notquiteold

Nancy Roman

A Life Of Luxury

I had cause recently to reflect on how easy my life is.

And I don’t mean compared to women centuries ago…although surely that is beyond question. Why, I remember watching episodes of “Wagon Train” as the settlers made their way out west – (I don’t think they ever got there, by the way.. I think they went around in big circles for like eight years) – and thinking, “Where do those women go to the bathroom?”  Although around year seven, I was also thinking, “How in heck do those women handle their periods?”

Of course, I have it better than the women of olden times.

I mean I am doing better than even:

Me.

My life is so much easier than it used to be.

What caused me to reflect on my easy life was this: I was waiting in the car for my husband, who had run into the supermarket for eggs. And next door to the market is a laundromat. And a young woman came out with a basket heaping with clothes. She balanced it precariously on her hip as she struggled to open her car door.

Oh yeah. I’ve been there.

Going to the laundromat is unpleasant, boring, and sometimes even scary.

And not only did I do it when I was a young adult trying to make it on my own, I did it as a teenager.

When I was 15, my parents moved into a wonderful new house, and that was the moment that the washing machine decided to quit. My parents had to wait until their finances were a little more settled to replace the machine, so we had to use the laundromat. After supper at least once a week, my mother would drive me to the laundromat with baskets of dirty clothes, a bag of quarters, and my homework –  and leave me there. She had other things to do – with a large family and a job. This was 1966: there was no entertainment in a laundromat – no TV; cell phones were on “Star Trek” only. If you were lucky at the laundromat, someone might have a static-y radio and taste that was not completely horrible. I did my homework and ran three washers at once, and then the dryers, and tried not to pay attention to the sometimes unique people who wandered in and out. A few hours later my mother would show up, and we’d load up the car and go home. How I hated it.

But you know… it wasn’t impossible. People still do that, as I saw the other day. I could do it again if I had to. But how sweet it is not to have to. I have my own washer and dryer. Down the hall. Appliances that get their own little room!

We’ve all got lots of reasons to be worried in 2017. We see and hear about them every day. I don’t need to remind anyone or frighten myself any more than I already am.

So I am concentrating this year on good things.

This week I am reminding myself of all the little luxuries I have – things that I know I could live without, and that many people do live without – that make life easier.

I remember, for example, being stuck in a traffic jam driving home from work in 1984. In a car with no air conditioning. In July. And this scenario repeated itself dozens of times that summer. For me and for lots of folks. Not moving in a stifling car is a bad way to unwind after work. It wasn’t torture though; I survived. And now we just click on the air and wait comfortably in traffic. And yet we complain.

And speaking of cars: How about being broken down by the side of the road at night? Hoping that someone who is not a serial killer will stop to help you. And having no way to tell anyone that you are stuck. Thank you, cell phones.

And more of the things that I know I could survive without, but that help make my life just a bit easier and sweeter:

Central vac
Online banking
Cable, DVR, Netflix
Spanx
Microwaves
GPS
Disposable contact lenses
Hair dryers
Kindles
Dental floss
Sirius
Yoga
Fitted sheets
Power lawn mowers and snow throwers
Salad in a bag
Google
Heated car seats

And

Makeup.

Especially:

Contouring.

contouring

 

 

 

 

 

 

43 Comments

  1. Salad in a bag, yay! Fitted sheets, I remember when they were all unfitted or poorly fitted. Also couldn’t live without Google. Not sure how we survived!

    Like

    • All these little things.. any many more. We take them for granted, but when we stop to think about it, they are all really nice to have.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Christine

    I’ve had to use Laundromats several times recently while on long trips. Like you said, I can do it, but I am really glad I don’t have to on a regular basis. I would add pre-made pie crusts to your list of unnecessary but appreciated luxuries. And don’t forget pantyhose — a lot better than garter belts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, pantyhose. And I could never even wear a garter belt – I had no hips. It had to be a really tiny girdle!

      Like

  3. Chris Aster

    Heated car seats–yes, even in Florida!

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    • I get the chills when I am fearful… so I always have them on full blast on my way home from the dentist, even in summer.
      And they are also really useful for keeping your pizza warm on the passenger seat until you get home.

      Like

  4. Deb

    It does make one feel rather humble when you start to see just a small fraction of the luxuries we have, and know how many others don’t…

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    • It’s all stuff that we could manage without, but that we enjoy without thought. Another reason it all comes to mind now is that my current book is set in 1914-1920… my protagonist is washing clothes in the sink and hanging them on the line.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan

        Do you remember our old backyard on wash days – Mom would hand sheets on the line, and how much fun It was to run through them (I’m sure she loved that)

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  5. Yes, indeed….when we stop to think about all the conveniences we have, we really should be ashamed if we ever complain!

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    • But we do complain… believe me, I do it too. I’m reminding myself to be a little more gracious about all the amenities I take for granted.

      Like

  6. I would like you to share on yourselfee.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful post filled with thankfulness. The contouring is a riot.

