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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fashion Quid Pro Quo

Passing a group of teenagers recently, I pointed to my wrist to ask the time. When one of them pulled out a cell phone, I realized how quickly my gesture is becoming outmoded. Then a few days later, the incredulous response I received from a 20-ish clerk at my local liquor store about paying by check caught me short again. After the second incident, I decided to share both with my young adult daughter. She loves making fun of me about this stuff just as I did with my Father when I was her age. 

But then it occurred to me. If my old fart missteps sometimes put me behind the curve or make me look old fashioned, what to call the opposite phenomenon? For example, while watching  "The Graduate" with my daughter for the first time not long ago, we had to pause the film twice for explanations about technology circa 1967. First, when Benjamin is signing a hotel register prior to his initial rendezvous with Mrs. Robinson, and again soon after to explain what those "things" were on top of the hotel TV. OK, my texting skills are a little weak but when we're at a flea market together, I have to explain to my daughter the purpose of a 45 RPM insert. Seems like quid pro quo to me. Your view?             

So, am I an old fart or a valuable archivist? If I'm behind the curve in the present tense, what label do I deserve for my acumen in decoding stuff from the past? And if I start keeping score, will I end up with more quid than her quo?  

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