Today is my birthday. And because–in the sixteen years I’ve been writing for this paper–I’ve never had “column Sunday” fall on December 29, I’m feeling a little pressure.
What should I write about? Should I lament the fact that a late December birthday often gets lost in the shuffle between Christmas and New Year’s? Should I tell how I was always the youngest kid in my class because I started first grade in a school system that used December 31 as the registration cutoff date? Should I share that my late mother always baked a white cake with caramel icing for my birthday and that it will always and forever be my favorite dessert in the whole wide world?
Or should I merely celebrate that this birthday isn’t a “big” one?
Probably not. Because even though I’ve got a whole year to go before I turn sixty, I’m about as old-school as it gets. Fourteen years into the twenty-first century, I still do lots of things the way people did back in the olden days. For example, I still:
- Drive a stick-shift
- Wear my jeans outside my cowboy boots instead
of tucked into them
- Use a crank-style can opener that swings away
from the wall
- Do my banking in person instead of online
- Use the drive-thru lane at the bank next to the
teller window instead of the one where
you put your deposit in a jar and send it flying up a vacuum tube
- Have a land line telephone
- Own (but don’t use) a phone with a rotary dial
- Look up addresses and phone numbers in a phone
- Look up words I don’t know in my trusty Webster’s
New Collegiate Dictionary
- Read a newspaper that’s wrapped in plastic and
thrown onto my driveway (or, sometimes, the ditch)
- Pay my electric bill with a check and put it in
my flag-up mailbox in a stamped envelope
- Don’t have (or want) a twitter account
- Wear an analog wristwatch
- Wake up to an analog alarm clock
- Keep my appointments on a paper calendar in my
- Read books printed on paper
- Don’t have a clue how to use e-bay or Craig’s
- Play CDs on a boom box
- Have a “brag book” with printed photos of my grandchildren in it
- Use a map to figure out where I’m going
But this list is about to be a lot shorter, I’m told, if only I can learn to use the smart phone I got for a combined Christmas-birthday present. Stay tuned.
(December 29, 2013)