I’ve never been the brightest bulb on the string, which means there has always been much in the world that I simply don’t understand. When I was young, I thought that things would make more sense to me as I aged, but I was wrong. If anything, I’m more confused now than I ever was.
I’m not talking about the obvious issues here: how a pandemic managed to turn the world upside down, or when we decided that being angry was a good enough reason to lash out at any handy target. (Although I don’t pretend to understand any of that.) I’m talking about the little changes that are going on all around me, and for which I can’t find a single sensible explanation.
I have so many questions, but I’ll just give a few examples of the things that confound me. Such as how every bank I know of is pushing on-line banking, and was busy cutting both the hours and staff at their branches even before Covid-19 arrived. And yet what are those very same banks doing? Building new branches, as in actual brick-and-mortar banking offices. There’s at least five new ones under construction in my neighborhood alone. Why in the world are they building new branch offices when they’re barely using the ones they already have?
And speaking of construction, I would no longer even consider buying a brand-new house. Sure, it would be great to have new plumbing and wiring (I have to turn off the lights in my kitchen if I want to vacuum the family room without blowing a circuit), but I have no use for an “open-concept” floor plan. I don’t know when we decided that having a walls was a bad thing, but it was probably the same time we decided that barn doors belonged in houses, and that the only acceptable colors in a kitchen were white, gray, and grayish-white. I want a kitchen that is cozy and inviting, and in my opinion, most modern kitchens have all the warmth and charm of an operating room.
When I first bought a cell phone, I was annoyed because the sales person promised me the day would come when I would be completely dependent on it. I just wanted to be able to call people, for goodness sake. Yet here I am years later, stressing out if I forget to take my phone along every single time I leave the house. How can I possibly get through a few hours without my phone calls, texts, and emails? But the worst part is, that’s still not enough dependency. According to modern standards, I should also be using my phone for social media, all my purchases, my banking, and even locking my front door. Because then, if I should happen to lose my phone, anyone who is lucky enough to find it can steal everything in my house, empty my bank account, and go on a big spending spree at my expense.
I’m not sure if my confusion means I’m just an old fogy who can’t be bothered to learn modern ways, or if being clueless is simply a natural state for me. I suspect it is a little bit of both. Which I guess means that the title of this blog is at least half right: I may not be middle-aged anymore, but I’m definitely still muddling through my life…..