Old-school, but not for long

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)





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