Strange times we live in, eh? This has been one of the driest winters on record in Southern California and yet it was cold enough for me to light the fireplace on the last night of March. Meanwhile, they froze their tocheses off this past winter on the east coast. The unpredictability of the weather is nothing new. It’s been going on for centuries and will continue that way with or without the human equation involved.
April 9th is my anniversary. It’s also my wife’s anniversary, and believe me I couldn’t have done it without her. So happy 36th anniversary dear wife! I love you! So what should we do to celebrate? We might go out for dinner. There are still a few restaurants we enjoy going to such as The Bistro Garden, Musso & Frank, and La Dolce Vita. Too bad some of our other favorite places we used to dine at when we were first married are not around. The Brown Derby, Scandia, The Tail of the Cock, Chasen’s, L’Orangerie, Robaire’s, Jimmy’s, Nick’s, Escoffier, and Emilio’s are all gone with the wind.
In the larger scheme of things, 1978 wasn’t really that long ago, but in many ways it is a world away from 2014. Think about it. In 1978 there were no cell phones at all. No iPhones, iPods, no personal computers, no internet, no twitter, no e-mail, no cable TV channels, no Xboxes or Play Stations, no “selfies.” Televisions still had dials as did many telephones. There were no Sony Walkman, no Roller Blades, no artificial hearts, no disposable cameras, no DNA fingerprinting, no human growth hormone, no MTV and certainly no HDTV.
There were no “bike lanes,” no hybrid cars, no SUV’s, no Viagra, no Cialis, and no explicate television commercials for adult personal products. Pornography was still something only seen in adult movie houses or in dirty magazines, and kids were not exposed to it the way they are now. People didn’t walk around drinking bottled water, getting Botox injections, hiring life coaches and putting their little boys on Ritalin. There were no CDs, no DVDs and no Netflix.
There were no leaf blowers, hip-hop music, or legal marijuana. Teenagers were not using drugs like cocaine and heroin to the extent that they are doing them today. There was still shame attached to out of wedlock pregnancies. There were not yet 15 to 20 million illegal aliens in the country, and most blue-collar jobs in building construction, meat processing plants, factories, and restaurant and hotel industries were still held by American citizens.
In 1978 radical Islamic terrorism was not yet a worldwide threat to Western values. The Cold War with the Soviet Union was still on. Berlin was still a divided city, the East walled in by Communism. Japan was strong and China was still very much an isolated enemy of the free world. The United States of America was still considered the greatest nation on earth. Even though President Carter was weakening our image considerably around the globe, President Reagan would soon change that and develop his doctrine of “peace through strength.”
When we got married in 1978 there was no Justin Bieber, no Jessica Simpson, no Britney Spears, no Lindsay Lohan, no Miley Cyrus, and no Zac Efron. On the other hand, there was Bette Davis, Bob Hope, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Jimmy Durante, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, and Helen Hayes.
We had plenty of words in 1978 but back then there were no such things as blogs, Google, bromance, sexting, bling, cloning, road rage, metrosexuals, the war against women, laptops, Dolby surround sound, podcasts, fracking, and twerking. Tattoos were seen only on sailors, sideshow freaks, jungle natives, and prisoners. The only ones who had facial piercings were primitive tribal people who lived far from civilization.
If you went out for dinner in 1978 you dressed up. If you went to church or synagogue you dressed up. If you went on a date (remember dating?) you dressed up. No dressing up today to go anywhere, expect maybe a funeral or a costume party.
So yes, things have changed quite a bit since we were married back in the ancient days of 1978. Fortunately for Jane and me, we’re still here, still married, still in love and still laughing. And I guess that says a lot after 36 years.
Sure, I think we’ll get dressed up and go out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We’ll have a drink and toast each other’s good fortune. Then, if it’s still cold enough, I’ll make a fire when we get home.