Sunday, October 17, 2010

A heart to heart with my future teenage grandson

One day I'll be a crotchety old man trying to pass on some values to my grandson, and I imagine our conversation might be something like this...

You know son, when I was your age, times were different.

How do you kids even make friends these days?  In my day, all we had to keep in touch with each other was a Facebook, or a Twitter, an email, or a text message from our phone. Now you have all these complicated ways of communicating with each other. It's a wonder if you have any deep or meaningful relationships. Life was much easier back then.

And don't get me started about phones. You think your phone is big? Ha! We had to stuff these things the size of a cigarette box in our pockets, can you believe that? And our phones back then didn't have all that junk on it. Just what we needed - a camera, internet access, maybe a few apps or games if we were lucky. And you know, we had to touch and drag the screen and do all kinds of things just to work the thing. But we didn't need all that fancy stuff. It's a phone for Christ's sake. Use it for what it was made for. What a distraction!

You just don't appreciate your life these days. You know son, I used to have to drive 2 hours to work and to hours back, in bumper to bumper traffic, and we didn't have all these fancy luxuries you kids have. We had just the basics to get from point A to point B - just simple power windows, AC, maybe a sunroof,  and we had to sit in leather seats with old electronic seat warmers. Yeah...they don't make 'em like they used to. But that's all we needed.  And it wasn't like we could just pick up and go around like you do now. Most of us only had 3 or 4 cars in the house to go around. And when you think about the big families back then, 2 or 3 siblings fighting over a car wasn't pretty.  You take so many things for granted.

And parking, good grief. Why do you even drive? It's a rip off. It's like this mayor of ours doesn't want people comin' into town. When I was your age, we had these meters out on the street, and we could put a credit card in there and get an hour for just 2 or 3 bucks. One whole hour! Right downtown. The dollar just doesn't go that far anymore.

And we could take the train too.  Did you know that $2.25 would get you anywhere in the city you wanted to go in just one ride. And if you rode often, you could get a monthly pass for only 90 bucks. Not these days.

Your grandmother and I would ride the train down to the ball park and catch a game whenever we could. We could sit right there down by the players for only $100, and you could get a hot dog and a beer for only $11 or $12. But look, I can't even afford to take my own grandson to see my team these days. The whole sport lost its way.

It's all about money now. Business, son. That's all that matters. Back then, we valued our sport, and our players were loyal to their city. I mean, we had greats like Lebron James, who was willing to play in his own hometown for years before deciding to go somewhere else. You don't got guys like that anymore. And our athletes were role models, people kids could actually look up to. They would make mistakes and would patch it up right away. But these guys these days do whatever the heck they want and don't care. Don't get your hopes up for these guys, son.

Speaking of business. Look what they've done to music. Do they even make music anymore? I mean, real music? What's that you're listening to, eh? Whatever happened to the Lady Gaga's, the Jay Z's, the Beyonce's? They were artists, they had something to say back then. I can't even understand what these people  are singing these days. And you think that music player is big, son? We had to download what they called MP3's, digital songs, one by one onto these Ipods that we had to keep track of.  Everything we did digitally. That's all we had.  

Yes son, times were different. Times were different. Just be thankful for what you got, you hear son? 

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