My mother used to say that it was better in the old days. Now that I am grown and my mother is no more, I keep hearing myself saying that the old ways were better. Is it fact, or just plain nostalgia tempered with a little amnesia?
In those days, I had to go to a phone booth to make a call. It was cheap to make a local call and a little more expensive to make a long distance call. It was inconvenient but saved us a ton of money as we didn’t make many calls. With the advent of home telephones and mobile phones, it is so easy to make a call and we spend a lot of money every month for this ‘necessity’.
The way we eat and treat food has also changed. Now, we can have meat whenever we want, however we want it, but back then meat was reserved for special occasions or for family gatherings. Nowadays, we have Japanese or Korean cuisine at expensive restaurants. We work longer and harder to earn that money to maintain our luxuries.
Weddings are different too. There is the modern wedding where wedding planners take care of everything, and we curse the traffic and the traveling we have to endure to make it in time to the opulent dinner at some city hotel. Our clothes cost a bomb, and we buy expensive gifts. In the old days, weddings were a three day affair where all family members chipped in, had fun decorating and borrowed each other’s clothes or even jewelry. Cousins played at the river banks and snapshots were full of spontaneity and real laughter. No one cared how much your gift cost, and arduous trips were made happier by legions of family members traveling together by train or bus.
Then, there was the old ways in school – the teacher disciplined you and when you went home, the news would have reached your parents. Parents disciplined you as well for making trouble in school. Today, the teacher is disciplined by the overprotective parent and children call the teacher names to his or her face, threatening a lawsuit if the teacher so much as bares his or her teeth. Ten A’s meant moral as well as spiritual superiority in the old days, not the reward of rich children with a bottomless tuition budget.
The old ways may seem outdated but it cannot be denied that the old ways are better in some ways.