What’s a Landline? And Other Intergenerational Differences Highlighted by My Trip to Wichita

On the way back from Wichita

On the way back from Wichita

My grandparents are wonderful. They were born in Kansas (I think.) They moved around a bit in the middle of their life, but now they’re back in Wichita and living in the same home that my father was reared in as a little blonde devil.

Mom and I went up and visited them today for dinner since I hadn’t seen them for a while. The trip got me thinking about intergenerational differences and how we respond to the same phenomena. Things like technology can be particularly divisive.

I’ve put together some topics and the different generations’ reactions to them below. Perhaps you’ll see some of your own family’s truth reflected here.

On telecommunications: 

Grandparents: We still answer the landline and have lots of trouble with solicitors and politicians. Yes, we have a cellphone but only use it when we need it and turn it off afterwards.

Parents: We just got rid of the landline after years of just letting it ring in fear of talking to a phone solicitor. We also use smart phones but some people (hint, hint) use them too much to check CNN.

Me: What’s a landline? Also, smart phones are destroying society and lives because we’ve not yet learned a way to use them that doesn’t disrupt natural human patterns. I’m a radical. Sue me.

On Facebook: 

Grandparents: We don’t use Facebook because it’s not safe to let people know where you are all the time. That’s how the thieves find out when you’re out of town and come to rob you.

Parents: We like using Facebook to keep in touch with family and see who our children are dating. Sometimes the games are fun too.

Me: I use Facebook still even though it’s super boring. Really, I just recognize it as my technological overlord which manages events and less important friendships. Instagram is where it’s at.

On the state of the world:

Grandparents: Everyday there are more shootings on the news. It’s just terrible.

Parents:  A strong leader in Washington could solve most of our problems.

Me: Our government is entirely unequipped to handle the problems of today. We live in a post-governmental society that operates by the rule of mass organizations  and armed bodies, and the faster we recognize that the better. All states should be abolished in favor of regional governments that answer to a global governing body that is located on the International Space Station. I never read the news. I’m a radical.

On Kansas: 

Grandparents: Kansas is the best place on earth.

Parents: Kansas is where our parents live.

Me: Kansas exists.

On life choices:

Grandparents: We’ve made difficult choices in our life, but always sacrificed for the good of our family. Though we may not have always had a lot, we knew that with hard work and determination (and by the Lord’s will), we would survive and be blessed.

Parents: Our parents worked hard to give us better lives than they had. We went to college and got professions helping people and stayed close to our parents geographically to be there for them in their times of need. We recognize the needs of the family are above our own.

Me: The world revolves around me and my dreams. I will go wherever I need to go in order to fulfill them. Hopefully I’ll be able to see my family twice a year or so.

On how dessert should be served:

Grandparents: After dinner, Grandpa always scoops out the ice cream for everyone onto their plate to go with their brownie. It’s his job as patriarch to give everyone their ice cream.

Parents: We let Grandpa serve everyone ice cream because that’s how it’s done and we know it’s polite to let him continue doing it even though it’s obviously inefficient.

Me: WTF is this? Why can’t I just get my own ice cream? It takes so long for him to dish it out to everyone, and everyone wants a different amount. OMG this is so painful. WHY GOD WHY. And now I need to eat more ice cream than I want? Great, gramps. How am I going to get a bf with my ice cream rolls?

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2 thoughts on “What’s a Landline? And Other Intergenerational Differences Highlighted by My Trip to Wichita

  1. lonely ex coworker says:

    Witchita is about to legalize pot. Coincidence? Highly doubtful. Can we call this blog stoned across America?

  2. angela says:

    What is this landline thing you speak of?

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