Tag Archives: Good old days

How to Get a Backache

Image by Pfüderi from Pixabay.

Achieving a backache often depends on the subject’s age.

Sadly, if you’re under 20, nothing induces a backache — unless Mom demands you clean your room.

However, creative 20- to 30-year-olds can realize backache goals. Try triple Axels on your skateboard. Carry your unmotivated friend piggyback up a mountain. Impress your lady by lifting her sofa above your head.

If all else fails to achieve back pain, your dad’s demand that you get a job will.

Thirty- and 40-somethings often succeed because they have jobs. Plus, they carry wailing three-year-olds into Little Overachiever Preschool. Every. Single. Day. They also drag 50-pound bags of manure to butterfly gardens for their grade-schoolers’ science projects. Pushing their cars from snowdrifts crisscrosses vertebrae. Nothing, however, works better than taking a terrified Lab to the Happy Doggy Clinic for shots. Paying for damages to furniture, building and staff will add a bonus headache for your Tylenol® pleasure.

Image by Mark Thornton from Pixabay.

More options materialize after a 50th birthday. You haul backbreaking bags of money to your student’s college. Your spouse finds that fitting into skinny jeans takes her to the ER. A game of pickup basketball lightens your mood, but not only will you hurt your back, you may lose a kidney or two. The pain will intensify when you sleep on the sofa because you played basketball instead of cleaning the garage.

At age 65, demonstrate to young whippersnappers what it was like in the good old days. When real men shoveled snow without wussy snowblowers. When real women scrubbed floors on their knees instead of using wussy Swiffers. Show everyone at the block party how real ice cream was made by cranking for six hours. All good-old-days activities are good for a week-long backache.

Image by J. Laso from Pixabay.

Soon, though, you’ll reach the ultimate in back pain with no effort whatsoever. Whereas, weeding flower beds to outdo another retiree once put you in a body cast, now, reading a seed catalog accomplishes the job. The past effects of pickup basketball occur when you pick up a basketball a kid tossed into your yard. Or when you pick up cards at a euchre party.

At age 20, nothing gave you backaches. Now everything gives you backaches.

Image by Kevin 120415 from Pixabay.

So, luxuriate on your heating pad. Lie back in your hot tub.

And don’t let anyone make you clean your room.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your “favorite” way to achieve a backache?

Things Have Changed, and I’m Glad

I finally stopped refusing senior discounts. (Who was I kidding?)

Now, I find it tempting to diss the present and reverence the “good old days.” One morning, a Grouchy Old Gal stared at me from the mirror. Did I really want her to stay?

Instead, I booted her out and listed things I like about 2021. Plus a few I do not miss from the past.

  • First, permanent press is a gift from God. My mother spent hours starching and ironing my puff-sleeved dresses, dresses I wore while emptying mud puddles. I iron now only when I can find mine. The best thing about a no-iron worldview? Though manufacturers lie that their clothes don’t require ironing, everyone pretends it’s true.
  • In this millennium, we enjoy a whole new excuse for playing hooky: the computers are down.
  • Email is cheaper, simpler and faster than snail mail. Unless the computers are down.
  • Microwaves, once a figment of sci-fi imaginations, have forever banished the sinking realization: “Ack! I forgot to defrost the meat!” Okay, so they sometimes produce meals the consistency of cement, with comparable nourishment. Still, speedy microwaves helped feed my skinny physician husband at all hours. They removed gunky warm-up pans from my kitchen’s décor. Nowadays, a microwave suits our lifestyle — that of college students without food service.
  • Few potlucks still feature 15 kinds of marshmallow-Jell-O salad.
  • I’ll take Susan Boyle’s singing, as opposed to Carol Channing’s, anytime. (See YouTube — another current convenience that can take us down Memory Lane, as well as make us glad we don’t live there anymore!)
  • Thanks to technology, we no longer miss favorite programs or movies. We need not suffer withdrawal symptoms when leaving before finding out whodunit.
  • Being a grandma is way more fun than being a mom.
  • In a related thought, little boys’ clothes today are much cuter than those in 1970. This grandma lauds that aspect of gender equality, as I have six grandsons.
  • In a somewhat related thought, I appreciate bicycle helmets. Seat belts. Even kids’ car seats that demand an engineering degree and an acrobat’s body to buckle.
  • Few people drive Pintos anymore.
  • Blow-dryers and curling irons have replaced the overnight torture of brush rollers and orange juice cans. Guys, if you don’t “get” the orange juice cans, ask your wives how they prettied up for Saturday night during the 1960s. Check online photos — if you dare.
  • Men rarely get permanents today. During the ’70s, much of the male population appeared to have been replaced by alien poodles. Wearing leisure suits. And platform shoes.
  • Cigarette commercials now feature cancer victims rather than cool cowboys. In restaurants, puffing and blowing occur only when your food’s too hot.
  • I applaud painless antiseptics that soothe cuts, as opposed to this-is-gonna-make-you-scream Mercurochrome.
  • Experts now assert that chocolate and coffee are good for us.
  • I hate to admit it, but cell phones do keep us safe on the road. Also, if not for cell phones, thousands of husbands might still be wandering Meijer’s aisles, seeking the correct brand of pickles.
  • No more waiting for photos to develop. No more paying for them, either.
  • We now realize God can say both “you” and “thee.”
  • Homemade, homegrown and handcrafted items — food, clothing, even coffins — have become special again.
  • Using an effortless stain stick beats scrubbing grass stains with an old toothbrush. Just ask my kids.
  • Finally, no one sings about yummy love in their tummies anymore.

That last extinction alone brightens the 2021 landscape.

My late father, who loved classical music, would have agreed.

Perhaps I inherited my outlook from Dad. He disliked many modern trends, but he also declared the “good old days” a myth. Dad plowed too many fields behind a mean mule to romanticize the past. Riding a John Deere mower was way better.

Recalling Jim Crow laws in the South — written and unwritten — he celebrated dining with both white and African-American friends without fear.

Occasionally, Dad allowed Grouchy Old Guy to stick around.

I sometimes hang out with Grouchy Old Gal.

But mostly, I celebrate life here and now.

And welcome all the senior discounts.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What don’t you miss from the “good old days,” and what are you thankful for now?