Now and then

Then: When I went to Syracuse University I became so homesick I could barely function.

I called my father collect from every pay phone I passed. I think his phone bills were $100 a month–in 1964. Dad typed out letter and letter—single-spaced on a manual typewriter—trying to make me feel better.

Now: Homesick freshmen can constantly feel connected to their friends and family.

Then: I insisted on sitting by the phone waiting for a call from a boy I liked instead of going out to a movie with friends.

Now: Lovesick young women can go out with their friends and hear from a guy at the same time.

Then: When I traveled out of town on business I’d have to pull off the road to check in with the office for my messages.

Now: Your office is wherever you are.

Then: When my teenage son still wasn’t home at 3 a.m. I became increasingly more worried as the minutes passed without a word from him.

Now: Mothers manage to track down their sons, even if their sons are trying to avoid them.

Then: When I answered the phone I took the chance of hearing from someone I wanted to avoid

Now: We can avoid whomever we want to avoid.

Then or now?

0 Responses to “Now and then”

  1. Leigh Chandler says:

    Your posts are always so interesting! This is a tough one. Yes, we managed to grow up without all of the technology of today and with so much more freedom, in my opinion. I was much more scared for my own children, so they were never far from my sight and they both had cell phones at an early age so I could reach them at any time. Now, I worry that they are too addicted to their phones and texting and might not ever have the kind of peaceful “alone time” that we FOF’s had. It is such a catch 22, as they say.

  2. Maureen@IslandRoar says:

    Now. No contest.

  3. Marjip says:

    Geri-it’s so interesting to read your musings. You’re a woman dear to my heart. You seem to be writing about so much of what I’m thinking. You have a unique way of expressing those thoughts-appreciate it.

    • Geri says:

      Hi Marji,

      That pleases me. Thank you dear.


  4. Preppy 101 says:

    Gosh this is a great post! May I have both? 🙂
    When I was teaching, we teachers did discuss in great length and with great concern about the fact that the youth of today will never know solitude. No matter where they are they can be texting, FBing, gchatting, iChatting, etc. I personally think there is something to be said for alone time. Rather sad that they may never know how to be alone — and content.

    I love being away from technologically at times, but also love being able to text, call my children anytime at all. It is also very comforting to know that when they travel, etc. they have a phone in case of emergency. That being said, our parents certainly raised us without it and survived. {In fact I survived it – My own son didn’t have a cell phone until college days!}

    • Geri says:

      Hi Preppy,

      You may have both. 🙂 My son spent his junior year in Barcelona (19990-2000). He didn’t have a cell phone yet, but the Europeans were addicts already (their land lines are too expensive).


  5. LPC says:

    On the other hand, my 19-year old son said today something like, “I imagine a phone free life would be very nice.” Nostalgia for what you never knew:).

    • Geri says:

      I remember when my grandmother shared a phone number with a neighbor in the early fifties. It was called a Party Line. You’d pick up the phone and there was a conversation going on so you had to wait till they finished. It was hysterical.



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