One night, a grandson asked his grandmother what she thought was different today than it was when she was a child. The grandmother replied, “Let me think a minute. Well, let’s see. I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, contact lenses, frisbees and birth control pills. There weren’t any credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens yet.
Man still hadn’t invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers or walked on the moon. We were raised to get married first, and then live together. Until I was 25, I called everyone older than me ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Sir’. After I turned 25, I said it to everyone. I came before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, day-care and group therapy.
Our lives were governed by the ten commandments, good judgement, and common sense. We were taught the difference between right and wrong, and to take responsibility for our actions. To serve our country was both an honour and a privilege. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with my cousins.
Time-sharing meant the time that family spent together in the evenings and on weekends, not purchasing condominiums. We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD’s, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. We listened to big bands, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Don Messer and the Prime Minister’s speeches on our radios.
The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on school exams or job applications. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and instant coffee were unheard of. Ice-cream cones, phone calls and an ice cold Pepsi were all ten cents. You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600, and gas was just a dime a gallon.
In my day ‘grass’ was mowed, ‘coke’ was drank, ‘pot’ was something cooked in and ‘rock music’ was a lullaby. ‘Aids’ were teaching assistants, ‘chip’ meant a piece of wood, ‘hardware’ was found in a hardware store and ‘software’ wasn’t even a word. I am of the last generation to actually believe that women needed a husband to have a baby.
So, I guess when I start to compare things, almost everything has changed since I was a kid.” The boy looked at her with wonder, and asked, “Gosh grandma, just how old are you?” She smiled at him and replied, “Why, sweetie, I’m 59 years old.” (she was born in 1952)