I'm getting old.
Today that became clear to me.
It started with a trip to the mall to purchase some coats for the kids and tennis shoes for Zayd (see entry entitled Mysterious Odor).
I walk through the women's section and most of what is available makes me cringe. Lace leggings, low cut, skimpy shirts, uber-ugly skirts. God! Why would anyone want to wear any of this?
I could hear my parents voice in my head. When I was in 5th grade I wanted a pair of "go-go boots" SO BAD. They wouldn't buy them because they were "in-sharsh-shash" -- which in Arabic essentially means trashy. Fortunately, I got a pair of hand-me-down go-go boots from my older cousin. Man, I loved those boots. And now, here I am... thinking most of the clothes I am looking at are in-sharsh-shash. Thank God I don't have daughters.
How did this happen? When did this happen?
I head up to the kid's shoe area and quickly find a pair of Nikes that will work fine. Then I decide to browse at the men's shoes. Wow. Some of these are just plain weird... ugly.... aren't there any nice classic men's shoes? Why does everything have to look so... so... oh I don't know. Just not the same.
Driving home I flip through the radio stations. Ugh... yuck... What? THIS is music? I think to myself as I hear my options. Finally I land on an oldies station... oldies as in '70s and '80s. Sigh.
In the afternoon, Zayd, Ethan and I went on a tour of the police station, (for boy scouts) and then I took them to a delicious local pastry shop that sells all sorts of fantastic and beautiful goodies. We had a white chocolate candy cane dome, a slice of five-layer chocolate cake, and the biggest mugs of hot cocoa any of us had ever seen.
Zayd: Wow. They use glass mugs. Fancy!
It used to be that the only time you got hot cocoa in styrofoam cups was when you went out sledding...
They downed the food in 5 minutes. Zayd wanted to lick the plate.
Me: You know... we can take our time and enjoy our treats.
Zayd: Why would we do that?
Me: Because this is a nice chance for us to talk about our week.
Ethan: But I'm hungry. I want to eat.
Zayd: I prefer visiting in the car.
Doesn't anyone really visit face-to-face anymore? We have to multi-task? Drive and visit in the car? Why don't my kids get this? Hummm... maybe this is why I blog? No one takes the time to listen to storytelling. There's no time. To many other things to do. Instead, people can read a few sentences, and decide whether they want to continue.
After inhaling their desserts, we went across the street to an antique store. I was amazed at how much time they wanted to spend in there... they were fascinated by everything. Thank God. There is some hope. But some of this stuff just wasn't old. At least, I didn't think it was old.
Zayd: What is this!?
I look down.
Me: It's a rotary phone.
Zayd: A what!?
Me: A rotary phone.
How does he not know this?
Zayd: Crazy. How does it work?
Really? He doesn't know how it works? Have I traveled to another dimension?
Me: Well, you put your finger here and you turn it like this... See? 2 - 9 - 7... now you do the rest of our phone number...
Zayd: 0 - 6 - 2 - 3. Wow. That is fun to do. How old is this phone?
Me: Not that old. I used to have a phone like this in our house.
Zayd: Wow. That's pretty old. What's this for?
He holds up the cord.
Okay - now he must be messing with me...
Me: It's a cord.
Zayd: For what?
Me: So it works!
Zayd: Can you take it off?
Me: You can but then it won't work.
A few minutes later, Zayd had found another "old" phone.
Me: Oh! That's a pay phone.
Why is a pay phone in an antique store?
Zayd: Cool! I've never seen one before. How does it work?
A pay phone. A pay phone? My son has never seen a pay phone.
I explain how it works and he responds
Zayd: Why would anyone ever need a pay phone?
Ethan finds a box of kitchen utensils... in it is a can opener. One that we used to have when I was a kid.
Ethan: WHAT is THIS!?
Me: It's a can opener.
Ethan: WOW! This must be really old!
I am as old as the can opener.
Zayd calls me over to where he is
Zayd: Mom! Mom! Look at these!
I see some cylinder recordings next to some 45s. Okay - THIS is going to be a tough one. They have never even seen a turntable...
The antique store was in reality a history lesson for my boys. And frankly, a not that long ago history lesson. Am I a living member of history? I think I feel sick.
By that point, I had decided I had enough of the antique store. Next we went to the art museum. Again, Zayd and Ethan were fascinated by some of the "old" sculptures and paintings - made way back in 1975. Again, a glimmer of hope. I was pleased that they loved the museum and we spent about an hour looking all around.
We left and headed home. The boys excitedly told their dad about their afternoon with mom. Then, out of the blue - Zach, our 14-year-old points at the television and yells:
Zach: THAT is Mr. T!
Zach: Zayd. Zayd! Look at the TV! It's Mr. T!
Zayd: What? (pause) Wow....!
Me: Why are you so interested in Mr. T?
Zach: Zayd has never seen him before.
Me: You have never seen Mr. T?
Zayd: No. Who is he? What does he do?
Holy. That cinched it. I am old.