Above a certain age, we remember when cars were longer, lower, wider. Above a certain age, people only knew eleven pro football teams and past another age, they don't remember American football, as it didn't exist.
Above a certain age, we remember red sidewall tires, Tiger Paws, and white sidewall tires. Princess phones have faded into our past, along the pre-microwave and pre-TV dinner era.
Above a certain age, we remember outdoor antennas, rabbit ears, three national television networks. Above a certain age, we remember black and white television and the advent of television.
Most importantly, above a certain age, we had simpler beers, pizza, wine and chocolate.
Dark chocolate? I remember when Hershey introduced a 'dark special' candy bar. What was this? How strange and different.
When we ordered wine, we discussed whether it was white or red. If we got fancy, we asked for chianti. Really fancy occassions called for French wines. California wines? New York, Australian, German, Chili, Oregon? Merlots, malbacs, pinot noirs, cabernets, chardonnay...what?
Back when I was a certain age, my beer choices were Miller or Stroh's. We also had Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitz, Old Milwaukee, Rolling Rock and Iron City. Nothing was light or non-alcoholic. We didn't discuss lagers, ales, pale ales, IPA, micro-brews, craft beers, pilsners, stouts, or porters.
Michelob was later introduced. Then came Coors - all the way from Colorado! Imported beers? Some starting carrying Becks or Heineken. Wow.
Back in 1980, ordering a pizza meant answering very basic questions about the size and sausage or pepperoni. Fancier pizza later added mushrooms, onions, black olives and green peppers.
I had pizza tonight - provolone, mozz and feta cheese with roasted garlic, artichokes, olive oil, basil and sun dried tomatoes, on a thin wheat crust. We wouldn't have thought of those things twenty years ago. We ordered a Channelo's twenty inch pizza with the works. The works included lots of meats, a basic marinaro sauce, one kind of cheese, one kind of crust, and a few vegetables.
We considered getting our favorite tonight - a Popeye, with spinach, roasted red peppers, red onions, mushrooms, feta, parm, mozz and provolone, oregano, garlic and olive oil. The beer list was two pages long. I tried a new one, a locally made IPA with floral and citrus highlights that included a strong grapefruit bite. (I loved the beer but I'm a sucker for citrus highlights in my IPAs.) I didn't want the Popeye pizza because I had a spinach side salad, with ruby grapefruit sections, cranberries, candied walnuts, and a raspberry vinaigrette.
I didn't want too much spinach in my diet.
So back in time, above a certain age, you remember a simpler life, with less choices. Look at your coffee, tea and chai offerings now available at coffee shops and cafes in most towns and cities.
But you know, above a certain age, it's great to have so many choices, and to keep trying new ones.
You're lucky - if you're above a certain age.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com