Maybe it is the sceptic in me, but when people long to return to another time, another place, I can’t help but conjure up the reality of that era.
It’s just not returning to a simpler time (you know, when women had few rights and people of color were told where to sit, and where they could live, or what water fountain they could drink from)—but people often talk about a time when it wasn’t financially necessary for both spouses to work outside the home.
Families didn’t need two jobs. Today, both spouses must work to support a family in today’s economy. Ummm….or do they? Is that really true?
Last week we switched some television sets around in our house, which left us with a perfectly good RCA color television that we no longer need. It has its own remote, works with the cable service—but it is not a flat screen.
We didn’t try selling the TV; we tried to give it away. I offered the free TV on Facebook, on a local yard sale Facebook site, Don sent emails to his fellow Realtors in his association (thinking it would be good for a rental), and we offered it to the local thrift shop. No. one. Wanted. It.
Sure it is not a flat screen, and it takes two people to carry, but it has a good picture and works.
When I was a kid, I was thrilled to have a black and white television. Today, I can’t give away a free color TV. Why? Well, it isn’t a flat screen, silly!
People talk about how it’s more expensive to live these days, compared to when I was a kid. But personally, I think we simply have more expensive tastes.
Growing up, families often had just one television set in the house. Telephones? We had a landline the entire family shared. There weren’t expensive electronic gadgets we HAD to have, like pricy computers, tablets, video games, cell phones—the list goes on.
We didn’t pay for a cable service to get our TV, we had an antenna on the house and were happy with the few channels we had. There was no reason to pay for Internet—it wasn’t a thing back then. In many communities, houses with air conditioners were a luxury item, yet today many of those same communities see air conditioning as a standard amenity.
Our first house had 1 ½ baths. The half bath was in the laundry room off the service porch, and the full bath was in the hallway, shared by all three bedrooms, which included the master bedroom. Basic tract houses back then didn’t have master baths.
Sure, our cars were cheaper back then, but a car was just a car. It didn’t have TVs and backup cameras and seats with built in heaters.
I could go on and on—such as mention buying our pricy cup of coffee at Starbucks or how when I was a kid I can only think of one family who owned a microwave oven. Now, who doesn’t?
So, maybe the cost of living hasn’t gone up as much as you might think. Perhaps it would be possible to live on one income as your grandparents did, providing you are willing to live as they did—often with only one car in the family, no dryer (use the clothes line), forget the microwave, cancel cable, install an antenna, get rid of the cellphones…
What? Get rid of the cellphones?