My birthday is rapidly approaching. I’ve never been real big on celebrating birthdays. Perhaps, it’s because I was born during ‘Nam. Seriously, why do we do it? Every single person on the globe has one every single year, and each year, it puts us one year closer to death. I’ll be 42. Elvis died at 42. The Stuttering Comic is not quite ready to leave the building.
I’m tired of seeing the one-year old completely covered in birthday cake and icing, too. It was cute the first thousand times I saw, but it’s now been played out, so stop it. Stop it now.
Perhaps I’m just getting old and cranky. I’m in my fifth decade here on earth, and I’ve seen a lot of change. Some of it has been for the better, while some of it has not.
Earlier in the week, I had to take my wife to the doctor. She had a sore throat, so I can’t blame her for wanting to go. Only two things send me to the doctor and those two things are sore throats and paper cuts.
We’ve only been married for a few weeks, so Lucy is not yet on my TRICARE, my military insurance. If you know anything about the military, you know that paperwork moves slower than Alabama’s special teams unit after a missed field goal.
I had to pay cash for the office visit. The doctor then suggested a particular big name pharmacy, because they had the best cash prices. While I appreciated his thoughtfulness, I went to my local pharmacy who filled my prescription with the understanding that we’ll file it through insurance once my wife is covered.
That is so reminiscent of the days of yesteryear. It was a much simpler time. I’m not referring to the issues with insurance. I’m referring to the way in which small, local businesses treat their customers. Large companies are bound by strict rules and policies, which does not allow for such friendly relationships.
I miss the old days.
Just the other day, I heard a story about a kid who said to his mom, “Wouldn’t it be nice if telephones were attached to chords or something so we’d never lose them?” If he only knew.
While I never had to pick up the phone to ask Sarah to connect me with anyone over in Mount Pilot, I did grow up with a rotary phone. That number 9 took forever to make its way all the way back around. The advancements in telephone technology has been amazing, and while it may sometimes cause rude behavior, it has all but wiped out the pay phone, which is a blessing in itself. I despised the pay phone. The mouthpiece always smelled like smoke.
I miss the old days. I miss seeing kids playing outside after school until the street lights came on. Now, they are either stuck behind a device or inundated with ridiculous amounts of homework. We only had three television channels, so we were outside playing football, kicking the can, or catching crawdads without a worry in the world. It was a much simpler time.
It used to be a big deal to go out to eat. It was even a big deal to get fast food, but if you went “somewhere to sit down” then it was a special occasion. We might have done this once or twice a year.
Now, people go out to eat almost every single night, and I am no exception. I’ll probably be going out to eat for my birthday and might even hear a song and a get piece of cake.
Perhaps my fondest memory of yesteryear is one that never happened. Unlike many toddlers, I never had my picture taken in a sailor’s suit. I thank God for that every day. Seriously, I’d rather be covered in birthday cake.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.