Amid public sex scandals, prolonged warfare, wicked weather, and a government run amok, itâ€™s tempting to look back and yearn for the good ole days.Â
For me, that means theÂ happy times of my childhood.Â My memory conjures up family vacations to the Smokey Mountains, music that didnâ€™t set your teeth on edge, and social networkingÂ which took place at church socialsÂ or over the garden gate.
Bread was $.24 a loaf, and reading romance novels was the raciest thing people did outside their own bedrooms.Â
In 1961, my parents grounded me for two weeks for sneaking into the movie theater to see â€śSplendor in the Grass.â€ťÂ Today the movie would be labeled PG.Â I recently wanted to ground myself for seeing â€śBasic Instinctâ€ť which squeaked by with an â€śRâ€ť rating.
TheÂ good ole days are probably different for everyone, but in hindsight,Â mineÂ seemed a sweeter, gentler time, when crime was primarily of the purse-snatchingÂ variety and the national debt was rarely mentioned.Â
People in the 1950s were likely to beÂ tooÂ skinny than too fat, and burgers wereÂ considered â€śslow foodâ€ťÂ because you had to wait for the charcoal to turn white.Â Fried chicken didnâ€™tÂ come in a bucket, and practically every home contained a sewing machine.Â Remember those?Â
Four-letter words were never uttered in public unless you had a taste for Ivory Soap, and ice cameÂ out of aluminum ice cube trays tucked inside the â€śice box,â€ť a term I rarelyÂ hear any more.Â
But being nostalgic can be dangerous. If all we do is long for the past we discount the present.Â TenÂ years from now, will we look back on the dismal unemployment and run-away inflation rates and see thisÂ period as the good old days?
I recently heard a song entitled â€śThese are the Good Ole Days.â€ť The chorus goes like this:Â
These are the good ole days that weâ€™ve been livinâ€™
No more lookinâ€™ back all is forgivinâ€™
Ainâ€™t gonna live my life through no picture frame
These are the good ole days
Seems like people get lost talkinâ€™ â€™bout some day
Something better will come and take them away
Never realize â€™til itâ€™s too late
Itâ€™s the simple things that make life worthwhile
Like a warm summer day or a laughinâ€™ child
Or how it makes me feel just to see you smile.
Maybe itâ€™s true.Â Â The year 2011Â will someday be the good ole days for someone -Â despiteÂ its naggingÂ negatives.Â We might as well make the most of it.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement.Â She welcomes comments atÂ www.deludeddiva.com.