Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Cost of Convenience


This is me at 15 and this is pretty much where I spent my four years of high school.   On one side of the divider was the kitchen, as you can see, and on the other was the living room.  This was the only phone in the house so all those family members watching the only TV in the house were three feet from me.  There were no secrets.  No bad language.  I was free to talk until Mom got tired of listening to me or the TV watchers were bothered by the constant drone of conversation.

 My brother was once sitting on the living room side of that divider when my mother was washing dishes.  He said some smart comment to her so she took the glass she was washing, that was full of water, and soaked him good. 

We lived in a small town that had it's own phone system that made it impossible to call any other town without it being  long distance.     So, therefore, we did not call anywhere else unless you asked permission and it better be for a good reason.  Like someone died.   On Christmas my parents would call the grandparents and then pass the phone to us kids when they ran out of stuff to talk about.

Terry and I were talking yesterday about the high cost of living  we have now that our parents didn't have.  Things like cell phones are hugely expensive compared to their house phone bill.   We have not had a land line phone for about 8-10 years.   Our cell phones are more than double that land line charge. 

Then there is the cable and Internet bill.  Forget the Internet even.  Just go with your television cable bill.  Our parents had an antenna.  Do you remember when you could turn the dial and the thing would move?  That was high tech!    Once they bought the antenna, there was no other bill.

I would like to see the price comparison for an average date then and now, with allowance for today's dollar value.  The kind of date that teenage girl on the phone went on.  A regular go to a movie, get some popcorn and pop at the concession stand date.  I know Terry and I don't get refreshments at a movie unless there's a special of some sort.  My teenage dates were pumping gas or bagging groceries after school.  Some were working at the local orchard on weekends.  They didn't have much money.

It just costs more to live today.   There's gas....we know that's horrible.  Can you think of any other comparisons?

7 comments:

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

You totally described my growing up years. Being on the phone meant talking about stuff that wasn't even all that important like, "What did you have for dinner?"

I would love to see a comparison too. I wonder how much it cost to eat a McDonalds for a family of four?

Joan said...

As a teacher, the first think I thought about was public school. When I went to school we bought our supplies, new school clothes and that was it. Now there are supply lists that are ridiculous. There are fundraisers every other month and there are fees for everything. Last year I had to pay a fee for my daughter just because she was a freshman. It's nuts!

Intense Guy said...

According to our government, $561.00 in the year 2010 has the same "purchase power" as $100 in the year 1970.

So the SAME things basically cost 5.6 times as much now then they did 40 years ago --

$736.00 in the year 2010 has the same "purchase power" as $100 in the year 1960.

With few execeptions - we are losing ground rapidly...

This works in the US Government's favor, the national debt is from old money and will be repaid in new money ... so a dollar it borrowed in 1970, it can pay off with what amounts to 18 cents.

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

Thanks Iggy. We now have more financial obligations and less money. Don't even get me started on the sewage bill being higher than the water bill.

mary said...

Oh phone time! By the time I got to high school we had three phones in our house. My room was upstairs and I would use the phone in the hallway. My boyfriend (now my husband) and I would stay on the phone for hours. We even did homework will holding the phone to our ear.

When I was very young, I remember we had what was called a "party line". You would lift the receiver to see if a neighbor was using the line and keep checking back until it was free. How did we do that?!

Of course, cell phones and texting have changed everything.

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

Mary - We had a party line for awhile too. Did your have different rings like ours. We had to listen to all the numbers ringing and only answer your certain ring. Like 1 long and 2 short rings.

I don't remember talking to my boyfriends nearly as long as my girlfriends. All the He said and She said stuff.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Cute phone photo:)

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