Over at weeklystandard.com, I poke fun at my parents and in-laws. Okay, it’s a bit more nuanced than that—I joke about their growing quirks. The older they get, the quirkier their quirks, such as an inordinate fear of text-messaging or paying bills online. But suddenly I find myself becoming stubborn in my own ways—I refuse to pay by phone and only use my debit card at ATMs operated by my bank. I often pay in cash. I’m becoming my parents, and my children will soon make fun of me, just as we laugh at the old folks who stuffed cash in mattresses because of what happened during the Depression (the fear of banks, even post-FDIC).
What got left on the cutting-room floor: My father not only had an RCA Selectavision 650 VCR player, but also a Betamax. The two massive players sat atop our television set. In the 1990s, I convinced him to get a laserdisc player. In many ways he has not kept up with current trends, though he and my mother use an iPad and a Blu-ray player. That last item causes me some distress—for I still don’t own a Blu-ray player. I’ve been overlapped. But maybe I can borrow that RCA Selectavision 650.
Photo of Sony Betamax by Howard Dickens, Cardiff, U.K.