Watching others as they go about their daily lives is far more riveting than anything you will ever get to see on Netflix. When I lived in the city, I could (and did) people-watch all the time. No one knows you in a city and no one ever looks back at you. Eye contact in a city is unheard of. People will go out of their way not to look back. It’s almost magical, how invisible you can become.
I remember penny candy. I remember when you could buy a chocolate bar, a pop (*) and a bag of chips for 25 cents. I remember when a postage stamp cost 8 cents. I remember listening to music on records – 45s and LPs, to be exact. Cell phones were the stuff of science fiction but you could find a telephone booth on every corner and a phone call cost a dime. I recall how scandalised everyone was when the cost of making a call in a phone booth went up to 25 cents. I remember when computers were as big as a room and almost no one had ever laid eyes on a real one, except for a handful of scientists with obscure titles. When I was in university back in the early 80s, I only called home (collect, of course) on Sunday evenings, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. because that was the only time of the week when the cost of a call was affordable.
Remember The Waltons? Back in the 70s, my family used to watch that show every Sunday night. You didn’t have dozens of TV channels to choose from back then – just two or three if the rabbit ears on your big box of a television permitted it – so just about everyone else we knew was watching it, too. The story lines were wholesome and family oriented. There was no swearing and everything usually got neatly resolved by the time the hour was up. You always felt better, just for watching. You forgot that they were characters in a TV show.
When I was a little girl, my pretty young mother used to go to parent-teacher meetings at my elementary school. To the best of my knowledge, Dad never accompanied her. Those were different times and children were primarily the mother’s responsibility. I know those meetings intimidated her: she had to quit school in her mid-teens so she could leave home and start making her way in the world and – although she later acquired her high school diploma by correspondence courses – her lack of a formal education always embarrassed her. I am sure she would have been grateful for my Dad’s company, but men didn’t ‘do’ those sorts of things back in the 60s and 70s. Continue reading “Things Mom Lost Along the Way”
The older I get, the heavier become my deepest regrets. I find myself making amends now, as often as I can: I do not want to die with the added regret of words unspoken. This is a story of a woman I met recently who must have waited too long… Poetry has never been my strong suit, but I have added – at the very end – my own plea for forgiveness…Continue reading “I’m So Sorry…”