I was sitting in traffic today. I was on my way to get Maggie from Brownies and the traffic was slow going. It made me think about the Jetsons and how the people at Hanna-Barbara imagined the 21st century to be. And to think, we have actually exceeded all of those wacky inventions they dreamed up. No, I don't have a robotic maid, but the luxuries I do have...it's crazy! Who could have imagined? Most of the time I think about how lucky we are; then I also realize how spoiled, impatient and intolerant we have become.
Example. Remember records? We saved our babysitting and/or lawn mowing money to buy albums. We lovingly cleaned them with special clothes and replaced the needle on the turn table when it wore out. It would take days to create a mix tape. The agonizing over the tracks to put on it; the perfect timing of the release of the pause button so there would be a smooth transition between songs, no awkward pause or jarring jump to the next tune. My kids? They quickly click on a list (a mile long) of songs to make a playlist. They sure don't have to clean their i-pods, and I don't remember them saving up for weeks to buy songs, either. It takes about five minutes, start to finish.
Remember letters? Getting stationary as a gift? Hand writing a letter and sending it, typos and all? Then waiting (and waiting and waiting) for a reply. Oh, and how exciting it was to get a letter in the mail! Now, we dash off e-mails and get kind of pissy if we don't get a reply that very same day. Sometimes it only takes an hour or so for me to think, "Come on, people!" I have gotten so impatient!
Remember when seeing certain movies on tv was an event? Like, The Wizard of Oz. When that came on, ONCE A YEAR (!) it was serious movie time. No talking, no horsing around. We watched that movie start to finish without moving from our spots. And we had to wait for 60 Minutes to end before it came on. That tick tick tick used to really get on my nerves. Then we went to VHS and even those seem crazily inconvenient compared to DVD's. I mean, who has time to rewind a movie? Or to fast forward looking for the good parts?
Remember when, if someone wanted to talk to you on the phone, they had to catch you at home? And back then you didn't know who was calling you. Answering the phone was a leap of faith. You could even prank someone and they couldn't *69 you.
I think I'm ready for science and technology to slow down. We take so much for granted now. I want my kids to feel what it's like to earn something, to wait for something, to anticipate something. I want them to appreciate this life and to linger on the good stuff. But before I wish for all new inventions made to simplify our lives be put on hold, I'd really like to wish for one of those flying cars...