The other day while driving in the car, my grandson asked me to play his favorite song.  I told him I couldn't make the radio play his song, that we would just have to wait for it to come on.

He protested, saying that his mom plays it in their car. Well, his mom has an iPhone with about 1,000 of their "favorite" songs downloaded from iTunes. She takes her phone (an odd name for something which is so much more than that) everywhere. With the touch of her finger, she can play any song she wants, anytime, anyplace.

This got me thinking back to when I'd hang out with my friends at the beach listening to music on our transistor radios. We couldn't choose what to listen to and in fact, anticipation was half the fun.

The DJ would announce that a song by The Beach Boys would be coming up in the next half hour. We’d wait anxiously, yapping happily about the important things in life, such as boys and clothes and music and boys. We'd listen to the DJ talk about life as we knew it, and when that favorite song played, we'd lie back, close our eyes and drift into our own private thoughts.

Today, whenever I look around, it seems that everyone is plugged into her own musical device, not talking to each other at all. Not having that shared experience of waiting anxiously for a great new song.

At the gym, walking down the street, in the grocery store, in line at the post office. You can buy a song off iTunes, download it into your iPod or iPhone or whatever iMe thing is the trend and take it everywhere you go. That is, as long as you keep your ‘I” thing charged.

Back then, even if we wanted take our favorite song with us, we would have had to take an entire album or cassette tape. There was no way to buy just one song. Which forced us to listen to an entire album, where sometimes a real gem would be discovered.

How many times did you love the B song on a 45, rather than the one proclaimed to be the hit?

Sometimes waiting for something can be a good thing.

It's all about patience. In this fast moving world of ours, patience is something that a lot of the younger generation doesn't understand. Everything moves so quickly.

We can send a message to Paris in one second and get an answer in two. We are constantly plugged in and wired up. Work follows us everywhere, even into the bathroom. Yes, I've been known to talk on my cell phone to a banker while...well, you get the picture.

So, I told my grandson, he would have to be patient.We'd just have to listen to the old fashioned radio and wait for his song to come on. And in the meantime, we could make up our own songs.

And you know what? We had a great time, sharing, laughing and communicating with each other.

Isn't that what life's all about?

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Photo Credit: dr. motte via:, cc

Janie Emaus believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again.  She writes about how life is NOW compared to THEN, with her special blend of funny and sweet. She is the author of the time travel romance, Before the After, and the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love.  And she has an essay in the Best Selling humor anthology, You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth.  She is a staff writer at In The Powder Roomand blogs frequently for The Huffington Post. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. To learn more about Janie visit her blog and her website