Would you like to be young again, but know what you know now?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I just read Stephen King's 11/23/63, and it reminded me, profoundly, how the idea of time travel is so irresistible . During the holiday season, It's A Wonderful Life works its magic. Did you read the iconic Time and Again? Or see that fantastic movie about HG Wells tracking down Jack the Ripper in contemporary California? (What was the name of it?) And did you see Midnight in Paris?
(And this week's Time theme continues.)
It always makes you wonder, what if? And just..maybe. Maybe, it could happen.
And that's why it's so perfect that Morgan Mandel (and yes, that's Morgan in the photo below!) is thinking about just the same thing.
MORGAN MANDEL: Aging never really sank in on me until my last birthday which ended in a zero. Hard for me to accept, but I was actually getting old, or already there, depending on what you consider middle aged. I never had children, so I missed being a grandparent, which probably would have grounded me as being part of the older generation.
I often wonder what it would be like to be young again, living in this present day and age, yet remembering everything that happened before in my earlier life. Times were so different and innocent when I was young. I could play with my friends outside, or go trick or treating wherever I wanted to on Halloween, and my parents never worried about my safety. That freedom doesn’t happen much these days, even in my low-crime neighborhood.
Whenever my girlfriends and I went to downtown Chicago, we’d get all dressed up, making sure to wear nylons and heels with our dresses. Now, anything goes, even jeans or shorts.Women hardly ever wear nylons any more. In fact, I don’t even bother buying dresses. At my last job, we all wore jeans. It’s a lot easier not to fuss with getting fancy, but some of the excitement is also taken away in the process.
At church, girls and women wore hats, veils, or even doilies, while the guys had to take off their hats. The only hats I ever wear now are the knit ones to keep my head warm in the winter, and I take them off when I get inside church. Easter bonnets used to be really big years ago, but now I hardly ever see one.
Attitudes were different before also. Way back when I was growing up, women were treated as not quite equal, yet deserving of respect. Men would open car doors or building doors and even pull out chairs for them. Men wouldn’t think of swearing in front of a woman. Now, women even swear. I’m guilty of that vice myself, though I held off for many years until I felt I was old enough and had earned the right. I hope you’re not too shocked by that revelation.
Speaking of shocking, Victoria’s Secret commercials would have never been allowed on TV then, much less porn channels. Gidget in a two-piece bathing suit was racy enough.
The tradeoff was women were expected to be homemakers and not workforce members. It was comforting to come home from school and find my Mom there. Of course, she’d be the one to cook all the meals, not my Dad. I don’t even think he knew how to cook. By the way, my husband can cook and so can I; although, here’s another shocking revelation, I use the microwave way too much. That’s another invention I was around to witness.
Back then, women were expected to stay in the home, and let the man earn a living. As I grew older, the concept began to change. More women entered the workforce, my mother included. Women began to gain equality in pay and rank, although there’s still a ways to go.I could go on and on, sharing more memories, but that would be a memoir, so I’ll just mention a smattering more: The debut of color TV, the first man on the moon, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, the almost assassination of Ronald Reagan, flower powethe White Sox winning the pennant, the Cold War, my first correcting typewriter, and my first computer, a Radio Shack Tandy.
I wish I could keep all of these memories and more, yet turn back the clock. I know it’s impossible, but I can always pretend. That’s why I wrote Forever Young: Blessing or Curse.
What about you? Would you like to be young again, yet keep all your memories? Maybe you’d like to share one of your memories here.
ABOUT MORGAN MANDEL: Morgan Mandel is a former freelancer for the Daily Herald newspaper, prior president of Chicago-North RWA and Library Liaison for MWMWA. She writes mysteries, romances and more. Her latest book is the thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse. Other books by Morgan Mandel include the romantic suspense, Killer Career, the mystery, Two Wrongs, and the romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams.