We waited for an opening in the steady stream of northbound traffic to turn left out of the neighborhood toward Target. It was Wednesday after school. Our coffee-date day. So we began the five-minute drive by discussing our snack options.
R: Hey, Mom, when we go to Starbucks can I get an old-fashioned donut?
B: Sure, I think so. Hey, what’s 'old-fashioned' mean?
R: Um, I don’t know.
B: Sure you do; think about it a sec. What could be old-fashioned?
R: I know — buggies and horses.
B: Oh yeah?
R: Cars are 'new-fashioned.' Buggies are old-fashioned because they came before cars.
B: What else could be old-fashioned?
R: Amish. Amish are old-fashioned.
B: Why do you say that?
R: Because they don’t have power in their houses. That’s old-fashioned.
B: Sounds like it might be.
R: A fire. Cooking food on a fire is old-fashioned. A stove is how we cook today. A stove is new-fashioned.
B: What else?
B: Oh yeah? What do you mean by 'feathers'?
R: Writing with feathers and dipping them in ink. That’s the way people wrote before pens were invented. That's old-fashioned.
B: Yes. That IS old-fashioned.
R: Yeah, but then what would you do if you made a mistake? Cross it out?
R: You know what would be new-fashioned?
B: Oh yeah? How is that?
R: Because now that erasers are invented we can get rid of what we don't want on the paper anymore. We don't have to cross it out. That's a big deal when you write letters.
B: So what do you know about writing letters?
R: Well, people used to write letters to communicate.
B: That's true. Then they'd have to write them, send them in the mail, and wait for someone else to write them one back to find out new information. Now how do people communicate?
R: They use their cell phones.
B: Yep. That IS new-fashioned.
R: It is?
B: Sure, it is. When I was a little girl, we had a phone hanging from our wall in the kitchen.
B: It stayed in one place and if it rang, you had to run to answer it before it stopped. And then you had to stand in that spot by the phone while you talked because the handpiece was hooked to the phone with a cord that wasn’t very long and it wouldn’t stretch very far.
R: REALLY? THAT’S CRAZY! That IS old-fashioned.
Fires for cooking; feathers for ink...phones on walls?
Boy-mama tip: Just stick to the 'old-fashioned' donut...