I like today, the way we are now. Sure, there are things I miss about the past. I am sentimental about some aspects of society which are gone but not forgotten.
But I prefer to celebrate what’s new and current and enjoyable. Let’s not mourn the past but enjoy with both hands all there is to savor today.
Here’s a list of just some of the reasons why I believe that now is better than the good old days.
1. Coffee – My junior year of college I went to Spain and fell in love with the coffee. I came home to Maxwell House. I couldn’t find that espresso jolt anywhere, I yearned for a Café con leche. I got the occasional fix when I brought students to France. Then Seattle gave birth to Starbucks and as they spread across the land, independents and other chains followed suit. Espresso machines popped up in restaurants. You can get great coffee in a drive thru. Thank you coffee world!
2. Pedicures – The day before I left for my year in Spain I got a pedicure at the beauty salon in downtown Marshall Fields. It was an unheard of luxury and I didn’t get my next one for more than 20 years. My girls actually got me to take them to the ubiquitous inexpensive nail salons that popped up all over the suburbs about 15 years ago. Now my girlfriend and I go together at least once a month. My feet are so grateful.
3. Online dating – When I was in High School and college, I dated a bit. I wasn’t that good at it, hence the first marriage. The second time around I was in my 40’s and teaching Jr. High. Where to meet men? Online! I dated a bit and met the love of the my life to whom I am still blissfully married. So grateful we didn’t have to go to a Matchmaker!
4. Ethnic foods – Growing up the only restaurants that weren’t strictly American were take out Chop Suey places. If you wanted more, you had to go to the city of Chicago to very specific neighborhoods. Even when I taught and I sponsored a field trip to Miss Saigon, there was a very contained area in the city where we could have Vietnamese food before the show. Americans now celebrate all kinds of ethnic foods. I can get it at Marianos, there are three Asian fusion restaurants minutes from my home and Mexican food is seen as American. My tummy is very happy.
5. Confidence as a woman – Senior year in High School I ran for Spanish National Honor Society President. Whoever got the second number of votes would be VP. My opponent was a boy. My campaign speech was “Vote for him, he’s a boy, we need a guy President and I will be VP.” Yes, I really did say those words and no one that I knew thought it was odd. Now women would never say that and are in all jobs. I love not feeling like a second class citizen and see that my girls never did. It’s a marvelous time to be a woman.
6. 100% cotton – When I started quilting it was not so easy to find 100% cotton fabric, some of my early quilts have white solids in them that is definitely not all cotton. Now it’s plentiful and there are so many great tools and ways of quilting by machine. I love being a quilter in 2014.
7. Consumer reviews – I rarely agree with restaurant critics and even less with movie critics, the professional ones. But I love peer reviews where the content is generated by consumers. I can read a bunch of different ones on Yelp and come up with a balanced view of a restaurant or store. I can read Movie blogs and find out what real people think about a film. Plus, me, little Ms. I have an opinion about everything, can publish my own ratings as well. It’s a liberating time to be a customer.
8. Keyless entry – I used to have to paw through my purse, sometimes empty it onto the pavement to find my keys. Yes, I should have been more organized and today, I am. But there is keyless entry for cars. It’s the best thing in the car world. I can unlock my car from my second floor condo, pop the trunk and my husband can even start his. I love this indulgence.
9. Child safety – When my younger sister was a baby she pretty much just bounced around in the car. We played on blacktop and had sweaty Halloween masks that didn’t let us see or breathe. I love having a grandchild with protection in my home. I still have to watch her like crazy but she can’t turn on the stove, get the cabinets open or slip out the front door. I just have to deal with the food, diapers and general chaos but she is safe. Thank you clever inventors!
10. Google – We used to have our memories and The World Book if we had a question. I loved the World Book but to find out what the name of the dog on The Jetsons it wasn’t that handy. Plus am I not getting younger. (I know!) My google calendar is my new memory. I have it synced with my husband’s, my oldest daughter’s and my son in law’s. I may forget an appointment or a birthday but Google does not. Thanks, Ms. Google. (That’s the name of the inventor, yes?)
I have as big a rear view mirror as anyone else. I am nostalgic about my childhood, sentimental about my own girls and really miss Marshall Fields. (I mean really miss it.) But life keeps steam rolling ahead with changes and lots of them are pretty good.
Especially the coffee. I will drink to that!
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If you just started reading this blog you may have missed my story of how I met my dear hubby online. Read it here.