Imagine a world without the "Control C" command.
I remember typing reports in high school and grammar school on electric typewriters. I suppose they were great inventions at some point, but to me, stressed out sixteen year old me, they were implements of torture.
A whole page typed. The discovery of a missing paragraph a quarter page down. Retype, or scrub away at the "erasable" type with an eraser, or send the typewriter reeling back, hammering away at the correction tape.
It's 8:30 pm. It's the days before Staples and other box stores open until 9:00 pm. Roll the dice, young lady. There's no more typewriter ribbon or correction tape. Just a coarse rubber eraser in the shape of a pencil. The miniature broom attached to the opposite end is ready to brush bits of paper and type onto the kitchen floor.
Last weekend I went to my twenty year high school reunion. Sparsely attended, but attended by many of the former classmates I wanted to see.
After hors d'oeuvres and mingling, we were called to sit for dinner. I scanned the room with my husband. Where to sit? It was a touch of high school, where will the best conversation be? Where will I be able to spend the next hours?
And honestly, it's a touch of that discomfort now. Twenty years later, I still scan a room at a party. Who to talk to? Where am I comfortable? Hardly anywhere twenty years ago. Today, a few more places, but I'm likely to drift about uneasy and feeling a little off for the first hour.
Twenty years ago, I could have tossed back some beer or a few shots and giggled, fuzzy and then madly depressed and then shaky, crazy the following day. Today, I can't rely on fermented beverages for a magic carpet ride through social situations. As I've aged, alcohol has increasingly disagreed with me, and becoming pregnant with my son three years ago so shifted my body chemistry that I cannot drink at all.
As I took a few steps across the room, a former classmate going back to grammar school said, "We're sitting over there. Join us." I sat. I looked around and saw the girls, now women (and their partners), that I sat with in the cafeteria in senior year of high school. I had a nice time.