Journal 5, part 3

It has been a rough week of posts here, hasn’t it?? Here is the funny post that I promised…It is akin to my parents stories of walking uphill to school both ways.

10/10/1990

I am feeling tired today. Last night I watched a movie at my friend’s house. Her mom rented a VCR and we had to take it back to the rental place by 10 PM. We left her house at ten to ten. On the way there, the car broke down. We knocked on a couple doors, but no one answered. We walked back to her house which took almost an hour. By the time I got home, it was 11 PM. That sure didn’t help my cold any..

Young folks, times were hard growing up. Watching a movie wasn’t as easy as perusing Netflix for the perfect show. From this journal entry, I am going to assume that the VCR rental was for my friend’s birthday which was a few days before the journal entry date. We watched Gone with the Wind and Adventures in Babysitting (great old movie BTW). I had no recollection of this event before reading about it…the previous day’s journal entry mentioned the movies that we were going to watch. I vaguely remember walking back to her house on quiet country roads late at night.

You were pretty much screwed if your car broke down in the middle of nowhere at night if no one answered the door. Forget Uber. Of course, sometimes you were screwed if someone answered the door. As a teenage girl, it was creepy going into a stranger’s house to use their rotary phone. It was also creepy allowing strangers into the house to use the phone. I think it is something the kids of today are told not to do…allow strangers in your house or go into a strangers house.. Of course, kids of today don’t need to worry about taking rented VCR’s back or leaving the house without someone having a cell phone.

Even going to the movies was complicated. We had to watch the newspaper for the new listings. Or sometimes we would call on a Friday night to listen to a long automated message stating the new showings. Sometimes the phone was busy.

Remember having to rewind the VHS tape after viewing? That took almost as long as the movie. The rental tapes would be plastered with stickers that said ‘Be kind, rewind’ and other obnoxious things. Then upon returning the movie to the store, the clerk would always pop open the tape case while glaring at you with an eyebrow raised prejudging if you were an evil offender that didn’t rewind. If you were a few minutes late (probably due to rewinding) with the rental drop off, you would be fined a couple bucks.

I can almost imagine the fines my friend received for returning the VCR the next day. Maybe the cops were called. Uh huh, car trouble you say…I bet your dog ate your homework too..

I never had to worry about renting a VCR at our house. We always had at least 10 VCR’s in our house at all times. Unfortunately, none of them worked or they ate tapes. My dad repaired them as a living and was always doing favors for neighbors on the side. People would literally stop by with their junk…broken VCR’s, stereos, TV’s…Discombobulated machines laid on our table and were strewn all over our house for months. My dad was a procrastinator. By the time he fixed the broken machines, the people forgot about them or were on their third one. But he charged them next to nothing.

I wonder how much time we wasted on video tapes?? Almost as much time as we spent waiting by the phone…

How did we ever survive???

 

 

Let’s go back to the future

Today is the future day that Marty McFly time traveled to in the 1985 movie Back to the Future. I wonder if his character would be pleased to see how the future really turned out if he traveled here from 1985 today. We do have some pretty cool inventions since then like the cell phone, ipads, kindles, the internet, etc. Technology few of us thought would be possible back then. I can liken it to what it would be like going back hundreds of years and telling people about electricity or indoor plumbing. It would be hard to imagine. We still don’t fly around in cars, but can see the possibility of self driving cars for the future. Will we be telling our great-grandchildren about how we had to get a driver’s license someday? Maybe it will provide a solution to the problem of drunk driving.

I don’t think that Marty would like our hair and clothing today. Clothing and makeup do not reflect a neon geometrical style anymore and our hair is ho hum boring. If you were a teen in the 80’s, you would know what I mean. Big hair was fun! While the movie was right on with a few predictions, quite a few were way off. Where were you in 1985? Could you have predicted the future of the world much less the future of your own life? Were you even born? In 1985, I was younger than my youngest child is right now. My future life was a mystery. Who would I marry? Would I have children? What kind of career would I have?

The last 30 years have been a winding road. Most of it reflecting consequences, either good or bad, of the life that I have chosen. I became set in my beliefs over this time. I got married, had children, went to college, found hobbies, made and lost friends. Some things happened that I did not choose, this was also within the framework of who I would become.

What will happen over the next 30 years? My husband wants us to start planning for retirement. The next 30 years scare me. There are too many unknowns. I don’t want to think about getting old and declining physically and/or intellectually. I think I will probably have grandchildren. I will most likely enter into retirement. I will possibly face the loss of my spouse and have to face the possibility that I may not be a part of this future in 30 years. Sometimes I want to focus on the past instead, it is certain and known. But focusing on the past also makes me unsettled. Sometimes the good old days were not always good.

I try to focus on the here and now. I want to make myself the best person that I can be in the present so I can be a gift to those around me today and tomorrow. I am thankful to have all of you in my life as I am living it.

Where were you in 1985?