The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Kelly Kazek

May 20, 2012

Each generation contends with struggles

— Once again, my daughter, concerned you all might think she’s one grit shy of a bowl, asked me not to write about a recent incident. Of course, being a loving mother, I agreed.

Instead, I will tell you about something that recently happened to another girl named, um, Thannon.

Thannon, a talented and beautiful student at Auburn University who just happens to have an extremely stylish and intelligent mother, called recently to tell me she was without her debit card. Her boyfriend had used it to pick up fast food and accidentally kept it when he returned to the Auburn University-Montgomery campus, where he is enrolled.

Thannon was concerned. “I don’t know how I’m going to get lunch,” she moaned.

Of course, there was no need to ask if she had cash. No one under the age of 20 carries cash anymore.

“Can’t you write a check?” I asked.

This didn’t seem a suitable solution because the dust-covered checkbook she rarely uses was tucked away at her apartment and she was far away on campus. Plus, she only knew how to fill out a check in theory.

“Well, then, go to the bank and get some cash,” I suggested.

Pause.

“You can do that?” came the surprised response.

I explained how you just go in, fill out a withdrawal slip and get cash back – all without using a card or machine.

My daugh … I mean, this young woman is by no means stupid or naïve. She just never had the need to fill out a withdrawal slip, much less a check. Like all young people today, she does everything electronically.

I guess it’s fitting that a few days after the death of disco-legend Donna Summer, I write a column about the “good ol’ days,” just to remind the young’uns what they’re missing. I mentioned to some of my young staff members I used to roller skate to Donna Summer songs. I’m not sure if their rolled eyes were from the mental image of me roller-skating, or because I once skated to “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.”

I could have told them I knew all the words to “McArthur Park,” one of the most awesome tributes to cake of all time and, in Summer’s version, the greatest triumph of art-over-lyrics.

I don’t think they would have been impressed.

While those in my generation (errr, let’s say 40-something) can’t say we walked four miles to school in the snow barefoot like our grandparents could, we did have our own struggles to contend with. I did walk to school, although it wasn’t a long walk, and when I got home, I had only three TV channels from which to choose. Plus, there were no video games. We were a couple of years away from the Atari game Pong, where we watched a square “ball” bounce from one side of the screen to the other, where we used a control to “hit” it back again.

Can you imagine the trauma?

My brother and I had to go outside – outside! – and find something to entertain ourselves.

We suffered other indignities. When we wanted to have a private phone conversation, we had to pull the receiver on its coiled wire from the kitchen wall and down the hall, where we could crouch and speak in whispers. I had a phone with a cord when Shannon was a baby. For years, I kept it hanging on the wall as sort of a museum piece for her high school friends.

This generation of young people thinks art appreciation is LOLing at Google Doodles.

They don’t know dictionaries and encyclopedias were items you used to have to actually hold on your laptop, and they could be really heavy.

Shannon has never “developed” photos, or had to guess who was calling on the phone.

She never had to wonder what her friends were doing or thinking at any given moment.

She never had to write a “Dear John” letter, but on the downside, any “love letters” are all lost to cyberspace.

She’s never let her fingers do the walking in the Yellow Pages.

She doesn’t know phishing was a fun family activity.

I suppose worst of all, she can’t remember the days when Spam was a good thing.

Sigh.

I can only hope she comes through it OK.

Send your memories from the good ol’ days to Kelly@athensnews-courier.com.

1
Text Only
Kelly Kazek
  • kazek, kelly.jpg A relaxing nakation will melt away worries

    September 23, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Today's interactive column: What's your Bacon Number?

    Google has created a search engine that automatically calculates any actor’s “Bacon Number,” meaning how many connections it takes to link him or her to Kevin Bacon, á la the parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

    September 16, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Biography of Kelly Kazek

    Kelly Kazek was born in Warner Robins, Ga., in whichever year adds up to her being 35.

    November 8, 2011 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Warning: Get ready for the apawcalypse

    Humans are being cat-washed — and I don’t mean by little sandpapery tongues.

    September 2, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg A wish for peace, perfect parking space

    August 26, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg What? Like you’ve never glued a foot to the floor

    ... I don’t want you to get the wrong impression about me. I like men, especially Channing Tatum, and I don’t even care if he’s smart. So today, in the interest of fairness, I want to give equal space to Stupid Girl Tricks.

    August 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Fall of the South? Much ado about Honey Boo Boo

    It’s been 80 years since those living in the Great Depression focused on Shirley Temple to lift them from doldrums. In 2012, in the midst of the Great Recession ... Americans have a new bubbly, curly-headed icon to take their minds off their woes: Honey Boo Boo Child.

    August 12, 2012 3 Photos

  • kazek, kelly.jpg ‘Man aisle?’ What about a single mom aisle?

    I like to tell my peeps I don’t think all men are stupid. Just the ones who practically beg me to write about them like William Bonner of Augusta, Ga., who last week poured a shot of Bacardi 151 on his head and asked a friend to light it

    August 5, 2012 1 Photo

  • A girls’ guide to safe thong-wearing

    Yes, a pair of panties, which in my experience have always been non-violent, has joined the list of items mamas must warn children about: “You are not old enough for your own thong. You could put your eye out.”

    July 29, 2012

  • kazek, kelly.jpg Solutions for 'toe-besity,' bad mug shots

    I personally never worry about slimming down an area I can hide with a nice pair of Easy Spirits and instead concentrate on fat in places that could lead people to think I am pregnant … or a beached manatee … or a pregnant beached manatee.

    July 28, 2012 3 Photos

Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee