The Suitcase Lady


November 8, 2011, 9:30 pm

I don’t subscribe to pity parties, nor do I favor unbridled nostalgia. But I do occasionally mourn (not wallow) for good things lost. The small pleasures that have disappeared from daily life are numerous.

In the distant past, I could drive into a filling station on a freezing, blustery day and remain in my heated car while an attendant pumped my gas and dipped the dip stick.

I did not give up this service without a protest. When full service stations started to disappear, I would pull in, look perplexed, pick up the hose and wave it aimlessly. Sadly, this ploy no longer brings an attendant running.

I miss travel agents as well. One phone call and a few days later a tidy packet of tickets, maps and itineraries would arrive in the mail. Does anyone relish the frustrating hours spent on a computer trying to be a do-it-yourself travel agent?

And then there’s the library. I always enjoyed chatting with the clerks when I checked out my books at the circulation desk. I am not fond of  interacting with a computer that may or may not allow me to check out my books. I can bypass the computer by getting a rental book, Friends of the Library sale book or having a fine. One lonely clerk will still take my money and check out the rest of my books as well. Unfortunately, she recently asked me why I don’t “run up an account”.

“Because I would like you to keep your job,” was my unspoken reply.

As of now, we don’t have to cook our own food in restaurants, but many cafes do expect their customers to bus the tables. Since we already pay a substantial part of restaurant employees’ wages (tips in America are no longer for good service, but to keep single moms from starving), not  busing one’s table might be a new, subversive simple pleasure.

Hotels have recently started the “no maid option”. Fore go maid service and get $5.00 taken off the bill.

No thank you. I’m the maid almost every day of the year, and it’s a pleasure paying for skilled housekeeper.

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