Thursday, September 1, 2011


I have always been somewhat of a history nerd. I find it fascinating to learn about how people used to live, how they did everyday things, what would have been the norm for them. It's no wonder, then, that I find even the differences in the generations surrounding me to be interesting. For example, I never owned a cell phone until college, and now elementary schoolers have nicer phones than I do. I got my first CD in middle school. Now my 3 year old niece has her own iPod Touch. I realize that these are not just generational, but cultural norms. But I have already turned into that old lady that says to kids, "Why, when I was your age, I had to go sit on the basement stairs to talk on the phone because that's all the further the cord would reach!"

In recent conversations with my mom, I have discovered that in some cases I am even more of a crochety old lady than she is! Not that my mom is a crochety old lady. Not in the least. Of course I didn't mean it that way. (Hi, Mom!) Here are just some of the ways that we differ in opposite ways than you would expect.


I inherited my love of reading from both my parents, but my mom and I share a similar taste in reading materials. For her birthday last year, we all pitched in and got my mom a Kindle. Since then, my mom and I have had many debates over which is better: a real book or a book on Kindle. I totally understand that a Kindle is lighter than most books, and you can put hundreds of books on a Kindle, so they're all right there. Easier to carry around, easier to hold in many cases. Definitely quick and easy access to books. But for me...I love the smell of books. I love buying new books that have that "new book smell," and I love going to the library and smelling the old books. (Shut up, it's not weird.) I like to be able to hold a book in my hands, turn the pages, know at a glance how far into the book I am. I love the ink stains on my fingers after spending hours immersed in a book. I will confess that I'm a flipper...I like to sneak a peek at the end of the book, just to see what names are still around...and I'm not ashamed. :) I like marking my place with momentos that I use until I lose them. (Currently, a musician's business card) Even though I'm all for instant gratification, there's something fun about the anticipation of waiting for a book to arrive from Amazon. Clearly, I am a big dork, and it's possible that if I had a Kindle I might be swayed, but I don't know...


I worked with teenagers for two years, and one of the common complaints from parents was that their teenagers wouldn't pick up the phone and call, but resorted to text responses. It also seems like it's parents who tend to feel slighted when their kids don't call them. Not so with my parents. They are busy little beavers, and I'm pretty sure, much as they love me, they probably wouldn't call me unless they hadn't heard from me at all in over a week. Several times I have called my mom to chat, only to receive a text in response, asking what I need. I have joked with my mom about this, so she made an effort to call me to tell me I got her hooked on a new book series I forced her to read (REAL books, mind you). Again, total role reversal, as I would talk to my mom several times a week if it was my choice.


Okay, so this isn't a versus topic, and my mom and I actually don't disagree on this one. Much as other mothers might needle their 27 year old daughters about being married, my mom could care less. That sounds mean, but it's true. Not that she doesn't want me to get married. She wants whatever will make me happiest. Now, my niece Madelyn, on the other hand, plays the part of the interfering mother quite well. Almost every time I see her these days she comments on my marital status, and makes suggestions about how I should go about 'fixing' the fact that I am single. She's even got the passive aggressive guilt tripping down: "I'll just live with Auntie Rena when I'm in high school...she probably won't be married by then anyway." Yeah. Hilarious. Mostly ;)

In conclusion (this is how you end essays), the way generations look at things can be extremely different, but clearly there are abberrations, as is the case with my mother and me. (Yes, I called us abberrations.) But my mom is my best friend, and anyone who knows me knows that you have to be somewhat bizarre to be my friend, even if you're my mother. Yes. Crap, I have no good way to end this.

Oh! The other half of my brain and I started a blog together. It has exactly one entry. But there will be more. Hopefully. We need topics, so if you read this, check it out and leave a topic or question for us to ramble about. (Unless, of course, weird and random doesn't 'do it' for you, in which case, disregard this paragraph.)

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