Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 Reasons Why it was Better “Back in the Day”

I'm SO going to sue you for this.

1. Back in the day, you could eat bacon freely. It was the world’s tastiest meat product and we celebrated that obvious fact. Now we have to watch out for nitrates, fat and salt not to mention the pig’s welfare. Back in the day, bacon didn’t come from an animal. It just existed and it was plain delicious.

2. Back in the day, you could drink during the daytime. Nobody cared. Nobody judged. And we’re not talking a dainty glass of wine over lunch. We’re talking a hefty martini or scotch on the rocks, during your workday, in your office, with clients! No guilty conscience, no drunk driving. Hell, there wasn’t even hangovers back then. You just drank and smoked cigarettes simply because you could.

3. Back in the day, kids weren’t so important. They sat at separate tables and were told to speak when spoken to. They didn’t wear little t-shirts with the names of Ivy League schools. They didn't attend private schools or take personal tennis lessons. They weren’t the second coming, photos plastered all over the Internet. They were just kids, with snotty noses and dirty clothes, running around like little wild beasts.

4. Back in the day, you were stuck in a deadbeat relationship for the entirety of your miserable life. You didn’t go to couples counseling or “process” with your partner. You didn’t have to endure a painful search for a new mate online. You put on a good show for the public, wore a constantly strained smile, and cleaned up the broken glass behind closed curtains. 

5. Back in the day, you didn’t answer your phone. It just rang and rang and you didn’t answer because you didn't have to, damnit. You didn’t know who it was anyway, so why take the chance? Now you know exactly whose calling. And you know they know you know who’s calling. Sure you can ignore the call, but everyone knows you're ignoring their call.

6. Back in the day, you were just crazy. There was no fancy label for it. You didn’t have bipolar or narcissistic personality disorder or ADHD or borderline. You just did your own thing, as a crazy person. Sure people talked behind your back but what did you care? You were batshit crazy and too busy arguing with the voices in your head. There was no lengthy discussion with overpriced therapists or medication. Just good old-fashioned lunacy. The public at large was forced to make room for you and your nuttiness.

7. Back in the day, bigotry was out in the open. People spoke of their hate, no matter how ignorant. Sure, it was disturbing but at least it was out in the open. Now it’s buried under a cloak of political correctness and nobody knows who is really bigoted. Even the bigoted people don’t know if they’re really bigoted anymore.

8. Back in the day, there was no teen pregnancy. Or cancer. People just quietly went away. Sometimes they came back, sometimes they didn’t. If they came back, the problem was magically solved and no questions asked. Skeletons remained happily in closet and no one was the wiser. 

9. Back in the day, people kicked each other's ass routinely. Sometimes they did it just for fun on a drunken Friday night. It usually started with a “Hey, you’re out of line.” And then the fighting would ensue. Now there are lawsuits and hospital expenses and anger management classes dampening our natural urge to occasionally level another human being.

10. Back in the day, you had personal contact with people. You had to deal with their messy humanness, their bad breath or poor taste in fashion. You had to be around them for prolonged periods of time, where you went from liking them to wanting to kill them to liking them again.

Now we're sterile and we electronically connect. Sometimes we develop entire relationships with people online not even knowing if they wear cheap cologne or have hair growing out of their nose. We call it connection but we go to sleep, lonely, wanting more. Sigh.

Thanks to Ruby Lawrence for her contributions!

Beth and Ruby contemplating old days

1 comment:

Karin Rego said...

I yearn for "back in the day" (even if I wasn't yet born when a 3 Martini lunch and a side of cigarettes was considered de rigueur). I still yearn for those days - just the same...