Oh how I long for the good old days. You know, when people were kind and you felt safe going to a movie or trusted your neighbor. I recognize that the world has changed but there are many things I wish were still in style. For example:
- A hand-written thank you note. I know it is quick and easy to send an email or an electronic card but you can’t wrap those with ribbon and store them in your top drawer to read again and again and remember good times. I have a girlfriend who still sends postcards when she travels and they are such a treat to receive.
- Money clips. My husband always carried a money clip when I met him and it is not only a great organizational tool (keeps all your bills in one spot) but just seems so sophisticated. But putting a bunch of debit and credit cards in a clip does not seem to have the same panache.
- A good old fashioned phone chat that lasts an hour and does not involve texting. My girlfriend and I still chat on the phone but we have to schedule it as in “I will call you around 2:00 on Sunday” and then you have to wait by the landline or be someplace conducive to a phone chat–not in the middle of the mall or driving the car. We do solve a lot of the world’s problems during those phone calls so even though they lack the spontaneity of the good old days, they are still enjoyable.
- Sunday drives. When I was growing up we would hop in the car on Sunday afternoon and take a drive to wherever my parents felt like going that day and it always ended with a drive-thru at the local A&W for a frosty root beer. It was easy to do in those days as everything was closed on Sundays and gas only cost a few cents a gallon and the traffic was light and my parents came home relaxed and refreshed and ready to start the next week. We could all use a little of that, these days.
- Manners. When I was growing up my two brothers had to pull out the chair for myself and my sister whenever we were at a restaurant and this was when we were under ten years old. We stood when an adult walked into the room and we answered all questions with Yes, ma’am or Yes sir. We knew how to behave at a restaurant and I can assure you that did not include eating with our hands or throwing a tantrum or getting up and walking around the room. I never heard my parents or any other adult swear. I am lucky these days to avoid having a door slammed in my face when a man enters before me and the language I hear from people standing in line or at the movies or anywhere else in public is sometimes shocking.
- Card games. We play cards with some friends every 5 weeks or so and I always look forward to it. Whoever is hosting provides dinner, drinks and dessert and the game and we take turns. It is a casual and fun and good-natured evening that stretches into the late hours. More people should have casual nights with friends like this, IMHO.
- Cocktail parties. Remember the old-fashioned cocktail parties your parents hosted where the ladies showed up in cute dresses and fancy drinks were flowing and bowls of nuts and little snacks were set out on every single surface. So much easier than a dinner party and a good excuse to try a new drink or two. My step-son and daughter-in-law live in a neighborhood that has taken a step back in time where the neighbors all get together once a year for a progressive dinner where each house volunteers to host a portion of the meal and then you walk to the next house for the next course etc. No worries about drinking and driving and what a great way to get to know your neighbors (and take a nosy peek inside their homes to see how they decorate). Who knows, you just might pick up an idea or two you can steal.
- Dressing up for the theater. I am not proposing we go back to the days of gloves and hats but a little bit of a dress code would be nice. We go to the theater or the symphony and see people in shorts and flip flops and Budweiser t-shirts. Admittedly, we no longer dress up as much as we used to–I mean, we do live in southern California—but we do clean up just a bit and why not?
I know all of this makes me sound like an old lady who refuses to change with the times and nothing could be further from the truth. But there are many things that may seem a bit outdated that are still good ideas. After all, what is wrong with wanting to live in a kinder and gentler and safer community filled with lots of friends and easy to enjoy activities? What do you wish was still in style?