Some years back when I was young, my husband took me to Branson, Mo. It was wonderful. I'll never forget how simple it was for us to get around.
All the restaurants, shops and concert halls were within walking distance of our motel. And I'll also never forget that every time we went to a concert hall, a dozen tour buses would pull up and unload hundreds of senior citizens wearing name tags also bearing the company logo around their neck.
Surely they didn't need those tags to remember their own names, did they? It must have been to help them remember their bus. Right?
But as I get older, I get wiser, and I better understand the importance of the written word, for whatever reason. And the world today is much more complicated than it was when I was young.
For example, way back then, we didn't have TV remote controls that we could misplace. The dial was right on the television where it couldn't get lost. Now we have not only one, but four remote controls for all the different high-tech functions, which I keep track of with labeled sticky dots.
When I was young, we had only three channels. For Channel 2, we turned that dial that could not be lost to Channel 2. Today, for Channel 2, I have to find the remote with the sticky dot labeled "cable" and hit 3. If I want high definition, I find the "HD" remote and hit 803. Then there's surround sound, but I lost the sticky note explaining it and I'm embarrassed to ask my husband for directions again.
At the grocery store we used to just shop, pay and go. Now I have to remember if the store I'm in uses those laminated savings cards, and if so, where I put it. About a year ago, I bought three canvas grocery bags, but I always left them in the back seat of the car. Recently, Publix gave out little green stickers to place on the windshield asking, "Do you have your bags?"
This actually works. Every time I shop I dutifully sling all three bags over my shoulder. Only problem is, when I'm standing at the checkout, I get so carried away chit-chatting with the person behind me - you'd be amazed how many column ideas I get that way - that the clerk bags up all my groceries in plastic and I hate to hold up the line asking to rebag them.
Then there's the Wednesday senior discount. I always forget to ask until I pay the bill, and once it's rung up, it's too late.
You know what? I think I might make a little tag to put around my neck that says "I am old. I have bags." And maybe, considering the world's not getting any simpler and I'm not getting any younger, it might not be a bad idea to put my name on it.
Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.