Gen-Zers say we Boomers are out of touch with reality, clueless as to the ways of the world and the current cost of living. I resent that. I’m still hip and groovy. To help me keep up with the times and with upcoming events and appointments, I have a huge calendar hanging on the wall in my kitchen. I wish there was a better way to keep track of a person’s schedule. The calendar hangs next to my landline phone, and just to the left of the tubular doorbell chimes.

Doorbells are a great and modern invention, right? Visitors used to have to rap their knuckles on your door to let you know they were there. Now all they have to do is push a button and I know someone’s on my porch. I can just look out the window and see who it is. Maybe someday they’ll come up with a better method of seeing who’s on your porch, but I can’t imagine what that would be.

I saw on the calendar that my granddaughter’s birthday is coming up, so I drove to the store to pick out a card. On the way there, I stopped at the bank to cash in a bag of change I’d rolled up the day before, and had them count it out and turn it into dollar bills, so I could stop and pay some bills on the way. Too bad there isn’t a more efficient way to do that. You know, some way that uses less gasoline and is more environmentally friendly.

At the store I picked out a birthday card and took it to the register. There was a long line of impatient, cranky customers. When I finally got to the register, I paid in cash by counting it out in dollar bills, then digging through the bottom of my cavernous pocketbook for my cute little change purse and counting out the 98 cents. Most of it was in pennies, but at least I had it. Sometimes I come up a little short of change and pay by check instead, if I can find my checkbook and a pen. Sometimes I realize I’ve forgotten any form of i.d., though, and have to abandon that and go back to counting out my change. I don’t know what’s happened to the general public. They’ve gotten so crabby and rude.

When I got home with the birthday card, I wrote in my best, most flowery cursive, “Happy Birthday, Sweetie! Treat yourself to something really special this year. Because I know money doesn’t go as far anymore, I’ve more than doubled the amount I usually give you.” Then I tucked a crisp new five-dollar bill into the card. I hope she appreciates it. I drove it to the post office, where I purchased a stamp (can you believe how much stamps cost these days?) then dropped it in the slot. I know it’ll take a few days, but we’ve come a long way since the Pony Express. Maybe some day they’ll come up with a more efficient way to deliver a greeting card, a bill, or a letter. I can dream, can’t I?

Back at home, I did a few loads of laundry, then took it outside and clipped each item to the clothesline with wooden pins. Before I finished, it started to rain and I had to unclip it all and bring it back inside and wait for the weather to clear up, then rehang it all. Maybe someday someone will come up with a better way to wash and dry clothes. At least I didn’t have to take the dirty clothes to the riverbank, beat them against a rock and drape them over the nearest bushes to dry like Great-Grandma used to do. We’ve come a long way, Baby, right?

While I was waiting for the skies to clear, I decided to write a letter to the patent office, asking if anybody had come up with any inventions lately that would make life easier. Just in case they didn’t appreciate my excellent cursive writing skills, I typed it on the old Smith Corona typewriter I’ve had since high school. I made quite a few typos, so thank God I had some Wite-Out. Did you know that liquid paper (correction fluid) was invented by Bette Nesmith Graham, the mother of Michael Nesmith of the 1960’s singing group The Monkees? If you don’t believe me, you can look it up in the encyclopedia. You can use mine or go to the library if you don’t have a set. I think it’s important to keep up with current trivia like that, so that the Gen-Xers know that you’re still cool. People still say “cool,” right? Unfortunately, when I’d typed the letter, I’d inserted the carbon paper backwards, so I didn’t get the copy I wanted to keep in my big oak file cabinet. I had to type the document all over again. Drat! There must be a better way to generate a document with multiple copies. Perhaps I’ll suggest that in my letter to the patent office.

Off to the post office for another stamp and to mail the letter to the patent office. I’d have to hurry before they closed. I saw on my analog clock in the kitchen that the big hand was on the seven and the little hand was on the five, so I’d have to hurry. I had a bit of car trouble on the way. I may have to trade in my old car. Even though I’m a Boomer, I know that car prices have risen considerably. I’m thinking a brand new Caddy might be nice. I’m willing to go as high as ten thousand dollars. That should be enough, right Gen-Xers?


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