My parents recently celebrated their 40th anniversary. In anticipation of their upcoming party I am scanning many old family photos for a slideshow.
I had to share this series because it cracked me up so much.
Picture this: Christmas, 1971, Austin, Texas. Newlyweds invite their parents over to open Christmas presents in the small, white, frame house they’ve dubbed “the honeymoon cottage.” The young husband is a technology geek, and this year he has some money to spend. He’s going to get his parents something nice.
“Oooh!” says his mother. “What can this be?!” Dad silently and absent-mindedly tears off the wrapping paper, not pausing to fold it carefully so that it can be re-used for future gifts. Off-camera the young daughter-in-law shakes her head sadly.
They open the box.
“What the hell is this thing?” Dad asks. Mom is bewildered and disappointed. The box had been big enough to contain a porta-crib. So much for the grandchild announcement. Three months of marriage already, and nothing.
“Look, Dad,” their son points, “it’s a stereo.” Dad puts his hands on his hips and harrumphs. The son continues, “You know — like a gramophone, but it has two speakers. See, the sound is split onto two separate tracks and each speaker plays a different track, which gives you a three-dimensional audio experience…” he trails off.
“See, Dad, it explains about the equalizer right here on page 32A of the manual…”
“Hmph,” says Dad, as he hitches up his trousers, “well…thank you, kids.” Mutters…”What the hell am I going to do with this thing?”
And 39 years later the son gets an iPod touch for Christmas from his own kids. Which he doesn’t use.
The struggle continues.