Saturday, October 2, 2021

Changing Times


I'm always aghast when reminded of some of my father-in-law's memories of his upbringing.

He recalled that his mother burnt his stamp collection in the oven one day. It wasn't clear why - whether it was a punishment for a misdeed, or his parent's disdain for something as impractical and esoteric as philately, we don't know (and never will). It seemed so vindictive. I can tell you though, it was something he never forgot, and he was an avid stamp collector once he left home, throughout his adult life, making it his goal to replace his German collection. 

As a young man/teen, he was given an old jalopy of a car to work and tinker on. He lovingly worked on it and eventually got it refurbished and the engine running. Then his parents made him sell it for scrap (he was 19)! The reason given was that he wouldn't be able to afford the license. There was no financial arrangement made or offered to help him. 

How times have changed - many children in the U.S. expect to get given a car from their parents when they can drive, never mind the $$ for the license or insurance!

Different times, different expectations, different outcomes. It's interesting to me how this also reflects the level of control my Mom's parents had on her life. Until she was married and off their hands, the decisions about her and her life were solely her parents responsibility, no matter her age. She always acquiesced and did their bidding, no matter how rebellious or hurt she felt. She feared their disapproval very strongly. At 26, she was still answering to them, and wasn't an autonomous adult. How crippling that must have been!

Tough times!

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