January 3, 2014

How Old is Grandma?

By Richard J. Schillig, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor

Things have changed in our lifetimes folks, but we really don’t appreciate how much they have changed. A recent spam email emphasized these changes. Thought you would enjoy this conversation grandma had with grandson. One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events. The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about all the shootings at schools, the computer age and just things in general.

The grandmother replied, “Well, let me think a minute. I was born before: television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill.” Grandma continued in answer to her grandson’s question about her thoughts on current events. “When I was born there were no credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. When I was born, man had not yet invented panty-hose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers. AND the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air. Man had not yet walked on the moon.”

“Your see, Grandson, 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 me, ‘Sir.’ And after 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.

When I was born, we were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up to take responsibility for our actions. Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege. 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.

When I was born, we never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt or guys wearing earrings. We listened to Big Bands 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 street cars and a Pepsi were all 5 cents. And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your 5 cents on enough stamps to mail one letter and two post cards. You could buy a new Ford coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad because gasoline was 19 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. 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. How old do you think I am?

Folks, I bet you have a real elderly lady in mind. You are in for a shock! This woman would be only 61 years old, born in 1952. Not yet eligible for Social Security retirement and four years before Medicare eligibility. Gives you something to think about. Pass this on to the old ones – the young ones wouldn’t believe it.

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Filed Under: Family, Humor