Life has changed in 29 years

Published 8:27 pm Friday, July 17, 2009

Today is much like any other day — unless you’re me.

If you are me, then it’s your birthday.

Today is my 29th birthday; the countdown to the expiration date of my 20s begins.

T-minus 365 days.

In the past several years, I’ve noticed several small signs that I’ve begun to age.

Songs from my youth are now playing on “oldies” stations.

Most of my favorite ball players are retired, some are already in their respective halls of fame and a handful are dead.

I’ve seen countless fashion statements come and go.

Remember Hyper-Color T-shirts?

How cool was it that your purple shirt could turn red when you got hot?

I had three or four of them in various colors.

I can’t tell you how many pairs of brand new jeans that I cut holes in the knees. This was my dad’s least favorite fashion trend.

Did you have a ducktail? I did. I never sported the oft-popular rattail. Long hair never interested me, and I managed to dodge having a mullet.

It’s interesting to see how far many things have evolved in the past 29 years.

I remember being one of the first kids on my street to get a Nintendo.

The crude graphics pale in comparison to what’s available today but it was cutting edge in the mid-‘80s.

Home computers were practically non-existent, and what was the Internet?

Now, more homes have these things than don’t.

A microwave used to be a significant home appliance, but now you can get one for less than $50.

Very few families had more than one television back then, but now you can watch television from your cell phone.

Speaking of cell phones. A circa 1980 cell phone was the size of a cinderblock and weighed about as much. Reception was awful and unreliable and the entire package was so expensive that it wasn’t even worth the trouble.

Now, every 13-year-old has a cell phone that’s got as many capabilities as many home computers.

And in the 1980s, there was no text messaging, kids.

The real depressing part is reflecting on childhood staples that have been phased out. Crystal Clear Pepsi and New Coke, Beta tapes and VCRs, the Walkman, cassettes and Saturday morning cartoons are all things of the past.

I’m not one to spend too much time looking behind me. I’m grateful for the experiences of the past 29 years, but I’m equally excited about the things that lie ahead.