Monday, May 02, 2005

An e-mail

Here's an e-mail, received this morning from a conservative reader. I like to post these from time to time because I think they capture a sense of fear and frustration that struggles to be heard in the culture.

Is the writer appealing to a nostalgic myth of the past? I think so. Does this statement leave out horrors (public lynchings) and injustices (second-class citizenship for many Americans)? Yes. Are some of the "facts" represented here inaccurate or deliberately misleading. Sure.

But I don't put it up to mock it. There is a yearning for something better here, a yearning for civility and respect. I think the writer takes a narrow, resentful view of things, and I disagree with the glib "Red State Manifesto" tone. But there is an appreciation for simplicity here, too, and a protest that everyone should attempt to understand.

How old is Grandma?

Stay with this -- the answer is at the end -- it will blow you away.

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events. The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The Grandma replied, "Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:
§ television,
§ penicillin,
§ polio shots,
§ frozen foods,
§ Xerox,
§ contact lenses,
§ Frisbees and
§ the pill.

There was no:
§ radar,
§ credit cards,
§ laser beams or
§ ball-point pens.

Man had not invented:
§ pantyhose,
§ air conditioners,
§ dishwashers,
§ clothes dryers,
§ and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and
§ man hadn't yet walked on the moon.

Your Grandfather and I got married first-and then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, 'Sir'- and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, "Sir.'

We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios.

And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan ' on it, it was junk.

The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.

Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, a cup of coffee, and a Coke, were all a nickel.

And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600 but who could afford one?

Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day:
"grass" was mowed,
"coke" was a cold drink,
"pot" was something your mother cooked in and
"rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby.
"Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office,
" chip" meant a piece of wood,
"hardware" was found in a hardware store and
"software" wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap... and how old do you think I am?

I bet you have this old lady in are in for a shock!

Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time.

This Woman would be only 58 years old!