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  8. So many things for which to be thankful and st the top of my list is still being alive to see in another year. Something I’ve always just taken for granted. Great post. Thanks

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    • We forget how many wonderful little gifts we have every day..and the very fact that we didn’t die yesterday is the biggest of them all.

      Like

  9. Thanks for the reminder that I am better off today…Although I never learned about makeup contouring. What a difference it makes!

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    • My husband gave me a contouring set from smashbox for Christmas. I am like a new woman – I almost have cheekbones.

      Like

  10. I’ve only had a couple of occasions when I’ve had to use a laundromat. For some reason there is always something slightly seedy and creepy about them. It’s almost like you half expect Jimmy Hoffa or Adolf Hitler to sidle in with a bag of washing while you are watching your jeans doing tumble turns.
    For me the big luxuries are manicures, pedicures and comfortable push up bras. 😀

    Like

    • i love a nice pedicure. A manicure never seems to last with me, so I do my own. A good bra is worth its weight in gold (or silicone).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. jono51

    I had no idea about contouring. Truly miraculous!

    Like

    • You just have to practice a bit with the dark and light powders and suddenly you have cheekbones! (and less double chin.) But I think I need more practice, since I look pretty much the same….

      Like

  12. I can still smell the laundromat (spell check doesn’t like that word at all). There was a guy who was always at the one close to my first apartment who kept trying to pick me up. It’s hard to hide where you live when you can’t take an extra step with all the laundry you’re lugging! There is one near where we go to in Maine, where a brilliant entrepreneur opened a sports bar in the other half of the building!

    Thanks for the reminder, Nancy!

    Like

    • Laundromats in those days were pretty bare bones. But it was in a decent shopping mall, and not dangerous or anything. But some of their patrons were pretty seedy. I didn’t like being there after 8PM… so I encouraged my mother to bring me there immediately after dinner, so she could pick me up by 8.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. At 22, this post still made me think about all the changes and upgrades technology has had in my lifetime and how crazy it is going to get as it continues to change. Thank you for some really great stories that make me thankful for the little things:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the rate of change keeps getting faster and faster – and that you will probably see more changes in your lifetime than I do in mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Icemakers on the fridge–and now you can choose cubes or crushed! Remember those old aluminum ice trays that had a lever to pull?

    Like

  15. I didn’t know that all people didn’t have their own automatic washing machine as a child and teenager, I was about 14 when I went over to a friends house and was amazed her mum had an old wringer type washing machine, I had never seen one. People doing laundry at a laundromat was something I thought only happened on tv.

    Like

    • My grandmother had a ringer washer. But I knew lots of people who used the laundromat when I was growing up.

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  16. We of a certain age group do remember what life was like without all these wonderful conveniences. We wouldn’t want to turn back time and do without them, but we would manage. We could do it if we had to. What of the generation that knows no other way? I often wonder how they would ever survive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure they could survive without a cell phone and wifi. But to be honest, it would be difficult now for me too. I did survive eight days in the snowstorm a few years ago, with a generator just powering a few things.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ray G

    There’s one luxury neither you nor any other woman I know can enjoy (but probably wish they could): a “Lady’s Maid”. Someone to wait on you hand and foot, and do all those pesky little chores, without complaint. For a man, it would be a “Valet” (not the parking-cars kind).

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  18. Pam

    Ha ha, Nancy! I love the contouring on the dog!

    I have often wondered if I would have made it back when my grandmother was born in 1888. She was a tiny pioneer-type woman who married at age 13, raised 9 kids without electricity, running water, a toilet, a bathroom, air-conditioning, or a car. Just imagining that is exhausting. Realizing what a hard life she had makes me appreciate all the relative luxuries I have in my life.

    Like you, I have wondered how women of centuries ago handled their periods. It had to have been the pits. Maybe that’s why women wore thick layers of dresses down to their ankles and sweeping the ground, in hopes that it would contain their sanitary issues. How fortunate we are!

    Like

    • pioneer women huddled around one another in a circle to do their business if their were enuff of them. They’d squat in long skirts and have “privacy” under them when alone. They tore strips of linen and made belts that held them in place and sometime cowhide has been spoken of. They didn’t just let it all stream and be swept. These women were innovative.

      Like

    • In doing research for my current novel, I found that there were no women’s public restrooms for a very long time – it was one way to keep women at home!

      Like

  19. Laundromat entertainment—I think might be trashy magazines.
    I appreciate all that I have also. The differences can depend on time in life, financial situations, choices.

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    • Ha! I definitely would read a trashy magazine if someone left one at the laundromat. But buy one? Not if my mother had a say!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I think the entertainment in the laundromat is the people that go there. The one I went to as a kid also had a pinball and vending machine so you could probably even live there. Really glad I don’t have to live with my period like it’s 1880 though

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  21. I don’t have a washer or dryer at home and have to use the laundry room in the building… have to be booked one week in advanced and only have 3 hours before I must get everything out. Such a pain! But at least I don’t have to do it with a washboard in a bucket of water … like real old times :p It’s so easy to take things for granted these days.

    Like

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