The older I get, the more apparent it is that I live in a time warp. This may be amusing to readers (and spouses), but it’s particularly confusing (and frustrating) for children. Modern children.
You see, I’m finding that I do things that aren’t done anymore. I expect to see things that are no longer performed. I anticipate reactions that are no longer felt. I judge people because certain rituals aren’t respected.
And now, those people are judging me.
What am I talking about? Let’s take death for example. As I was deciding between cherry wood and silver steel caskets, a vault with a 66-year warranty and one guaranteed for 100 (as if I’d ever know), I began to ponder the type of church service we should have for my aunt. Based on the drive to and from Greenbrier County, I chose to hold everything in one day: visitation, funeral, burial.
“Whatever happened to double visitations? One from 2-4 pm, and another from 6-8 pm?” I asked the director.
“Oh, it still happens on occasion,” he explained. “But most people don’t do that anymore.”
“And some families now choose to bury their loved one first, then go on to a place for the memorial, and then greet everyone at a reception.”
Who does that? I asked.
“The Presbyterians,” he replied.
Right. I knew that. I am a Presbyterian. (Note to husband: This is the type of service I want: Bury me, remember me, and have a round of drinks on me.)
Last week, I was glazing a “sympathy ham” for a colleague who had lost her mother. A friend asked if that was a good idea. Why not? Isn’t that funeral etiquette? Send a ham?
“What if they don’t like ham?” she asked. “What if they’re vegetarians? What if they’re allergic to that nut glaze you’re pouring all over it?”
I began to panic. “What do I do now? Send a fruit plate?”
“That’s why nobody does it anymore!”
So, let us move out of the chapel. I recently walked down Capitol Street and passed at least 15 women dressed in business attire…to a point. Not one of them wore hose. I knew it was becoming popular to kick off the sheers in August…but in April?
I met the same girlfriend for lunch. “Do women not wear hose anymore? Not even under a skirt? In 50 degree weather?”
My friend waved me off. “Nobody does that anymore.”
Not even in cold weather? Not even to support a shifting backside? Not even at 50? I meant years of age in addition to temperature.
Now that I’ve criticized all of the grown-ups, let’s focus our attention on high school students. As you can imagine, I’m unprepared for class.
A. Reports are now submitted via the internet and run through a plagiarism website to receive a score before submitting to the teacher.
B. Research is most often conducted via apps on cell phones.
C. Most desks or tables have “drops” to plug in laptops for note taking. If too much text appears on the screen (not a chalkboard), students take pictures of the information with those phones.
D. Kids don’t call each other on the telephone anymore. They text or tweet.
E. Most textbooks are purchased in electronic version, downloaded onto a device such as an iPad, and highlighted with a neon yellow cursor.
F. Tickets are a thing of the past. Kids get electronic confirmations that they have seats to events, which they present on their phones at the door.
Now this is something I have experienced. When I purchased “tickets” to see the Eagles in concert, I was told that I would need to show my credit card at the door, which would be swiped for admittance into the show. As if this puts my mind at ease.
So, while my daughters are adapting to and functioning in a changing world, I’m going to stay at home with their father and watch old movies. We should be able to rent some good ones from RedBox at Kroger. You know…because nobody does that anymore.