There are two things you don't find many of any more. One is drive-in movie theaters and the other is traditional barber shops. I haven't been to a drive-in since back in my dating and early-married years around 40 years ago. Technology and the availability of having all kinds of gadgets and access to a multitude of medias within our homes has made drive-ins a thing of the past. I say that with a lot of sadness. There were many warm summer nites when I was a little girl where my parents would dress my brothers and me in our pajamas, pack up the back seat of the car with blankets and pillows, and head off for the drive-in. It was cheap family entertainment and a lot of fun. They'd splurge on a couple of big buckets of buttery popcorn and we'd settle in and enjoy ourselves. There were a couple of cartoons before the main feature, and quite often double features where two movies were shown back-to-back. Since moving here to the Midwest and being out on our road trips a lot I have spotted a few drive-in movies still in operation and I would love to go to one sometime. Unfortunately, most have been in other states and too far too drive. There was one I noticed recently in eastern Ohio that especially intrigued me. It was set back a ways from a two-lane highway, surrounded by close to a thousand acres of corn fields out in the middle of virtually nowhere. My imagination really took off on that one. I could see us parked there with the windows wide open -- yeah, right, with a million mosquitoes eating us alive -- serenaded by cricket choirs, fireflies flashing all around us, a million stars overhead. Temptation, temptation. Maybe we ought to make a weekend trip of it sometime, find a little old motel somewhere nearby, and actually go. Simple as it sounds, it's on my bucket list.
There's a true-blue barber shop about a mile from our house. Dear Hubby, our son, and grandsons all go to it. Saturday was a busy day and my daughter-in-law called and asked if I could help out by taking the boys for some much-needed hair cuts. When we went in the door the boys were greeted by name and I sat down and savored the atmosphere while I waited. Barber shops are so totally a male environment. There were old...and I do mean old...barber chairs. I'm not sure how old the building was or how many years the barber shop has been there but the floor was old black-and-white square linoleum tiles...the sinks had to be at least half a century old. There were antique mirrors on the walls. And lots of interesting customers sitting back in the chairs waiting for their hair cuts. Good people-watching variety. Along the deep front windowsill were bottles of old-fashioned hair tonic, trophies, model cars, photos of cars. All kinds of posters and cut-out photos plastering just about every inch of wall space. All that was missing was Floyd the Barber. One man mentioned he comes all the way from Detroit to have his hair cut there because it's an honest-to-goodness barber shop. He said the shop he'd gone to for years had been converted a while back to a unisex salon and he just didn't feel comfortable getting his hair cut there any more. Plants all over, music playing...it had lost its atmosphere. I chatted with all the men while the boys were being attended to. I told them with growing up with brothers I used to tag along and sit watching while they'd get hair cut and I always felt at home in barber shops, too. Truth be told, I've always felt more comfortable around males than I do females any day. Growing up with the practicality of males I never did learn the art of feminine chit-chat and I'm much more at ease with the less-is-more conversation of men...you speak if you have something to say, and you keep it short and simple without all the frills of feminine speech. But I digress. The boys got Number Two razor cuts, Dylan over his entire head, Cooper the same except for a little fringe about 1/2" long along his forehead he wanted the barber to spike. So the barber took a tube of barber wax...I want to say butch wax?? Isn't that what it used to be called when crew cuts were the fashion of the day when my brothers were little boys? He spiked Cooper's little fringe...the boys were dusted down with barber brushes, and we were on our way. It just felt like traditional America for the half hour we were there...like we'd stepped right back into the 1950s. Moments like that make me long for things that are pretty much lost to our daily lives now. Our world is obsessed with "Change is better". And that's not always true. I'm glad my grandsons have this connection with years gone by, this chance to experience something still so traditionally male. I don't understand a world where everything sexual is becoming so blurred and fuzzy, and I'm not talking about sexual relationships, I'm talking about females and males. I don't understand gender blending. I know...I'm old-fashioned and I'm not being politically correct here but I belong to an age where men were men and women were women. And you didn't have to look two times, or even three, to figure it out. But that, too, is a thing of the past. And I'm so glad I'm not a child in the world today trying to understand it all. It's too confusing even for me.