I don’t remember wondering what my future would be like when a kid. As an 8 or 9 or 10-year-old, did I think about my adult life? I doubt it. I am sure I would never have talked about my life as a senior citizen facing retirement. What would I do? What kind of world would I be living in?
Nostradamus I am not. Life after the ripe old age of 60, moving into the 70s and beyond, were beyond my imagination. My ideas of life in the third decade of the 21st century would have been boring. After all, my role models were an older generation gray-haired or bald, plodding around in orthopedic-type shoes, drinking coffee (ok, I admit I drink coffee, a lot…). Women wore house dresses and cooked. I’m not sure what the men did all day…
I would have been totally wrong, mostly wrong, or at least 75% wrong, in my assumptions and presumptions about life in the 2020s.
Ten Life-in-these-United-States features (most of us) didn’t predict 50 years ago (in no particular order):
- Star Trek would become a mega-franchise, the original 1960s TV shows still popular on TV, as well as numerous spin-offs and movies.
- Supermarket space for kid-staples like spaghetti and macaroni dwindled over the years, replaced by a vast array of pastas – such as linguine, fettucine, gnocchi, manicotti, rigatoni, penne, tortellini…shipped from all corners of the world, manufactured by companies large and small.
- In many parts of the country children walking to and from school have been replaced by lengthy lines of SUVs discharging little ones in the morning and collecting their charges in the afternoon. On the other hand…children in many areas have been replaced, or at least greatly outnumbered, by seniors, who drive many of those SUVs everywhere.
- Potholes reign supreme, creating havoc for cars and drivers. Many drivers munch fast-food meals and sip mega-sized multi-named drinks while commuting to work, running errands, transporting kids to activities, travelling for a day, weekend, or week of vacation at the shore, a mountain resort, Disneyland or Disney World, although it is doubtful potholes exist in the world of Disney.
- 24/7 news generates an American populace incapable of thinking for themselves.
- Barbie dolls and accessories remain popular, along with Barbie’s boyfriend Ken and fashion, career, fantasy dolls and more. Etch-a-Sketch is another oldie but goodie often found today in homes overrun with toys. Other 1960s inventions with us still, and more popular than ever: bubble wrap, aspartame, Sharpie markers, Icees and Slurpees, the Wonderbra, ATMs, and smiley faces.
- Amazon Prime and just about every company anywhere in the world, delivers packages to our doorstep, a throwback to the Montgomery Ward and Sears catalog days of over a century ago. Retail stores are almost an endangered species.
- Too many of those unthinking, thoughtless folks trust medical quacks and their bogus products more than science, scientists, ‘real’ medical professionals, and their products.
- Weather, weather everywhere – floods, fires and tornadoes, oh my! Weather forecasters warn us to prepare. Milk and bread alert! Stock up on water! GET OUT OF TOWN…
- I doubt anyone ever could have or would have predicted that rumor, speculation, discussion, and incessant chatter by talking heads and politicians about the pandemic and plague, vaccine and horse serum, social distancing and masks, would dominate our days.