By Dennis Minich
For the record, I prefer summer weather. Nothing I will write should be interpreted as complaining, because I detest winter and cold weather. That being said, there is something about this time of year: the true dog days of summer.
Past the July 4 holiday, not quite ready for school. These are the days to take a vacation if you can, otherwise everything is seemingly in slow motion.
This time of year, I kind of feel like my dog. I look out the door and think I want to go out. Then I open the door and the heat hits, so I stay inside.
But a few minutes later I am back looking out the door and thinking I want to go outside.
I think maybe one of the most ingenious inventions of recent years was the water bottle. When you think about it, when you buy bottled water you are paying about 100 times the price of virtually the same water that comes out of your tap.
But the genius I refer to is kids drink out of them. Water used to be somewhat of a punishment. “Can I have something to drink?” “Sure, get some water, there’s ice if you need it.” “Water! What did I do wrong?” Now kids grab the bottles of water like they have found a secret treasure. Like I said, it was genius.
One thing that is different today is brand-name drinks. Of course, there is Coke and Pepsi, 7-Up, Dr. Pepper and the like.
But there are brand name lemonades and teas and energy drinks, ad nauseam. (Here comes the “when I was a kid” part.) Back in the day, if we got a Coke or a Pepsi, that was a big deal. Mostly we got Kool-Aid, if anything, and if we did get a soft drink, it was the generic store brand. They weren’t really that good, but it was better than being told you could have water.
I have noticed a couple of memes on social media which I certainly relate to as well.
For example (another old man comment), we didn’t often have hamburger buns or hot dog buns unless it was a special occasion. You had bread. You could put butter on it like bread, put a hamburger on it and have ketchup and mustard, or put a hot dog on it and roll the bread around it.
We also didn’t have fancy pasta. I am not really sure when that happened. We had spaghetti and macaroni. That was the food chain of the pasta world.
Mexican food consisted of tacos, which you made at home. Salsa was not a thing, so for the most part, ketchup was the finishing touch on top. Pizzas came in a box and you spread them out on a cookie sheet. They normally were topped with hamburger or, on a special occasion, pepperoni.
Mayonnaise was a mainstay. It made tuna salad special, and if you wanted to mix up the fixings of a hamburger, you might use mayo instead of ketchup and mustard. (Is it possible to hear the word mayonnaise and not think of the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman”?)
I read an interesting article recently on things the millennial generation is killing off. One of the things mentioned was mayo, they simply don’t use it. One of the comments was it was too hard to use. I am still scratching my head a bit on that one.
Some of the other things the youngest adults seem to have little use for are cooking, beef, or buying cars or homes. Also, of note, they don’t purchase brand-name clothes and prefer to shop at thrift stores.
They also don’t like to go to sit-down restaurants, preferring to have food delivered. One of the chains mentioned in the article was Hooters. Guys would prefer to eat at home than go to Hooters? They also don’t like beer. What a sad commentary
To sum up the generation: they want to wear old clothes in a home they rent and have their vegan food delivered, call for a ride if they are going anywhere, prefer marijuana to beer, don’t like Hooters and don’t want to use mayonnaise because it is too difficult.
I am not sure if I am like a millennial or not. I would prefer to have food delivered, or at least drive through, however I won’t give up my beer or beef and certainly not my mayonnaise. I do wear old clothes and spend a lot of time hanging around the house, but mostly I am looking out and thinking maybe I should go outside.