How Was That Done Again?

I think I’m forgetting how we used to do things. I feel like the little girl who is staring at her grandmother and asking, “How did you wash clothes again? Outside on a – what?!?” And, “You didn’t have a refrigerator? Seriously? How in the world did you keep your food cold?”

How is it possible that I have accepted our world of technology so thoroughly that I have totally forgotten how we used to do things?

Like checking books out of the library.

A couple of days ago I was in my local library. These days I don’t even need to talk to anyone – I check my own books out on their machines and I can even pay fines right there at the counter (not that I am ever late or anything). The day I was in there trying to check out my books and pay my fines and their computer system crashed and no one could check out books without having a librarian assisting through some back-up system that didn’t print out a handy-dandy reminder slip of when the books are due.

I tried to remember how in the world we checked out books before computers? Stop laughing, I’m serious. How did the library keep track of who checked out the books? I mean, I remember the little slips inside the books they would stamp with the due date before handing back the book but how did they keep track that it was me checking out that book? Honest to gawd, I don’t remember.

Then, the following day we took the kids bowling and the computer screens did all the work keeping track of our scores, strikes, and showing us how many pins we had knocked down with pretty little graphics. I sat back and asked my husband, “How did we keep score before?” He looked at me as if I had just been swallowed up by aliens and when I said I truly don’t remember he said, “We wrote everything down on a score sheet.”

The little girl came out again as if my grandmother was standing at my side, “We had to manually keep track of every strike, spare, and pins knocked down? Seriously?” (Ugh, how bothersome and time consuming!)

I can picture my grandkids one day inspecting a key and asking, “What in the world were these things used for?” Hopefully I’ll remember.


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