Here I go again, revealing my Luddite tendencies, but I am awed day after day at how technology continues to change how we experience the world. And, I suspect, how we think what we think. When I stop to think about how utterly unfathomable it’s gotten, I am also reminded that the people in the Generation Z age bracket take all this as normal and expected.

I’m thinking here of electric toothbrushes. The other morning, I went to brush my teeth, and it wouldn’t turn on. My first thought was, “Oh no, I can’t brush my teeth.” This is what I’ve come to, I guess. So dependent on technology I’ve almost forgotten how to brush my own teeth. Crazy, huh?

Welcome to the battery-powered era.

I was reading one of the many articles out there trying to figure out the aforementioned Generation-Z youngsters, and it made me realize that some references I often throw into a conversation are a mystery to them. You can bet they are well-versed on TikTok, Snapchat, and Taylor Swift. But telegrams, roller skate keys, and Joni Mitchell? Not so much. Same goes for pet rocks, mood rings, and love beads.
Or even the idea that stores used to be closed on Sunday. All stores. I mean, you couldn’t even buy a car on Sunday.

Nowadays, you can not only buy a car on Sunday but one that drives itself.
Sure, why not? If I forget how to brush my teeth without a battery, does it follow that I can forget how to drive a car?

Perish the thought. The romance of driving has gone the way of the dodo bird and Kodachrome.

I was wondering what would happen if the AI in those driverless cars got a computer glitch and went rogue. Next thing you know, they’ll be texting one another and making friends with the car next door.

I can see it now, you wake up one morning and your driverless car has taken off with the neighbor’s car for the weekend to visit their dearly departed relatives at the nearest junkyard. Or headed out to race each other around a track in Albuquerque. And don’t be surprised if it comes back a week later, customized as a low rider.

Shifting gears here – excuse the pun – I’d like to know if there are any special things we are supposed to do today, Leap Day, thanks to the calendar adjustments of Julius Caesar. Since there’s been a Leap Day since 46 BC, we should do something unique – and cake should be involved.

The best-known tradition on February 29 is, according to Irish custom, women are given the green light to pursue men and propose marriage. As a matter of fact, in the Middle Ages, it was known as Bachelors’ Day, when any unsuspecting dude who refused a valid marriage proposal made on Leap Day would have to offer her cash or clothing as a penalty. Actually, some laws – yes, laws – even dictated that such a refusal might amount to a penalty of 12 pairs of gloves.

Sounds like Sadie Hawkins Day if anyone remembers the Li’l Abner comic strip. According to the strip’s plotline, Sadie Hawkins was known as “the homeliest gal in them hills,” and therefore, unable to get a date, so her rich and powerful father Hebzekiah Hawkins proclaimed Sadie Hawkins Day; a foot race in which the single gals pursued the town’s single fellers, with gittin’ hitched the consequence. Sadie would then go leaping around looking for boys, who would’ve been perfectly happy to go into the witness protection program. If there had been such a thing in Dogpatch.

The story goes that after seeing a feature in Life Magazine, people wanted real-life Sadie Hawkins events, including Sadie Hawkins dances, to which women would ask men instead of the traditional boy-asks-girl.

Back when I was in high school in the 1960s, there was a Sadie Hawkins Dance once a year when girls got to ask boys to go and then got all gussied up in cornpone hillbilly outfits that Minnie Pearl and Tennessee Ernie Ford made famous. It was accepted that boys would be chewing on a straw and girls would paint freckles on their cheeks.

By the way, if you were born on February 29 you may be called a “leapling,” eligible to join the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.

Personally, I think Leap Day should be a “free” day. Carpe diem! Like they say about Las Vegas, whatever happens on Leap Day stays on Leap Day. Think about it. It’s the only thing that cycles every four years, so why not go a little nuts?

Oh, wait, the presidential election also happens once every four years, so that means … oh, never mind. I’m already nuts.