Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving - Then & Now...now and then...

Holidays tend to flip the nostalgia switch in us all.

Something about holding a greasy turkey leg in one hand while scooping mashed potatoes, turnips, stuffing and a side of cranberry down our gullets with the other, stirs the way back machine with thoughts of better days.

Probably a form of hypoxia triggered by a blocked airway due to all that food jammed down our collective throats, at once.

Someone will undoubtedly bring up the time Grandma dropped the string beans down Aunt Millie's  "much too low cut" dress or when Uncle Ted chased the dog around the living room trying to rescue what was left of the pumpkin pie.

It’s also usually around this time when someone at the table starts talking about how much better things were back “then” compared to how much worse things are “now”.

How when we were kids a feast like Thanksgiving was anxiously awaited with great excitement and appreciated by all, not only for the abundance of food it brought to the table, but also the opportunity to reconvene with family and friends.

How, now, Thanksgiving is just a rehearsal for Christmas, where a lot of folks would rather ski or shop than spend the day making memories. These days, Thanksgiving doesn’t even rate a holiday commercial, much less a song. Christmas takes over the second Halloween porch lights are snuffed.

And then the talk about how when we were kids, we didn’t have (fill in whatever form of modern technology you’d like) begins.

Kids today don’t know what they’re missing!

When we were kids, we’d actually see our friends—live and in person...face to face—and play outside until our hands and feet were numb and blue.

When we were kids, we’d actually have to leave the house to see a movie...and hope it was in color.

When we were kids, we were happy to disappear into a book for hours instead of flipping through our phones or playing video games.

Kids today don’t know the excitement of what’s it’s like to go to the drug store and pick up a fat envelope of black and white pictures, only to discover after weeks of anticipation that great shot your Dad took of you doing a backflip, cannon ball off the diving board, turned out to be just a picture of his thumb, and maybe a couple of your toes...maybe.

Kids today don’t know...well, they just don’t know what we knew.

But why would they... why should they?

And did we really know, then, what we think we knew, now?

Was it really as wonderful as we’d all like to recall?

Or were we just winging it, wondering why they can’t make warmer gloves and boots, especially if our parents are going to lock us out of the house on the coldest day of the year!

And do kids today really have it that much easier than we had it...even without all of our so called character building challenges to overcome...like paying long distances charges, not to mention the limited menu selections at McDonald’s?

Because, to be honest, with all the choices available today...with everything...it’s probably waaaaay harder being a “kid today” than it ever was being a kid back then...whenever “then” was.

Do you know how many sauces are available with McNuggets...and do you really want to risk the McRib?

Back then we didn’t have a thousand at home entertainment options to cull through. All we had to know was what time the Jetson’s came on in the morning, the Flintstones at night...and the theme of this week’s Wonderful World of Disney, so we knew whether or not we had to dig out our Coon Skin caps.

I mean, now...do you have any idea what the new Twin Peaks was about...let alone the old one?

Or which Marvel characters are good guys and which are the bad.

No...you don’t.

In fact, now, you probably can’t keep track from week to week what you even watch week to week...let alone what service or device you watch it on.

So, this Thanksgiving, stop it with all the “When We Weres” and “Kids Todays”!

Because the only reason any of us say “Kids today don’t know” or “Things were so much better when”...is because we're NOT...kids today...even though we really wish we were.

I’m pretty sure most of us, if given the choice, would have happily put up with the internet, word processing, mobile phones, text messages, e-mail, streaming TV and movies on demand...not to mention a Bacon Ranch Salad with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken and a Pico Guacamole burger on the side...no matter what decade we grew up in.

And do you really want to look at a map, in or out of a moving car, if you don't have to?

Uh, uh...not me. I wouldn’t have said no to any of what kids have available today, just so I could say... “When I was a kid having my throat close up every time I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was all just part of the fun!”

So, maybe, on this Thanksgiving, whether it’s your 5th or your 105th, instead of lamenting all the good times, gone by, maybe we should just be thankful for all the good times ahead, now...not then—turnips not withstanding—and make sure we take a thousand pictures and post them on Facebook....

And leave the kids alone...unless you need them to show you how to set up your smart phone....


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  1. hope your thanksgiving was wonderful, brian!

  2. Thanks...it was all blur! But Z has a way of making it all work out...blur and all. Now on to the next blur...
    Hope yours was wonderful, as well....


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