March Memories

Well, here we are a year later from the month things went decidedly different. I think the general consensus is ‘Isn’t it over yet?’ but unfortunately, we are at the mercy of the virus, the medical experts and the powers that be… (sigh)

So, my latest unproductive, time-sucking obsession has been watching endless compilations of 70’s and 80’s TV commercials. (I know…sorry) There exists an unbelievably comprehensive data bank out there with volumes and volumes of advertising collections; Christmas, kid’s toys, cereal, cleaning products, cars, K-Tel … Anyway, the biggest take-away is that they were mainly very badly lit and they all came with ‘jingles’. Pardon me, but when did those little songs go out of fashion? I was so surprised how many I remembered and then had to share with my kids;

– Lifesavers, Lifesavers fun to eat, super flavours can’t be beat…Hey Lifesavers!
– Some times you feel like a nut (yeh, yeh, yeh) sometimes you don’t, Mounds got deep dark chocolate and chewy coconut oooh!
– now you see it, now you don’t, here you have it, here you won’t, Oh Diet Pepsi one small calorie, now you see it, now you don’t!
– You asked for it, you got it, Toyota!

I could go on but I guess without me actually singing these – live- into your ears, the ‘magic’ is sort of lost. Suffice to say, the picture quality itself was grainy and dark and the sound was terrible but I suspect these shortcomings are due to the fact that these recordings have been resurrected from 50 year old video tapes. (yes, FIFTY years)

You know, I think what is really happening here is that I am having a small mid-life crisis, brought on by the possibility someone will give me $20 for my kid’s T-shirt, only to cut it down the middle and wash one half in new and improved all temperature Cheer and the other half in my usual detergent… Ahhhh, make it stop! I know every generation thinks they had it best but truly, my parents went through war and internment, my grandparents had two wars and a depression and before that, well…corsets.

Yes, we had really bad fashion (I’m looking at you polyester plaid pants), questionable eating habits (Twinkies, I still love ya though) and no concern at all for personal safety (but oh, the joys of a helmet-free bike ride!) We also had macramé, the health hustle, sock hops, Saturday morning cartoons and the Sunday Funnies, the Sears Christmas Wish book, Gilligan’s Island, Star Wars (the OG). Looking at this list, I am not sure all these points would sway a younger generation to give up their indispensable i-phones but I think this exact argument may be the essence of why my childhood was so great, there weren’t enough inventions created yet to be electronically engaged all the time. On top of that, you couldn’t take the TV or the phone with you when you left the house.

These ads just remind me of an analog world where a plastic Sunvisor Extender from Ronco (available at these fine stores), was the ‘tech’ solution for keeping the sun out of your eyes while driving, when adding water to your dog’s kibble created a ‘rich and hearty’ gravy Rover would really enjoy and teaching the world to sing could be achieved by sharing an icy cold bottle of Coke.

Maybe life was more innocent and maybe ‘they’ were trying to market that idea to us. Sure we were young and naïve but honestly, did that soothing voice-over and home-y yellow Formica kitchen actually fool us into believing that the ‘nutritious’ part of a daily breakfast was the Sugar Pops and not really the toast, juice and fresh fruit?

I don’t have the answers, but I will tell you that I was so overcome by nostalgia that I recently bought a loaf of Wonder bread and a package of Oscar Meyer bologna and made the sandwich that I absolutely forbade my mother to ever give me for lunch when I was a kid.

It was pretty delicious.

For the love of God, I am begging you, please help me find a better way to pass this ‘Covid’ time…