Some of the cast of The Cosby Show was on the Today Show yesterday morning promoting their new DVD boxed set of episodes. I could have sworn they said that the show is 25 years old. Has it really been that long? Was I really seven years old when that show first aired? Am I really 32 now?
My Facebook status yesterday was something along the lines of the fact that I miss those simple times of The Cosby Show. I remember watching it every Thursday night. I watched it in syndication, and still, if I'm flipping the channels and find it on, I will stop and watch it. The comedy is clean and timeless, and so are the family issues they deal with as well. What happened to the good old days of the Eighties?
My biggest memory surrounding The Cosby Show was the purchase of our first VCR. We were all abuzz in the household - a machine that could record television for you to view it at your leisure - even fast forward through the commercials. What a technological feat! I can see my den on Croydon Road in Montgomery clear as day in my mind along with my dad standing at the TV and VCR with the instructions setting it to record. The first show we recorded and watched on our VCR was The Cosby Show.
But those were the days, right? No answering machines. No real video games. No household computers. Certainly no cell phones. Kids actually played instead of being entertained. We could stay outside until after dark without much fear from our parents.
Was it that those days were so much simpler, or was it that I was young and carefree? I think a little of both. It's tough living in this automatic, high-tech society. It's even tougher to raise kids in it. They always want more, and these days there is something new to want every day. And it's just coming at us at record speeds. TV, internet, electronic billboards... a constant flow of information and outside influences pushing their way in. Caller ID, voicemail, cell phones - there isn't a private place in the world now.
Funny true story - about a month ago, we were in Centerpoint for a one day baseball tournament. When we arrived at the park, I needed to go to the restroom and we weren't sure which field we were playing on yet. I saw a restroom and pulled Madalyn with me to make her go before the game got started. It was a one-seater bathroom attached to a concession stand that wasn't open yet for the day. When I locked the door, I noticed it was a little tight (it was a deadbolt type lock). When we had finished our business, I went to unlock the door. I couldn't. The lock wouldn't move. It wouldn't move at all. I put down my bag and began to fight with it. On the inside, I was really freaking out. There are some bathrooms I wouldn't mind being stuck in, but this wasn't one of them. And then there was the fact that I'd be stuck with Drama Queen of the Century, Madalyn. I continued to struggle with the lock, and Madalyn began to get concerned as well.
"It's stuck? You can't get it, Mama?"
As she watched me struggle even more, she really began to panic and cry. I kept telling her it would be okay, and that I'd get it somehow. And finally, the four-year-old asks me this question: "Do you have your phone?!?!?!"
It's funny that our society has become so dependant on the cell phone. So much so that even a four-year-old thinks of it in a precarious we're stuck in a yucky ballpark bathroom incident. I mean, Dr, Huxtable didn't have a cell phone. If I remember correctly, he had an old school rotary dial that sat on the sofa table in the living room. And he and Claire would be in the midst of conversation, and the phone would ring, and it would be the hospital calling about a woman in labor. And Dr. Huxtable would exit stage left just below the stairs that led up to the bedrooms. Those were the days. If Dr. Huxtable had whipped out a Blackberry full of texts and emails, we would have frozen in our seats. We would have thought, "Wow. How cool is that? But that will never happen..."
Amazing the difference 25 years can make.