You know what the real problem with getting “old” is? The real problem with getting old is that you remember. You remember things you shouldn’t.
I inherited one of those leather Kleenex holders, one that clips to the sun visor of your car, from my father-in-law when he died. It is one of those items you stick up there and never use- leastwise, he didn’t. It could have been up there 20, 30, maybe even 50 years. As luck would have it, a Kleenex was handy when I needed to blow my nose. OMG, as I brought it to my nose, my face felt like it was being wrapped in a luxurious beach towel.
Well, OK, I hadn’t really remembered, but I did this a.m. when I reached for a Kleenex in the kitchen. It was barely there, nearly as thin as one of the outer layers of a yellow onion and just about as soft. Then I remembered the toilet paper that used to be almost as wide as the roller that holds it. The paper used to be tightly rolled. You could not see air gaps in the roll when you looked at the end.
I remember when a large bag of dog food was actually fifty pounds. Last time I looked, they were thirty-seven pounds. They are probably smaller now. I was at the grocery store yesterday and boneless, skinless chicken thighs were $3.99/lb, but for sale at two for one. I only bought six packages. The problem is that when the sale goes off they will still be $3.99/lb. The problem is that I still remember buying it for 29¢/lb.
There are other things one remembers. I remember listening to Uncle Walter (Cronkite) on the evening news. No one ever questioned the truthfulness of what he had to say. His “agenda” was to tell us, in the most unbiased way possible, what was happening in the world.
I remember a time when, if you wanted a job, all you had to do was ask. You could take your girlfriend out for steak and lobster tail on Friday night. The only problem with buying a new car was deciding on the make and model. People complain that the Hispanics have taken all the jobs. No, the top 2% have sent them away and there is no money for “re-training” because the top 2% took all of that money away, too. I remember.
I remember 1968 and the people were up in arms over the escalating Viet Nam war. The 1968 Democratic Convention, in Chicago, was a time of real turmoil. People were beaten by riot police. Forty years ago and it is amazing how much times have changed and how much they are the same.
Yesterday I actually saw the government try to suppress the news of the violence in Oakland. Now it is occurring in New York. Patriotic soldiers, after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan come home and find they have to demonstrate in the streets for the very freedoms they actually fought for over there. They escaped injury over there, only to get their heads cracked open over here by police who would deny them their hard fought freedom to peaceful assembly.
One sees the government riding roughshod over the people, grinding them into the ground with the heels of their jackboots and the anger rises. The media tries to label us traitors and crackpots. They hurl more tear gas grenades and the crowds swell even larger. We are the 99%. Finally someone called for a general strike. I just hope that the people who still have jobs won’t be too fearful of losing them, to comply. The schmucks must learn and the sooner they do, the easier it will be on everyone. This will be a lesson no one will forget.