I often think of how many things have changed in our pre-boomer lifetimes. From a telephone that hung on the wall and to use it, you had to speak with a telephone operator to wireless telephones and even watches that are telephones – shades of Dick Tracy.
Something no one notices all that much is lights. Our lives are bombarded with lights. Usually little lights. They crept up on us.
First, we got night lights that stayed lit all night so we would not be afraid of the dark. I don’t even remember the first ones. Now that we are older, we have night lights, so we can stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night in relative safety.
Then we got electric clocks. No more winding of clocks, now they are all plugged into the wall. They hang on our walls or sit on our nightstands shining or blinking and going dark when the power is out. Then they do nothing. Oh, and they tell us the time instead of us telling the time. Something is dreadfully wrong with that.
When we were youngsters, a TV set occupied a place of honor in the living room. And it lit up. Then came remote controls and they made the TV light up when we pushed buttons that also lit up. Then they came with boxes to hook up and the boxes had lights on them. We paid for those boxes. We still do and call it the miracle of cable TV so we can find 500 channels of infomercials and porn.
Now we have modems and routers. They light up and blink. Constantly. If they are not blinking, something is wrong and we must call the cable company and raise our blood pressure trying to talk to something called ‘customer service’ to fix it. Those lights must blink or they are broken.
Our stove buttons light up. Is it to tell us that the stove is hot? How did we ever know that before the lights were there?
Our microwave ovens light up, beep and somehow through some strange process I will never understand, get our food hot.
Someone decided that every household needed smoke detectors. Of course, they came with lights. Sometimes they blink and other times they do not blink. I have no idea what the significance of the blinking is when the house is not even close to being on fire.
Oh, the refrigerator has a light. It’s always been there except at my grandma’s house when it was called an icebox and held ice. No light needed.
My dryer also has a light inside. Why? To find the orphan socks, maybe?
Our cameras light up when we turn them on. My Brownie box camera never lit up.
What did I miss? In the door of my refrigerator is a water dispenser. It lights up. Why?
Oh lordy, my toothbrush lights up. Who thought of that? Did they think I could not find my mouth?
I plugged my cellphone in to charge as it blinked good night.
And when I got up this morning, I noticed a light on the thermostat. Really?
This little light of mine is shining and shining and it looks like it shall never be dimmed.