Longing for the good old days

To the editor:

Things have certainly changed due to the pandemic, or as my mother-in-law calls it, the “pandammit.” While some changes are temporary, others will become permanent.

I am a baby boomer who finds himself longing more and more for the comforts of the world I grew up in. I am also a realist and know that many of my childhood pleasures have been recalled or renamed, and won’t be down for breakfast, welcome to the brave new world.

That being said, I do hope certain things come back. I remember when people got dressed up to go to the grocery store. Nothing fancy, some pants, a shirt, and shoes. The only time you saw someone in public in pajamas, was if they were on their way to a costume party. Today at my local coffee shop, every day is Halloween.

I remember when restaurants were primarily occupied by humans and the only animals visible were those on the menu. Today, pet owners believe that Spot will have much more fun at the diner, than at home. Yet I never see owners feeding their pets while dining, which seems sort of cruel.

I also remember the words instilled in me as a child, by my mother, “If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything.”

Unfortunately, these nuggets of wisdom have not been embraced by today’s motorists, who regularly point out my shortcomings during rush hour.

When I was younger, I remember dismissing the words of a senior citizen, recanting stories of bygone days, as the ramblings of an old man. At the time, I wasn’t listening to his words. Instead, I was making a conscious decision to ignore the narrative because it differed with mine. It is said that hindsight is 20/20, and although I don’t exactly know how it happened, or why it happened, in a moment of true clarity, I realized the “old man” was right.

John O’Neill

Attleboro