Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm Turning Into My Mother - And It Isn't All Bad

I've been turning into my Mother for awhile now. I remember watching her age and how her attitudes changed along with the process. I remember in her later years how she extolled "the good old days". After thinking about my post from Tuesday, I'm really beginning to understand. That there had been a time and places where one didn't have to worry about every stranger encountered was wonderful. She lived in that time and those places. And so did I for a time.

She grew up in a different time. As did I from hers. As do today's young adults from mine. It is an interesting evolvement to witness. I remember she always wore dresses, hats and gloves. How long has it been since I've worn a proper ladies hat? I can't begin to remember. Gloves are for winter. I can remember wearing snow-pants under my skirt on winter days going to school. We wore dresses then too. Yet how often do I wear a skirt today? Seldom. Only on "dress up" occasions.

She deplored the disappearance of good manners. Please and thank you, thank you notes. Being called Mrs.____ rather than by her given name. I find myself resenting being called by my first name too - by a telephone solicitor who has never met me; speaking to me as if we were the most intimate of friends. I do resent it. I too notice a lack of manners. I remember when I was still working how much a please and a thank you would get. It was unexpected. That was a shame. It was appreciated. That was encouraging. At least the use of such hadn't been totally forgotten.

She'd get so annoyed with the talking heads on Sunday morning television. She couldn't understand their thought processes. Today I am much the same.

I'd have long conversations with her trying to convince her to be more flexible in her thinking. She'd ask me why she should give up her standards just because they weren't shared by those around her. I find myself wondering the same thing more and more often.

I rather like knowing the values she instilled in me have remained regardless of my youthful defiance. Her standards served her well; I will say the same for mine.

The one thing I would not like to carry over is the anger. But it probably will. The anger at the loss of physical ability, the anger at the patronizing, the loss of control over ones life and affairs. But in todays world in our culture that is a part of the process.

What really saddens me, however, is how the world as it is today will affect the children of our children. Will any of them know the freedoms we know, as diminished as they are becoming? Will any of them be able to relate to how wonderful it was to walk a street without fear, leave a door unlocked, trust a stranger? I have my doubts. And now I sound just like Mom when I speak of "the good old days..."


Phil said...

There's a fascinating book called "The Good Old Days - They Were Terrible" by Otto Bettmann. You can pick it up through Amazon for $1.89.

Anyway, I see a lot of the negative things about life today, but I also think that we have it so much better than at any other time in history. I guess I'm a "glass half full" kind of guy.

I think we just traded a bunch of scary stuff (like polio and unsafe cars) for a different bunch of scary stuff.

Word Tosser said...

Remember when the worse insult was when some one said you look like your mother... or you act like your mother... lol...
What is the saying ... we look for the enemy and find out it is us. lol..