I am solidly old-fashioned.
Nothing better to me than a sharpened, yellow number two pencil and a spiral bound notebook. I like the Slinky, red lifesavers, manual umbrellas, shredded wheat, PF Flyers, and acoustic guitars. I would rather watch a good episode of Leave It to Beaver followed by Mister Ed and Ozzie and Harriet than any of today’s new-fangled reality TV shows. I buy a new broom at the local broom-corn festival each year and use it to sweep the garage floor over using an electric shopvac to complete the same task. A month ago, I bought a case of glass bottled SKI soda – an old-fashioned thirst quenching classic.
Old fashioned stuff is durable. I have owned . . . and I still use . . . the same grey metal, non-mechanical three hold punch gadget since the late 1970s. I am not saying that I use it daily, but it hasn’t collected much dust over the years, and it’s in perfect condition. And forget the all-in-one Black and Decker laser level that has twenty additional functions beyond maintaining a straight line, my household is the proud owner of a 30-year-old red three-foot steel version. It’s just a level – no bells and whistles – that has been dropped off many ladders, left out in the great outdoors for days, and often lost in a crowded garage. Yet, it still works.
Proudly, I have only owned one rolling-pin though I have owned several kitchens; I have had the same key ring for a couple of decades; and, I am a one jewelry box per lifetime type of gal. Keep in mind that all of this has nothing to do with being frugal. It has more to do with just liking things they way they were. Old-fashioned.
Same for my language. Sure, I could use all of the latest and greatest lingo, including the more salty versions of yesterday’s banned language. But, I still stick with the tried and true slang that has helped to get me to this point without too much trouble. Groovy, righteous, awesome or bumble head, holy guacamole, yikes – multipurpose old-fashioned words that seem to fit well into all kinds of conversations.
And I have found that old-fashioned almost always equals crazy funny. One of my relatives fixed and ate a fried bologna sandwich at my house recently. For those of you who have not had the experience, fried bologna is an ancient delicacy first created by . . . probably Mr. Oscar Mayer himself in some long ago century. Thirty seconds in a skillet, paired with white bread and catsup, this sandwich is a comedic display of old-fashioned in motion. It is a chuckler!
And no game is as crazy funny as good old-fashioned Spoons. Honestly, I have played several of today’s XBOX/WII/KINECT 3D video games, and they are fun. But, Spoons!!! Played with a deck of cards, a handful of spoons and a bunch of crazy funny relatives, this game reaches deep into the crazy funny well. No laughs greater than when full-grown kissin’ cousins jump over a table to pull coveted spoons out of challengers’ hands during a family ‘friendly’ version of this game. Another old-fashioned chuckler.
I often tell myself that I don’t understand the lure of the old-fashioned for me . . . that this old-fashioned fascination is a mystery. But, when I really think about it, I know for sure that the draw towards old-fashioned isn’t simply due to a preference for card games, or food, or language, or frugality. It’s more than that.
With every generation, there seems to be a strong penchant for change . . . from clothing styles . . . to modes of transportation . . . to energy sources . . . to an endless list of activities and items that have been reinvented, improved, changed. Life today is significantly different from life in any other moment in time. Certainly, almost all changes have been positive and welcomed and for the betterment of all humankind.
Yet, there is a part of life that I believe should remain constant . . . a part of life that should be considered a masterpiece, a part that should somehow be exempt from change. Certainly that includes the lapping sounds of the ocean waves and the majesty of the highest mountain peaks. It includes the freedom enjoyed by animals in the wild and the beauty each year of summer, fall, winter, and spring. It includes quiet skies and peaceful meadows. I know it includes the brilliance and genius of those who have gone before us along with the brilliance and genius of those who are still in our future.
Thus, however, explains my penchant for everything old-fashioned.
I may have to change the form of my telephone from a hard-wired, LAN line cordless system plugged into the wall to a cellphone carried in my coat pocket. I may have to heat my home with solar, geothermal, and/or wind rather than the current fossil fuels available. And I may have to give up the tried and true General Mills Wheaties – the breakfast of champions – for a more nutritious protein bar option.
But, for those few things that I can somehow manage to hold constant, I am on-board.
Bring on potato pancakes and King Bing bars. Give me a pile of leaves and hand me a rake complete with a wooden handle and steel prongs. Let me haul out box after box of old crazy funny holiday decorations that have lasted multiple decades because they were made in the days of the giants.
Finally, hand me a dented red level to keep me headed on the straight and narrow any day of the week. And watch my willingness to change grow as I find comfort in keeping some things . . . just a few old-fashioned things . . . in my life constant.