Funny how people when reminiscing end their remembrances with the comment, “Ah, those were the good old days.” My folks did it, talking about going to the movie theaters, buying popcorn and a drink, sitting through two full-length features, a newsreel, and a couple of cartoons, all for just two shiny dimes, made of silver, by the way. Gasoline cost eighteen cents per gallon.
How about shave and a haircut, two bits? That was something my grandparents sang about. They too would utter, “Ah, those were the good old days.”
Facebook has groups dedicated to various locales, named typically as, “You know you are from (Any Town, U.S.A.) if…,” where folks post pictures and anecdotes about the way things were way back then, followed by threads of comments made by members with many “Ah, those were the good old days.”
It’s all relative. Most reminiscing is about when an individual was young, full of energy and drive, had a head full of hair, a taut derriere and could see their shoes when looking down while standing up.
During the good, old days, they didn’t worry about how gravity effects parts of one’s anatomy, or how every day brings something else about which to complain, and claiming society in the past cared more about one another.
Often well-meaning friends pass on e-mails about how things were in the good, old days. I just got one the other day from a fellow baby boomer, with observations like:
You’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny made with real copper, looking to see if it was a minted in 1943.
Your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
Your car’s windshield got cleaned, oil checked and gas was pumped for free every time. Air for the tires was also free, and a customer got trading stamps to boot.
Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.
Being taken out to dinner at a real restaurant by your parents was considered a great privilege.
Schools threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed, and they did it.
Remember lying on your back in the grass with your friends and saying things such as, “That cloud looks like a _________ (you fill in the blank)”?
Kids could play baseball without adults watching and enforcing the rules of the game.
Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had tried yet to poison a perfect stranger.
The list goes on, but I’m sure you get the idea. Generation X and Y join in by remarking the fun times they spent hanging out at malls, video arcades, watching Nickelodeon and MTV.
One thing that’s striking is the fact that all the aforementioned generations were brought up in times before the illustrious Internet, for which Millennials and Generation Z’ers are not familiar with living without it and what to do with themselves when the batteries in their smartphones go dead without a charger in sight.
This makes me wonder about what the latter generations are going to reminisce, because for them, these are the good old days.
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