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April 06, 2017

Adapting to the new 45

Growing up as a child of the 70’s, I cut my teeth on some iconic and memorable events.  The Vietnam War, the impeachment of a President, gas lines, The Village People and YMCA, Star Wars,  the Apple II computer,  the death of Elvis,  Atari 2600, Space Invaders, and Astroids,  the Sony Walkman, the beginning  of Magic vs. Bird, the Iran hostage crisis and the birth of ESPN.

Somehow we survived having less than 20 channels to choose from.   And to think we changed those channels by getting up and turning a knob on the front of the TV.  Can you imagine? 

We spoke to people.   On the phone.  While the phone was attached to the wall.   With a curly cord.  And we answered the phone, without knowing who was on the other end.    My kids can’t imagine. 

We knew our neighbors.  We borrowed things like a cup of sugar or an egg so that we could finish a recipe.  We read the paper.  That was delivered to our door.  Sometimes in the evening.  Imagine that.  We listened to music on the radio or a record player.  We had to get up to flip the vinyl over to hear the other side.  Hard to imagine.   

We had to go to the library to research things.  We used card catalogs to assist in our search, not to decorate our homes.  We looked up facts on microfiche and  in encyclopedias.  We had a sense of wonderment and actually didn’t know the answers to all the questions.  Goggle can’t even imagine.  

adapting to the new 45 - remember my childhood and the 70's

Fast forward 45 years.  It’s 2017.  I’m parenting kids that have over 425 channels to choose from.  They can watch a show whenever they want.  They don’t have to wait for it to air and hope they are home and can watch it, lest they have to hear about it at school the next day and have to wait for it to become a rerun.  The only way to change the channel is with a remote control.  Texting is the preferred method of communicating.   Using a phone to talk on is so 1979, unless you are talking to Siri. 

My new 45 also has me counting  things.  I’ve started counting calories for the first time in my life.  If I so much as look at a donut or a bowl of ice cream, I gain 3 pounds and my jeans no longer fit.   I was counting gray hairs as well, but recently gave up because that was fast becoming too much like common core math.     

This new 45 has me holding menus and magazines at arms length.  I've increased the font size on my fancy new iPhone so that I can read all my phone calls, I mean text messages.    And you can forget about reading the label on a tiny bottle.  That my friends is just not going to happen without high powered magnifying devices or my kid's eleven year old eyes.    

My new 45 has me nostalgically reminiscing about my childhood and telling my children about what it was like to walk to school, up hill both ways, in the snow.   Did you hear that?  That’s right.  In the last year, I have somehow become my parents. 

I’m on the eve of my 46th year.  I’m wondering if this is middle age.  If I have finished climbing that hill and am spending my final months on the top.  Am I about to start that downhill slide?  Is this when I go buy a sporty red car or travel to that far away place that I’ve dreamed about for all these years? 

But I’m young at heart.   And mind.  And I can’t possibly be that old.  Then I think about 8 track tapes, cassettes, Betamax, VHS and floppy discs.    Marathon candy bars, Razzles and Bazooka bubble gum.  The Red Barn Restaurant, Juvenile Sales Toy Store and Dart Drug.  And then I realize that maybe I’m older than I think I am. 

adapting to the new 45 - remember my childhood and the 70's

I was chatting with a friend about our first 45 years.   We recalled Saturday morning cartoons and The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night.  We wondered what the Regal Beagle or the Boar's Nest would look like in 2017.  We reminisced about who shot JR, Joanie and Chachi’s wedding and how the Horton’s were going to rule Salem.  We remembered our first albums, our boxes of 45’s and making mixed tapes.  

adapting to the new 45 - remember my childhood and the 70's

My Sharona by the Knack and it's B side Let Me Out was one of my very favorites and I’m fairly certain I wore a deep groove in that tiny piece of vinyl.

adapting to the new 45 - remember my childhood and the 70's

Some numbers are milestones, regularly celebrated. You know the ones: 16, 21, 50. But there are other magic, musical numbers equally worthy of some love -- and remembrance. I miss being 33 1/3 in some ways, but I've loved 45 and feel it deserves commemoration. Cuz the next stop ain't 50, it's...78!

So I'm gonna hold the needle down on this one as long as I can.

♡ - kristi

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