We are Survivors (for those born before 1945)

by Kathleen (O'Mahony) Coughlan

We were born before television, before penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods,  plastic, contact lenses, videos, and the Pill.  We were born before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams, and ball-point pens, before dish washers, tumble dryers, electric blankets, air-conditioners, drip-dry clothes and before man walked on the moon.

We got married first, and then lived together.  We thought "fast food" was what you ate in Lent, a Big Mac was an over-sized raincoat, and crumpet we had for tea.  We existed before house-husbands, computer dating, and when a         meaningful relationship meant getting along with cousins, and sheltered accommodation was where you waited for a bus.

We were before Day-Care centres, group homes, and disposable nappies.  We never heard of F.M. radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word-processing, yogurt, or young men wearing ear-rings.  For us time-sharing meant togetherness.  A chip was a piece of wood, or fried potato.  Hardware meant nuts and bolts and soft-ware wasn't a word.

Before 1945 "Made in Japan" meant junk.  The term "making out" referred to how you did in your exams, "stud" was something that fastened a collar to a shirt, and "going all the way" meant staying on a double decker to the bus depot.  Pizzas, McDonalds, and "instant Coffee" were unheard of.  In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, grass was mown, coke was kept in the coal-house, a joint was a piece of meat you ate on Sunday, and pot was something you cooked in.  Rock music was a fond mother's lullaby.  A gay person was the life and soul of the party, and nothing else, while aids meant beauty treatments, or help for someone in trouble.

We who were born before 1945 must be a hardy bunch, when you think of the way the world has changed, and the adjustments we had to make.  No wonder we are so confused and there is a generation gap today, - but by the Grace of God we have survived.