or you didn’t eat.
- Playing outside – this was not optional…it was mandatory.
- Roaming privileges – I would never dream of doing this today. But, when I was young, my parents would say, “Go outside and play”. Then, they’d tell me what time to be home and that’s it. Oftentimes, they had no idea where I was or what I was doing. That is so hard to fathom now.
- TV time – this was usually always family time in our household. Mom would sit in “her” chair. My Dad would lay on the couch, and I lay at the end, behind him, with my head on his legs. It was a vivid and fond memory.
- Seat belts – I distinctly remember driving from Kingston, Ontario to Ottawa, Ontario…laying in the back window of the car…waving at vehicles behind me. And, if Dad braked hard, you’d bounce around the car like everyone else.
- TV remote control – I was the remote control, until we really became technologically advanced and bought one those remote control boxes that had the wire that went from the TV all the way to my Dad’s chair.
- Neighbourly drop-ins’ – back then, you could drop in on a neighbour without planning or texting, in advance. This is unheard of nowadays.
I’m sure there are many more things that I can’t recall. Life is different now, but some things are still important to me, and I hope they always will be.