In my more reflective moments I let my mind wonder and it comes up with some strange scenarios. One that crops up a few times is my parents, who incidentally died 30 years or so ago, and what would they think of times now if they could return for a couple of days. I mean when they passed away video recorders were the thing to have with VHS finally outwitting Betamax to being the dominant system. When my father passed away they were too expensive for the mainstream, Philips were the big player in the field then, and most people, usually affluent, rented rather than bought.
As my dad passed on video recorders became more affordable, so much so my mum bought one but there was a problem, she hadn’t a clue how to use it. So I virtually re-wrote the instruction manual which although being a Japanese machine the manual was written in English, but still too complicated for mum to get to grips with. So I wrote everything of importance down on paper, which didn’t include timer settings and all that, just press a button mum and record. Press another button and watch the program you taped, and when you wanted to tape something else then start the tape back at the beginning.
You also have to remember that this was pre large screen TV’s, TV’s back then were still square boxes usually of 22 inches. In fact it was pretty much pre everything, IPod, LED TV’s, LCD TV’s, Plasma TV’s, satellite TV, mobile/cell phones, video on demand XBox, Playstation, computers, and of course pre internet. So my mind got to wondering what on earth they would think today’s world is like. There are also more holidays/vacations abroad, more cars, life is so much faster it would certainly be a culture shock.
I’m purely guessing here of course but dad would love the gadgets, mum would just roll her eyes and look up to the Heaven’s as she always did, but I’m not sure I would like them to come back, even just for a couple of days. I’m not sure I would like them to be here when they grew up in circumstances totally remote from today’s world. When they were kids there was literally nothing, not even a radio in the house sometimes as survival was the name of the game and poverty had a proper meaning. Like no food on the table, not poverty today when they haven’t got Nike trainers.
Mum was never materialistic, so all the microchip wonders would have been lost on her, and as for the huge supermarkets of today, I think she would have been intimidated by it all. They were a generation that ‘made do’ mending and making things last that little bit longer, not the throw away society that we have today. Things could be tinkered with and made to work again if broken, try that with your latest gadgets today. When we were kids we never travelled far for holidays/vacations, and going abroad was fantasy land.
The places of their lives have nearly all gone now, demolished for ‘re-development’ but never finished, families are not the families of my parents era, they are young girls with two or more children, a house and living on benefits, my parents would have a fit at such a notion. No I’m almost certain it would be a big mistake for them to come back in my imaginary thoughts, even just for two days. They left this world when it was far from perfect, but a damn sight more perfect than it is today.