Old Habits, RIP

Change is a fact of life. No, I don’t mean nickels, dimes, and quarters. I’m talking about things being different than they were before, largely as a result of progress. Thinking about changes in my own life, I came up with ten things I don’t do anymore — some thanks to progress, others due to advancing age.

Print Photographs. The days of having rolls of film laying around waiting to be developed are over. Now I’ve got hundreds of pictures I never would have taken before that, unless I post them on Facebook, nobody will ever see. Damn smartphones.

Fry Chicken. To tell you the truth, I’m not much intro frying anything these days. Health has less to do with my frying boycott than hating to clean up the mess. I’ll grill, bake, microwave, or hit a drive-through window for KFC first. While we’re on the subject, unless I buy the whole bird already roasted, I don’t buy chicken on the bone anymore either — just boneless breasts.

Blow Dry My Hair. I can’t even talk about it without tearing up. Except for when I dry Toodles after her a bath, the dryer stays in a bathroom cabinet.

Talk on the Telephone. Except for all the telemarketing calls, I miss my landline. Regular conversations with my mother eat up ninety percent of the monthly minutes on my cell plan. I no longer have the attention span a good phone conversation requires either. Damn smartphones. UPDATE: I now had unlimited minutes, but don’t talk much more than I did before.

Wax Floors. Being persnickety about floors, I’ve spent hours over the years waiting for the wax to dry on my linoleum and hardwood. Hours on my hands and knees inhaling wax remover fried an untold number of brain cells. Now I’m a damp mop guy. UPDATE: I have a steam mop.

Mend Clothing or Iron. Like I’ve ever sewed on a button, patched a hole in my pants, or even replaced broken shoestrings. Nonetheless, I’ve kept two needles and three spools of thread for nearly thirty years — just in case. I don’t even own an iron. Occasions when a few wrinkles matter are rare enough I can drop something off at the dry cleaners.

Polish Shoes. If a wet rag doesn’t do the job, time for a new pair of shoes. I kept tins of polish, brushes, and buffing cloths for a long time, but ditched them years ago.

Sleep In. Whether I have to work or not, my body says get up between five and six every morning. On rare occasions, I’ll stay in bed until six-thirty. Meanwhile, I’ve become a big believer in long afternoon naps.

Go to the Movie. I worked in a movie theater as an usher back when twin theaters were new. The experience today has changed to the point I’d just as soon wait for the cable release. Damn smartphones.

Buy Sugar. Not so long ago, I used to buy a five pound bag of sugar just about every time I went to the store. The small box I have now has been in my cabinet for more than a year. UPDATE: My homemade lemonade addiction has upped my use of sugar, I buy a one pound box every three or four months.

Two new additions:

Pay Bills by Check. For years, I sat down once or twice a month and wrote out checks for al my bills. These days, I pay almost everything online. Automatic payments still make me nervous so most are paid manually.

Watch Live Television. I do watch news and junk shows, but DVR all my favorites so I can fast forward through hype and commercials.

Happy Labor Day!

[Updated from a post originally published on May 1, 2014]