The Last Straw

It’s been really cold this week, and it’s supposed to get even colder by this weekend.  I’ve been preparing by stocking up on essentials, breaking out a jigsaw puzzle and this morning, I decided to fill up my gas tank before the truly frigid weather set in.  I pulled into a station I don’t normally use, and was amazed to see that there was a little screen on the gas pump, right next to the slot for my credit card.  Not the usual screen that provides instructions on operating the pump, but an actual little television screen, airing real commercials.   I was dumbfounded, to say the least.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally make decisions regarding my bedding when I’m filling my car with gasoline, so why anyone thought I’d want to see a mattress commercial just then is beyond me.  By the time I was done and replacing the pump, it had progressed to an ad for insurance, which made a bit more sense.  But I still found the whole thing terribly annoying.  The sound was turned up loud, and I actually had to wait for the commercial to end before I could print my receipt.

I’ve been feeling a little out of touch with the world for a long-time now,  but this might well be the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”  Because I think I’m done.  I’ve tried my best to keep up with our ever-changing world:  adapting to the endless new technologies, trying to keep up with the latest trends, and accepting things that I don’t even begin to understand.  Isn’t that what we’re told we’re supposed to do, if we want to stay young?  Be willing to learn new things, embrace change, pay attention to the latest fashions, and invest a small fortune in skin care products?  Because otherwise we’re nothing but a bunch of useless old fogies with one foot in the grave, right?

But I no longer care.  I’m done pretending that I don’t sometimes struggle with technologies that weren’t invented until decades after I was born.  I’m willing to admit that I think a whole lot of our current trends are just plain silly, and that they’ll go the way of the naval contemplation of the Sixties and the green shag carpeting of the Seventies.  I believe that it’s okay for houses to have walls and that body hair isn’t always something to be afraid of.  I admit to preferring printed receipts, real books, and brick and mortar stores.  Most of all, I believe that time spent by myself, off-line and unplugged, is both valuable and necessary for my basic sanity.

When you’ve lived as long as I have, you’ve seen too many things come and go to be terribly impressed with whatever the “latest and best” happens to be.  And you realize that although the world is always changing, basic human nature mostly remains the same.  You’ve figured out what’s important and what’s not, and you try very hard to embrace only the changes that are actually for the good.

So I’m okay with admitting that I have no use for gas pumps that try to sell me a mattress, or anything else other than gasoline.  From now on, I’m not only accepting my inner old fogy, I’m embracing her……

122 thoughts on “The Last Straw

  1. I am with you- as usual. I do expect that this state of constant change is here to stay. In some cases, we have lost a lot of beauty. I could go on about it for a while-but instead, I send you best wishes, and remember you are not in this mess alone.

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    • It helps to know I’m not the only one who thinks we’ve gone a bit off the rails. Some of the changes are for the better, of course. But it seems to me we’ve gotten to the point where we’re doing some things simply because we can, and that makes no sense. So I’ll continue to pick and choose which changes I embrace, and which ones I reject! Thanks, Michele!


  2. Hear, hear! I’m all for embracing it too, Ann! As you said, some things are just plain silly like that tv screens at has stations. And there comes a point where you don’t want to be hip and up to date and just rely on what you know works without any frills. Just a couple of weeks ago I told a friend how proud I was my phone still works after 6 years and she told me – equally proud – that she buys a new one every 3 years no matter if the old one still worked, just because it’s got some new features she thinks she couldn’t live without.

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    • Oh, I know what you mean! My son is the same way, he always wants to have the newest gadgets. I figure, if the old one is still working, why replace it? And so many of the new features just aren’t necessary or even attractive. Why do I need a screen on my refrigerator or voice control on my water spigot? We’ve reached the stage, I think, where we do things just because we can. And sometimes that’s just silly!

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  3. Oh that sounds too much for me, I don’t mind the signs that try to get you to buy things that they have on offer – but that is just a step to far and sounds as if it will confuse people if not brainwash!

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