Yesterday evening, Meelyn was sitting on the living room floor, going through a drawer in which my husband and I keep a bunch of old CDs, the favorite songs on which have long since been transferred to MP3 players. She was holding them up and kind of giggling at our taste in music -- "Creed? Really, Daddy? The Eagles? Ahahaha haha ha ha haa!!!!" -- and then she found two of my formerly most-treasured possessions from the days when I was doing a lot of driving to and from work; also from the summer I drove from Indiana to Charleston, South Carolina with the girls to spend a week with Susie, Nicole and Adrienne.
Meelyn held up my boxed cassette books-on-tape versions of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Screwtape Letters.
"Omigosh!" she squealed, rolling about with laughter. "Look at these! Cassettes! It's like something you'd find in an ancient Indian burial mound!"
My husband and I exchanged a glance. Yeah, yeah, hahahaha ha ha, it is so funny, all our outdated technology. BUT IT GOT YOU HOME SAFELY FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, DIDN'T IT, MISSY? WITH A MOTHER WHO DIDN'T FALL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL ON THE TWELVE HOUR DRIVE?
My husband, in an effort to seem like, I don't know, maybe like one of the trained docents at Conner Prairie who dress in period costumes and operate butter churns and horse-drawn plows in an attempt to reach the youth of today and explain to them the days of yore, said, "Actually, Mee, there are cassettes even weirder than that that your mom and I grew up with. They were called eight track tapes and they were about this big." He demonstrated with his hands. Meelyn looked on with a dutiful expression that fell somewhat short of awe.
"They were really big and you bought them at the music store and at K-Mart or Hill's and places like that, and the eight track players were, like, these huge boxes and your stereo had all these different components, big things that stacked on top of each other, plus these gigantic speakers that were so big, you could practically use them as end tables," said my husband, reminiscing happily. "Pioneer! Fisher!"
Meelyn looked on with the air of someone cheerfully humoring an elderly relative who keeps wanting to tell you his stories about the time he got a hole-in-one on the sixteenth green of the Riverside Golf Course back in '73 or maybe it was '74 because Richard Nixon was either about to resign or had already resigned or was thinking about resigning or maybe it was the seventeenth green.
"That's interesting, Daddy," she said, a little smile twitching the corners of her lips. "It's really far out, man." She burst into laughter and rose gracefully from the floor, patting her father on the head as she went by his chair.
"Far out?" My husband looked at me, hurt. "We're too young for far out. How old does she think we are, anyway?"
"Elderly," I said. "Completely fossilized, daddy-o. But I think you're the cat's pajamas anyway, you old coot."
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