Cumberland Times-News

Maude McDaniel - Living

March 9, 2013

Getting used to some things takes an effort

Not too long ago I wrote a column oozing with self-control, in which I mentioned several developments in life that it wouldn’t kill me to get used to. In the interests of equal time, today I have to write about certain developments in this world that I doubt I will ever get used to .

Like tattoos, for instance.

Oh, I try. I keep telling myself, “Maude, tattoos are symbols of the artistic creative spirit, The more tattoss a person has, the more he or she resembles Michaelangelo, who simply put his choices of tattoos somewhere besides his own skin There aren’t a whole lot of churches around these days that are inviting artists to express themselves on their walls, so artistic creation on your own wall must be the modern equivalent.”

Okay. But I still hate tattoos. Something about the mix of colors, maybe, but every time I see a tattoo, my first impulse is to hand the person a washcloth. I don’t mind the little ones strategically placed, just those big all-over ones that look like the person was recently dug up from — well, never mind. And I especially hate tattoos on chefs who are going to prepare my meal. But I don’t eat many meals by chefs, so don’t worry about that.

Then there are men wearing hats in the house, This one really shows how old I am, but I’m going to tackle it anyway. I saw a program on weddings the other day, and one particular wedding was especially beautiful. The bridemaids wore lovely gowns (not black, either); the bride was delectable, and the groom handsome. What more could you want? Well, one thing. I wouldn’t have missed the porkpie hat the groom wore throughout the ceremony and the following celebration.

Now, I know. Humankind has lived so long by now that all the good ideas for shock have been taken The newest generation’s only claim to original thinking is to go back and step on the customs of the past., or what’s a creative young person to do? Men wearing hats in the house is just the latest in defying what appear to be senseless old customs, and if you can even inspire one unguarded moment of pain from the old person in the crowd, you’ve nailed it!

And I have to admit, the porkpie hat was inspired. Anyone else would have worn, say, a baseball cap or even a Lincoln stove pipe. But the porkpie hat revealed a neatly calibrated middle position between mocking all the old traditions and just smirking a bit. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

Now that I mention it, it seems to me that, perhaps, one of the biggest differences between teenagers of today and teenagers of my time is that — nowadays they go out a lot at night. Until very late!

Back in my day (okay, if you have to know, we’re talking late 1940s ,early 50s here) once we got home from school, except for church things and special high school programs, most of us just didn’t go out that much after dark. I hear the voice of my elderly reader here, “Speak for yourself, Maude” but then I always speak for myself in these columns.

Let’s put it this way. The vast majority of us teenagers didn’t go out much after dark until college, or job, or marriage. And even in college, girls had to be in the dorms by 10:30 most nights in those times. (Unless, like me, they worked on the newspaper. But that was work, not play. Mostly.) Nowadays, their evening starts about 10 p.m.

No, I do not approve of the busy nightlife of teenagers.

Finally, and I am sorry to take a stand on this, but it’s true – I will never approve of bringing in a gambling casino to Rocky Gap State Park. As I remember I opposed — in this column — opening up the park to private commercial interests years ago. I argued that it would never turn much of a profit. Apparently I was right.

So here we are facing a change that will immeasureably affect the whole moral and economic state of the area. And, from all lessons learned in other such situations, not for the better. I won’t bore you with the arguments – you already know them all, especially that sure quick money does not excuse opening the door to local public gaming, with all its destructive buddies in tow.

I will never get used to that.

Maude McDaniel is a Cumberland freelance writer. Her column appears on alternate Sundays in the Times-News.

1
Text Only
Maude McDaniel - Living
  • Very first memories of a very long life

    July 27, 2014

  • July gotcha down? Maybe these will help

    •In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 a.m., regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the super natural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11 a.m. Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11 a.m. all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11, Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.

    July 13, 2014

  • Hiccup cure you may find hard to swallow

    Let’s give a cheer for one of the things in the human experience that the scientific researchers haven’t fully figured out yet: how to cure hiccups! Somehow it kind of restores your faith in the world, doesn’t it?
    But don’t think they haven’t tried.

    June 28, 2014

  • She learned to laugh with relatives’ help

    Sometimes there are people in our lives whom we have never credited with all the influence they had on us when we were growing up.And now it is too late to thank them personally. I am about 50 years past due on this one (or two) but maybe somehow, somewhere they will get a hint of it — and — smile. Fondly, I think..

    June 15, 2014

  • Signs of aging and what comes with it

    It’s been awhile since I last informed you of new signs of old age, and meanwhile none of us have gotten any younger. (I’m working on it, I’m working on it.) I find one of the best things I can do to stay young is to read the obituaries. It reminds you that you are still alive and there are times in one’s life when that can be a serious concern. Of course, the trick is to avoid reading the obituaries for people you know, first checking the pictures for familiar faces. But for the folks you never met, they are remarkably invigorating, especially if they were older than you are. It gives you a goal in life — and we all need goals, right?

    June 1, 2014

  • Torn between failing in two different fields

    Which do I like better, singing or writing?
    That's a tough question to answer.
    Singing's got it all over writing as far as when I started (at about 5 in the church choir) but writing is certainly a close second. I have somewhere a collection of poems that I wrote from about eight on and I have the feeling that they are lost for a reason! As I remember, they were pretty awful, not at all the kind of effort an aspiring writer would be proud to quote 75 years later!

    May 19, 2014

  • Bad habits are hard to eliminate — but try

    Somebody mentioned smoking on these pages recently, so I thought I'd put in my own two cents on the subject. I started smoking in college, during exam week. The problem was that I was too busy during the rest of the year ever to stop and study for my courses — at least that is what I told myself — because I worked almost every night on the college newspaper. So when exam time kicked in, I threw some all-nighters for study. And the best way to stay awake all night (especially if you don't regularly smoke) is to, well, smoke.

    May 4, 2014

  • Trivial questions you don’t have to answer

    Every so often in this life, my mind, all on its own, generates questions that have no real answers. So I have decided to pass them on to you. I’m tired of them. If you come up with any answers, let me know. Remember when TV jealously guarded the time zone before 9 p.m. for wholesome shows that children could watch. My gosh, how many years ago was that? It seems like another world nowadays, when you can see murders, torture and rape, or those implied, every hour on the hour, somewhere on your public screen. It might be comforting then, to remember that most children nowadays are glued to their little machines with whole different worlds on them, that they can access all day long. Except that in these different worlds they also can view murders, torture and rape on demand.

    April 20, 2014

  • Rusty writes about the nature of doghood

    I am a dog.
    Therefore I bark.
    I don’t understand why it is so hard for humans to understand this.
    I mean, there are certain things that come with the territory, right?

    April 5, 2014

  • Free-range reminiscing and occasional nostalgia

    When I was in grade school, (many more years ago than when either of you were in grade school) my daily winter (fall, spring) routine included walking to school across a railroad track.

    March 22, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads