Another New Year’s Day is upon us. Everyone will have their own way of ringing in the new year of 2013. Some will party, drink too much and get arrested. Others will party, drink too much and wake up with someone they don’t even know. Whoa!
Most people will have a great evening, bringing in the New Year by meeting with friends, going out for an early dinner, or just staying by the fire sipping drinks together-thankful for what they have. Many of us older folk will look back over a long life and wonder, how the hell we made it.
Just in my life time there were wars, wars, and more wars. I was born in the middle of World War II, then came the Korean Conflict (deemed not a war by act of Congress), later the excursion into Southeast Asia, and, of late, all the action in the Middle-East. When will the craziness end?
And the weapons, have they ever changed. We nuked our way to victory to end WWII, dropped 500 pound bombs on the bridges at Toko-ri, napalmed the jungles in Vietnam, and in the Middle-East we have missiles smarter than most men. The one thing that hasn’t changed over the course my life time is being able to understand what victory looks like. What does winning a war in today’s world look like?
I have watched our nation being built into the richest, strongest country in the world, and I am proud of this accomplishment. Our population has swelled to over 360 million, has been driven by immigrants seeking a better life and contributing to the fabulous tapestry of our economy and society. Where else can you walk down a street and sample Barbeque, spaghetti, noodles, kimchee, fried-rice, and my favorite, sushi? Only in America, where you can drink a great American Budweiser beer, owned by a German company. What? What happened?
I remember our first television, a screen four inches across, corner to corner. It was black and white, we were thrilled. I actually tried to look in the back of the TV for the little people we saw on the tube. I just knew they were there-I wondered if they had restrooms. Now, today, we have unbelievable digital television in bright colors and instead of three channels, we now have 300 channels. And, we don’t even have to get up to change stations. Do you young people have any idea what that means to an old-fart suffering from arthritis?
Speaking of young people, I can’t get over the cell phone. Many memories of my youth are of my sister hogging the only gigantic black rotary-dial phone in our household for hours at a time, talking with … God, who knows?
Today, everyone has their own little smart phone in their pocket or purse. Some, who have an over-inflated ego, even have a blue-tooth stuck in their ear. But as much as I love my iphone, which by the way is an old Iphone 3, I’m worried. You see, I’m a people watcher and, frankly, I don’t like what I’m seeing.
In restaurants, bars, at bowling alleys or just people riding in cars, no one talks to each other–they text. They don’t look at each other, they don’t wave, they don’t smile at each other, they don’t know the other is there–they just text.
Texting has gotten so bad they now have laws against it. Driving and texting will get you an expensive ticket. Walking and texting will get you killed. Receiving a text notification in a darkened movie theater will get you scorn, ridicule, thrown out in the middle of the movie. Is it worth it?
Couples in restaurants don’t talk, they text theirs friends, read their text messages and look up things on Face book. They hardly look at each other. And the restaurant’s waitperson amazingly, if it’s a young waitperson, will wait patiently. Some look over the customer’s shoulder in hopes of seeing what’s being texted. But, if it’s an older waitperson they are impatient and loudly request an order. They exclaim, “CAN I BRING YOU SOMETHING TO DRINK?” The couple will recede from the techno cloud they’re in and the male patron will ask his date, “Do you know what you want?” And, she’ll answer with “Where’s the menu?” which, she then reviews and wants to know if whole-wheat noodles are available. I don’t get it. Is this some new mating ritual?
I know the marriage rate is declining but I thought it was the economy. It’s not the economy, it’s the digital era, an era of virtual love-making. I thought people dated to get know one another in hopes of discovering the right person to marry. Wrong.
They hardly talk, they text. What of pro-creation? What of marriage? How will it happen? They will probably do “it” virtually and then send out to a sperm bank. Of course, if he’s good at texting, I guess he’ll have a chance. And, after a kid or two, buying a house, getting a dog, changing jobs a couple of three times and buying a new car – they just might marry. Gees, guess I am getting old.
Happy New Year’s
Text me . . .PLEASE.