Wednesday, June 21, 2006

When you have no idea what to blog about

"There are plenty of good five-cent cigars in the country. The trouble is they cost a quarter. What this country needs is a good five-cent nickel.

Franklin P. Adams, U.S. Journalist, 1932

I was at the mall food court not long ago and spied the Ben & Jerry's store. Ice cream sounded good until I took a look at the prices.

$2.55 -- small cone
$3.45 -- regular cone
$4.40 -- large cone
$1.99 -- add a scoop

I beg your pardon? I can buy a whole gallon of Blue Bell for five dollars.

And what about the last time you went to the movie theater? Aside from the price of the ticket, how about the price of those concessions? I could buy enough dry popcorn to feed a third world country for what a bucket of popcorn costs at the multiplex. And I swear they put diuretics in the soft drinks because I ALWAYS have to go to the potty at the critical point in the plot.

Gasoline prices are out the roof and folks can no longer afford a Sunday drive in the country, just taking in the scenery and stopping at a gas station for snacks. The simple pleasures of life (like an ice cream cone) are simply getting too expensive.

Of course, some of it is relative to the times. When movies cost a quarter, a new home cost $21,000, a stamp was a nickel and a gallon of gasoline was thirty-one cents. Betcha Pop didn't pull down a six-figure salary either. And Mom most likely was a stay-at-home mom who cooked real food, baked cookies and hung clothes on a line outside in the backyard.

The "olden days" are a mixed bag. Sure we could play outside after dark and not worry about sexual predators, but we also had no immunization against measles, mumps and chicken pox. I remember each of those diseases well. I missed Valentines Day in the second grade because I had the measles.

We didn't have cell phones back then. We also didn't have people taking cell phone calls in the middle of an eight-dollar movie.

What simple pleasures do you remember from your childhood? And what kinds of simple pleasures do you engage in with your family?

The Playground Monitor

P.S. I will be out of town visiting my sister on the Georgia coast next week but should have regular access to a computer and the Internet. Maybe next week's blog will be about the beach or eating shrimp with your fingers or sitting on the pier in the village and watching the ships going in and out of the Brunswick harbor. Or maybe I'll find inspiration during my vacation and write about writing.


Smarty Pants said...

I've been wracking my brain all morning trying to come up with a simple pleasure. Nothing seems simple anymore. My internal guilt alarm ruins most of it. A scoop of ice cream - CARBS! A day watching a Law & Order marathon - LAZY!

I guess when I was a kid things were better because I didn't have that alarm. I could enjoy a party at school and eat cupcakes without concern. I would ride my bike around my neighborhood because it was fun and I wouldn't think about how many calories I'd burned. My big goal in life was getting to go to McDonalds. No feeling inadequate because I haven't sold a book or gotten that promotion. Saving money involved pennies, not thousands of dollars in a 401k.

I have often said that I wish I were 5 again. I guess its the innocence of the time that gets me.


Instigator said...

Growing up in Michigan, there was a local ice cream shop - City Dairy. They made all their ice cream from scratch at the dairy where they also raised and milked the cows. It was the best ice cream you've ever tasted.
On hot summer nights, my parents would load all of us up into the station wagon and we'd head down to the Dairy for a treat. It was always amazing how many of our neighbors we'd run into there doing the same thing.

I really miss that place.


Angel said...

I have to agree with Smarty Pants. I can't remember any real rituals from my childhood or many special things that we did until I got older. But I remember a lack of worry and responsibility.

These days I feel a lot of internal pressure to get things done and take care of everyone. It never goes away, no matter how many things I accomplish in a day. And it gets even louder if I don't accomplish enough to suit my perfectionistic tendencies. Okay, perfectionistic expectations.

Looking back, I wonder if my Mom felt the same way. I think I'll call her and ask.

I'm making the official announcement so there will be no going back--my husband and I are going out of town, overnight-2 nights, for our anniversary. We haven't done that in 8 years. I plan to sleep, eat, get a massage, and write--and hope to leave the guilt at home. :) Good luck, huh?!?