I love picking up the remote and telling it ‘Play jazz music’ and it opens a lovely jazz playlist on my TV. I love the fact that you can be in the air for a few hours and be in another country.

I love that toilet paper now comes in huge Mega rolls.

I love progress!

But in the great progress that we’ve all become accustomed to, there are some special things that have quietly faded into the background; the casualties of progress.

  • When women rode beside their men in a vehicle. Heck, my wife rode beside me on an ambulance run to Memphis one time in an old bench seat unit. I’ve not seen the statistics but I’d wager that the divorce rate sharply increased with the invention of bucket seats.
  • When people counted change back manually, gave your S and H Greenstamps back, smiled and said ‘thank you’. (If they don’t tell me that now, I say ‘You’re welcome’. The looks I get.)
  • I miss postage stamp vending machines.
  • I miss the reliable 5 o’clock news and only the facts and not everyone’s opinions on the facts. And it was news that we could trust.
  • People weren’t so stressed in life that they had to be reminded to not leave their children in a hot car.
  • I miss seeing kids playing outside and people sitting on porches or working in the yard late in the day.
  • There was nothing like the cool air and the consoling hum of a window air conditioner unit.
  • Backing up to a wall stack heater unit in the cold of winter to warm up and dry off after playing in the snow. Which reminds me….I miss snow.
  • When cars had dimmer switches in the upper left corner of the floorboard.
  • When you could tell a car’s brand and make from a distance. Most look the same now. The coolness is lost.
  • When being addressed by Mr and Mrs was reserved explicitly for your last name. And being called ‘Mr. Mark’ was only acceptable if you were a Sunday school teacher and certainly not by other adults; especially someone older than you. Calling me ‘Mr. Mark’, when one graduated BEFORE me, doesn’t make one any younger than myself. I don’t know how that little tid bit of rudeness got so out of control, but when I’m talking with a total stranger on a business-type call, it’s insulting when they address me as Mr. Mark rather than Mr. Bedwell.
  • I miss when movies showed people getting shot but no up close red mushy celebrations of their brains being splattered in slow motion, over and over and over.
  • F bombs only happen 1 or 2 times a movie or not at all. And especially out of young people’s mouths. Apparently, the majority of people enjoy hearing F bombs over and over. But, that’s another blog.
  • When groups of people didn’t feel the need to let the world know their sexual preferences.
  • When people danced, roller skated, stayed busy, sweated and moved instead of sitting and complaining about the cost of their medicines, asking for prayer for their blood pressure and other things that could be helped by them simply moving.
  • When bathrooms had faucets with knobs and paper towels that came out one by one.
  • When sofas were firm and you didn’t feel like you were sitting down into a huge brown marshmallow and needed a running start to get up out of and on your feet again.
  • When car ads on TV sold you on the greatness of the car and not by yelling at you or having a celebrity just ride in it.
  • I miss just being told that we could have some storms later in the day and not having a TORCOR score with blaring alerts on our TV/phone and radio for just a thunderstorm watch. Alerts were reserved for when it got bad.
  • When men and women/boys and girls held hands in public.
  • I miss the rush of pulling up to the Polaroid kiosk and flipping open the black and yellow envelope to see printed pictures. And laughing at the bad pictures that got printed. None were deleted, all were cherished and put up on a refrigerator door somewhere.
  • I really, really miss when the only holidays were Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving and people looked forward to holidays.  As I write this it’s July and fall decorations are on sale. We’re now in a constant state of celebration.  ‘Johnny graduated kindergarten! Let’s put up streamers, balloons, make cupcakes and all tell him how great he has done!’ People now dread Christmas coming but are ready to party down hard over the sonogram of an unborn child? After working a 40 hour week? And people wonder why everyone stays so stressed all the time and leaving kids and dogs in hot cars. We need to quit looking for a reason to decorate, prep and party with the masses and then complain that we don’t have enough time to sit down with our close and intimate friends like we used to. Am I Scrooge? Nope. But in our zeal, since the 80s to out-do Sunday School member Nancy’s Winter Solstice celebratory party with decorations and a DJ, we’ve lost sight of what’s important to celebrate.  If we celebrate everything, then there is nothing left to truly celebrate.
  • Smells. I miss when people wore cologne. My mother would fix her hair up, paint her own nails and wash herself down in a healthy dose of Jungle Gardenia. You always knew where she was though. Dad would leave for work smelling of Old Spice or Lectric Shave. My older brother wore Brut like it was a sacrament to the dating gods. Suffice it to say, I grew up in a good smelling house and insist that my house smell good today. But then, one day, everyone’s noses got offended (in addition to their feelings) so people stopped smelling freshy fresh. And now people just smell like their deodorant, which we should all be thankful for.
  • I miss flipping the album cover over and over and absorbing the cool cover art.
  • I miss the goosebumps from hearing and watching ‘We Are The World’ for the first time.
  • When people weren’t searching for a reason to be offended and be a victim. If any of my writings offend you, please be aware that they are MY thoughts and feelings through a keyboard and I own them. You’re free to do the same.
  • I miss when the police were respected and EVERYONE, who is able, stands for the National Anthem.
  • Last but not least, on blaring sunny days, I miss the protection of my fro on my head. me

As we move forward to a better tomorrow and streamline life by cookie-cutting our cars and home, and making sure that everyone isn’t offended, let’s not totally lose the greatness and the individuality of our today.

That’s the best that I can tell about it,

~Mark

I would love to see the things you miss in the comments below!