I addressed her from above the frames of my glasses. "You know, when I was your age, we didn't even have a remote. I was the remote!
"Grandpa used to make me stand next to the TV and turn the knob until we found something good to watch," I said.
Of course, times always change, and each generation deals with that change from a different perspective — as some of you reading this might be saying, "we didn't even have TV when I was a kid."
So, I can appreciate that while waiting a minute for the internet to load is no sweat for me, it's worth melting on the couch to my girls. I try not give them too hard of time, always reminding them that one day they get to share stories like these with their kids, too.
In a year built on catch phrases, the one that I've pondered most is "new normal."
The idea of a new normal sounds slightly absurd — normal is the vanilla of life, right? It doesn't change.
Of course, "normal" really always has been in flux. As technology improves, as we learn more things and accept more diverse views, the standards for how we live change, whether we like it or not.
It's convenient when it comes to technology but a hassle when it comes to safety.
The summer before I started fourth grade, no one wore a bike helmet. By the next summer, a lot of kids wore them. Today, more people wear helmets than don't. It's the new normal.
At the start of fifth grade my mom got me a helmet to wear when I rode my bike to school, and I hated it.
"But it makes my head look like a mushroom!" I'd complain. It should be noted that helmets circa 1989 were engineered for safety, not fashion. It should also be noted that despite the 400 times I violently fell off my bike, I never cracked my head open.
These were the things I thought about when face mask orders were being put into place in many states. It's a new normal that fogs my glasses and makes me self-conscious when I sneeze or cough in public.
"No really, it was just a tickle. It's not the coronavirus!" I find myself pleading to feeling supermarket shoppers.
It's the new normal, especially when it comes to commerce. So, I've gone with the flow. I found a mask that didn't fog my glasses as much and wasn't too cumbersome, and I wear it. It is what it is.
I do enjoy hiking up my mask and feeling like an Old West bank robber when I enter a business.
And I appreciate that when I walk into a business the employees are wearing masks. It's telling that — despite political views — the business really is all about making their customers comfortable.
Though, I've found when you're wearing a mask it's tough to buy something you need to smell, like candles or deodorant. I realized this when I recently turned 40, and the deodorant I wore for 25 years stopped working. One day I smelled good, the next I could have used garbage under my armpits and smelled the same.
So, we went to the store, wore our masks and looked over our shoulders while we pulled them down to give the deodorants a smell test. After two tests, I declared this ridiculous and let my 5-year-old pick the one with her favorite label.
And while I lamented the use of masks at that moment, I wasn't so against it when the woman ahead of us in line to pay started hacking her lungs out — obviously coronavirus.
Now, tire dealers out there don't need to worry about the smell test. But they have to live with the new normal of social distancing and face masks. They have had to adjust and think about every aspect of how they run their business.
Really, from a broader perspective, the "new" normal isn't much different than the old one: Make customers feel so secure spending their hard-earned money at your store that they will return and do it again.
Of course, if you ever encounter a customer who is buying tires based on smell, you know what to tell them: "Oh, the Tier 1s smell the best."