Recently, some things have crossed my mind having to do with my memories of my life. And I've really mulled a few of these over, a couple have become topics of conversation with friends.
As I was preparing for the potluck last week, I was ironing my linen napkins. I had decided since we had to eat inside, I was going to dress the table, not to a formal level, but certainly to include table cloths and cloth napkins. As I was ironing, I recalled when I learned to iron as a small girl. Mother started me out with my dad's handkerchiefs. In those days, the early 1950s, men still carried handkerchiefs. This was before "permanent press," a term that might be lost on some of you even today! But that's another story, as many of my thoughts have ancillary tales to tell. Back to ironing....
I was remembering that in those days, we ironed our sheets and pillowcases, too. "Tea towels" or dishtowels were ironed. Everything was ironed. Our jeans were ironed, and oh how frustrating where those denim legs that twisted! Getting them to "iron down" was a nightmare, but so essential to our appearance. Anyway I remember how thrilled I was to iron Daddy's hankies and then later, the tea towels and pillowcases. I never learned to like ironing sheets, but Dad bought Mom a Mangle, an automatic presser for large flat items, and that made her life so much easier. Our clothing choices in the last few years has returned to many of the natural fabrics, so more of us are ironing than did in the '80s, but it is still nothing like those days when everything but our sweaters and underwear were ironed! BTW, even Dad's boxer shorts were ironed. Jes' sayin'.
OK, here's another that flashed into my memory a few days ago ....
Nytol. Do you remember the medication by that name? It may still be on the market, I don't know. It is/was a sleep aid. There was a way people used it as a joke, by saying "Nytol," instead of "Night, all." Several times lately I've started to say "Nytol" when signing off the computer or to friends. I haven't, because I don't know that anyone would get the joke after all these years. Do you remember Nytol? Did you ever use that to say good night?
Next, dial phones. I know there are still a few out there, although they don't work on the technological systems in place. I suspect there are a bunch of people who have never used one IRL. Yet we still "dial" when we call people. I wonder why we haven't begun to say we "punch a number," or something similar. But no, we still dial. The other day I was listening to a child, about seven years old, talking to her grandmother, and she was playing with an old dial phone, a "Princess phone," do you remember those? Anyway, it had a rotary dial, and she was looking at it. She was amazed that the letters on the numbers matched in the same way they do on a touch tone phone! isn't it funny how our knowledge shifts?
We live in a time when there is a huge number of people who don't remember life without email. Isn't that amazing? The technology that we all rely on for our communication, research and entertainment, even though it is commonplace, and advancing at a dizzying pace, morphing every moment, it is still relatively new. Yet many among us can't actually remember living without. Thinking of my 40-something kids, they do remember when it wasn't so commonplace as it is now, but they've never been without it at school or work.
I'm thinking of a number of others .... drive-in theaters; soda shops; Friday night sock hops .... so many things that were part of my life are things that a lot of you have never experienced. I wish you had. I wish you knew about the fun and the drudgery, as well. Bad or good, it is all a part of our history. Those of you who are old enough to remember some of these things, chime in and tell about some of your memories that are lost on today younger folks. And if you're younger, tell about something that you recall from earlier days in contrast to life today. I think it is fascinating.