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Today is my birthday. I am 39 – again (it worked for Jack Benny.) I have decided that I will stay 39 for a few more years.

When you turn 39, people tell you that you are still young, rather than “you should be grateful to live this long.”

When you turn 39, your children don’t tell you that wearing a mini-skirt is just gross. So 39 it is. That is my story and I’m sticking to it.

I also decided that I am no longer going to hang with anyone younger than me. You have to explain too much to younger people.

People my age don’t expect me to read the fine print on anything. People my age know that text messaging and bifocals do not mix. People my age don’t expect you to remember stuff.

People my age think some things are better today, some are worse and some are just different.

Good things

  • Diversity: for the most part, people accept the fact that we are all in this together and that different doesn’t mean inferior. People are more comfortable being themselves; and are more accepted as such.
  • Travel: we no longer put on our Sunday best to travel. Now people travel in comfortable clothing and travel is more accessible to people. I just wish that everyone would shower first.
  • Eyeglasses: If you have ever seen cat-eye glasses, you know exactly why I think eyeglasses have gotten better. Those little white gloves were pretty cool, though.
  • Girl’s clothing: There was a time when little girls played in dresses. Because it was imperative that no one saw your underwear, girls were limited in their activities (no monkey bars.) I still have nightmares about these things called “snow pants” that girls had to wear in the winter. These were wool pants with an elastic band that for some reason wrapped around the bottom of the boot (which were worn OVER the shoe.) Snow pant removal was imperative before school began and involved the victim laying on the desk while several of her friends attempted to slide the elastic from around the boot, pull the snow pants off while not allowing the underwear to show. Finally, the shoe must be carefully extracted from the boot.
  • Bathrooms: There was a time when most homes had one bathroom and no shower. Families tended to have more kids, too. In most families, there was a ritual, “I’m going to take a bath, anyone need to use it while I’m running my water.”

Bad things

  • Manners: There was a time  when a male showed respect for your home by removing his hat, when please and thank you were part of everyday conversation and when 4 letter words were not.
  • Education: Regular working people used to be able to save for their children’s college. A high school diploma also used to mean that one could be expected to read, write and perform basic mathematical skills such as count change correctly.
  • Air travel: There was a time when you could walk right up to the gate without a ticket and wave to your guest as they boarded the plane. It was exciting as children to watch the plane take off. Some airlines invited children into the cockpit on long flights and the delighted kids would be rewarded with their very own plastic pilot wings.
  • TV: The days before reality shows were good days. If you were lucky, you could get all three network (FOX didn’t always exist) AND PBS and a UHF channel or two. Most of the time, however there was at least one channel that came in with snow or static. But what made it better was that the entire family could sit down and watch a show on “the” color TV in the living room without worrying about whether or not the content was appropriate for the kids. It was easy – new shows in the fall, reruns during the summer. Game shows during the day, soap operas in the afternoon, Cronkite at 6, sitcoms in the evening, news at 11:00 and Carson afterward, cartoons on Saturday and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea on Sunday. Life was simpler without Snookie.
  • Music: Music was obtained on either records and advertised on the radio. Most music was purchased on 45s and the hit was on the A side. Granny and the kids could listen to everything that was on the music scene without any embarrassment. No one was angry when they were singing.

Things that are just different

  • Telephones: There was a day when “THE” phone company only had black rotary dial phones. Then they offered the push button princess phones in different colors and everyone wanted one.  Long distance was rare and expensive, so you had to talk fast and make it important. The only thing you could do with a phone was TALK.  Not having to use disgusting payphones; however,  is a good thing BUT I still get disgusted when I hear a flush during a conversation.
  • Hair: Hair used to be black, brown, red, blonde or gray (sometimes blue, but that was by accident.) Now hair comes in all different colors and styles. Although I am not the green hair type, I think it is kind of fun for younger people as long as they realize that purple hair makes getting a job much harder.
  • Shoes: there was a day, lot too long ago when children had no more than three pair of shoes – school shoes, play shoes and dress shoes. School shoes were polished and dress shoes were patent leather. Parents did not have to take out a second mortgage to purchase a pair of sneakers.
  • Gas stations: were not stores, they were gas stations. The attendant would pump the gas for you, wash your windshield and check under the hood for fluids. Gas stations closed on Sundays, so you’d better fill up on Saturday and the only snack you were going to get at a gas station was a stale candy bar or a bottle of coke from the vending machine.
  • Meals: Meals were served at specific times and were eaten at the table with the entire family. Breakfast was a meal in those days. It included dry cereal with Sugar in its name – Sugar Smacks, Sugar Puffs, Sugar Crisp, Sugar Frosted Flakes. Sugar was good once, so was red meat, butter, pork, jelly and pancakes with syrup. We ate lots of sugar and lots of white Wonder Bread covered in grape jelly. We needed the energy because the schools set aside time called recess and we could run and play – we were SUPPOSED to run and play, that’s what kids did in those days; and there was no childhood obesity problem in spite of the sugar. A visit to a fast food restaurant was so rare that it always elicited a happy dance and cheers.

In my 39 years I have seen many changes. Some good, some bad, some just different. But one thing hasn’t changed much – if you ask a woman’s age, expect her to lie.

What changes can you think of in your lifetime? Were they good, bad or just different?


About living4bliss

Mental Health Food is the place to stop to get your bliss on everyday. I give tips, hints and sometimes a little silliness to help you navigate the challenges of life. We have a great community of positive bloggers that keep the bliss going all day every day. Make sure to visit their blogs, too. Mental Health Food is a product of Believing Life Is Setup for Success, Inc. (B.L.I.S.S.) in Thornton, CO. We have been in the business of teaching success since 1991. We provide workshops, consulting services and now videos that help people just like you start and maintain successful businesses and personal lives using what you already have. Enjoy a daily dose of Mental Health Food; nourishment for the mind.

11 responses »

  1. rumpydog says:

    Happy birthday my online friend!
    May 39, for you, never end.

  2. I remember all of that, Saundra!! Good memories!! But I’ll soon be 68 and looking forward to 70!!

  3. Lena Schilk says:

    I like this site very much, Its a very nice place to read and receive info. “Strain every nerve to gain your point.” by Cicero.

  4. Love your blog! Its informative and inspirational, and everything is so colorful and beautiful. I look forward to reading more of the goodies in here. Oh, and HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope it was a great one gor you.
    much love
    And many thanks for the visit and follow. 🙂

    • living4bliss says:

      No problem on the visit and follow. I am collecting great articles that I can link to here. Still a little shaky on the reblog feature, though.

      Thank you for the luv and the birthday wishes. I had a super time and I am so grateful for all the love and support I get here.

  5. Happy Belated Birthday! It’s amazing, my friends and I were just having a conversation about how much things have changed over our lifetime.

  6. Anita Mac says:

    Happy birthday!
    Love your post! First read – I took it so seriously, you see – most of my friends are older than me, and it drives me nuts! They are all talking retirement, and me – pre-40s, I am still looking at many more years of work! Admittedly, I spend every spare vacation day travelling to somewhere in the world, and took a year to travel around the world….but I want to retire soon too. So much more to do….mountains to climb, monuments and museums to see…oh my!!!! Maybe I missed the point – I love your humour – I listen to my friends explain how it was for them from before I was born…..
    Anyway….I love my age…I have lived, loved and experienced so much…..just got to stop wishing I was old enough to retire so I could go do more of it!!!! Happy Birthday – embrace it and get out there and live it up!

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