When I was in the sixth grade my dad came up with a reward system for good grades. For every ‘A’ my sister and I would get $5, every ‘B’ $2 and ‘C’ was $1. I wasn’t a great student but that year I worked my ass off and by the fall of 1982 I had $40 saved. I had started buying 45’s a few years back, my music tastes were growing so naturally I had to spend my report card money on the number one album in the world, Thriller. I had heard the song on Solid Gold (yes, I’m that old) and I was driving my family nuts, begging my dad to buy it for me. Now this was when my dad developed his signature catch phrase, “when you get your own money and your own house, you can buy anything you want”. I hated hearing that, it sent flames shooting out my ears! But I had $40 of my own now, he can’t tell me what I could or could not buy. I went to the local department store focused on buying the Thriller album. When I got to the record section there were no more records, great now what? The sales clerk saw my disappointment and told me that they had the album on cassette tape. “Do I play that on my record player?” I asked. The clerk told me I had to buy a tape player which was $29.99. That barely left me enough money to buy the album. I’ll buy it! I had to have the album no matter the cost. I had the first cassette player/recorder amongst my small group of friends. For once I was cool.
The cassette player was one of those long bulky machines with a handle on one end. At the time it was state of the art technology. I played that Michael Jackson tape over and over, until I discovered Duran Duran and Depeche Mode a few months later. By that time Sony had come out with the Walkman and I had to have one of those. Then the CD and so on. That cassette player turned me into the gadget geek that I am today. Now as I wait three hours in line for the new iPad, I can hear my dad’s catch phrase and silently I respond “hell yes, it’s my money and I have my own house, I’m buying it!”.
I’m typing this post from my new iPad 2. I love this thing! It’s barely left my side since Friday. My poor MacBook is totally being ignored. It got me thinking, what will the latest and greatest be when the twins and Maggie are teenagers? I started saving bits of old technology and pop culture stuff, kinda like a time capsule for them. Maybe the ancient artifacts of my past will inspire them to create the next big thing. If anything they can laugh at us for thinking that we were once high tech.