It’s my birthday, the party is over, the kids have slept but I stay up extending this day as much as I can. Birthdays are often days for reminiscing, smiling about things in the past and wondering if the years gone by have really been worthwhile. This time wondering about all these things and many more, my mind takes me back to my high school birthdays and those years.
The era of landlines, of missed calls, of furtive glances and secret notes. Oh, what fun we had! Writing notes passing them onto friends who had the immense responsibility of carrying it over to the object of our attention at that time. The thrill of watching that person, anticipating their reaction and waiting for the response. With mobile phones and social media at their hands, the teenagers of today will never understand the fervent anticipation a single missed call on the landline could cause, how we would desperately try to sneak the cordless phone to our rooms to make that all important call back. How blank calls would make our parents shrug critically, but set our hearts aflutter.
I can still remember the feeling of butterflies in my stomach when I received my first “love note.” It was a so-called declaration of liking by my classmate and caused much excitement in my group of friends. We all sat down, dissected it in great detail and decided how to word the response. Similarly each call, each letter was discussed and responded to accordingly.
Meetings or dates had to be carefully planned in a way that we always had an alibi, and would not get caught by the parents. The excitement that these outings caused, in part cause of the thrill of doing something unexpected and hidden could not match the dates in later years when they were out in the open. The hidden messages, signals, outings had an immense charm, romance, and thrill that was unmatched by adult dating life.
The kids of today with mobile phones in their hands and cars at their disposal will never get the chance to experience these things. With social media showing exactly where you are, with whom and your every move getting monitored, the mystery and enigma are gone. Everything is out there, and that certainly makes things easier and more convenient but the romance and magic have gone out of communication. There is no more wonder, intrigue in getting to know someone.
Oh, how I remember those days!