What's happening to my youth?


My wife Kay and I recently purchased a new washer and dryer. We were pretty excited about it because our current washer and dryer, which came with our home, are approximately 8,472 years old. We also got a great deal on the new set.

I’m trying to determine at what point in my life things changed and I suddenly became excited about getting a good deal on appliances. It wasn’t that long ago that my exciting purchases consisted of computer equipment, tickets to sporting events, or video games.

But somewhere along the way it became normal to me to get excited about appliances. When I walk through any store that sells refrigerators, I find myself checking them out the same way that I used to look at big-screen TVs. The other day I actually compared the specs on two dishwashers.

What has happened to me?

There was once a time, not that long ago, when I didn’t even care that much if I had a washer and a dryer. What was the point in washing clothes anyway? They just were going to get dirty again. Isn’t that why someone invented Fabreeze?

Now, suddenly, I not only care about whether my clothes are cleaned, but whether or not it is done in an energy efficient way, in order for me to get the tax credit.

Tax credit. That was something that wasn’t even in my vocabulary a couple of years ago. Now suddenly I find myself throwing it around just as frequently as other commonly used word sets, such as snack food and point spread.

It wasn’t that long ago that my major concerns revolved around making it to the next level in “Grand Theft Auto,” or whether I’d miss the next episode of “The Office.” Now, the only way I could play “Grand Theft Auto” is if I actually stole a car, because I don’t have the game, and if I miss “The Office” I can just watch it On Demand.

But last week I was concerned about whether or not we’d make it to the appliance store before they were sold out of the washer and dryer that we wanted to purchase.

Not to mention, a few days earlier, I actually went to the store with only one purpose — to buy a couple lamps for our house. If that wasn’t bad enough, I actually returned said lamps because I didn’t like how they looked.

WHAT?! That’s right. It wasn’t that long ago that the only thing that determined if a lamp was good enough was whether or not it turned on. If it provided a light source, it was acceptable. But not anymore. Now it needs to match, and I actually know what that means!

At some point in my life, I started shopping less in the electronics sections of stores, and more in the home and decorating parts. I actually spent about 45 minutes recently trying to pick out a set of curtains. When I was growing up, I didn’t even ***have curtains, unless you count the dirt and fingerprints that had accumulated on the window during its lifespan.

It’s funny, because when you are a kid, you look at the adults around you and you think, “I wonder what it will be like when I grow up.”

You expect that there will be some turning point in your life where suddenly you will consider yourself an adult — that there will be one definitive moment.

But in reality, at least in my life, that moment never occurred. It was a more gradual thing, where all of the sudden, one day I realized, holy cow, I guess I’m an adult, and I can’t remember when that happened.

Adulthood is a gradual process. One day you’ll realize that you aren’t listening to the new, hip music. Not only that, but those young punks who are listening to that music are listening to it way too loud!

One day you’ll realize it’s no longer acceptable to browse the toy aisles at the local supermarket without the specific intention of buying something for someone else. You’ll come to the realization that maybe you really are too old to learn how to ride a skateboard. And maybe you’ll realize that maybe you are too old to be shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch.

And then, you too will be excited about getting a new washer and dryer.


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It's called growing up. I have a case of that, too. It's hard to shake.

Bob Hughes

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 | Report this

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