My eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. West, would never have stood for my ending a sentence with a preposition.

She certainly would have been opposed to ending a title in like manner. But desperate situations call for desperate measures.

I have always considered myself an optimist. I have come to learn there are two qualities necessary for doing well in a changing world. One is flexibility. The other is imagination. So, you might say I have learned to “roll with the punches.” But, even with my best effort, there are some things I just can’t get used to.

I can’t get used to all the automobile insurance advertisements on television. Whether it is Progressive, Geico, Allstate, or even State Farm, I’ve had enough. I had a hard time enjoying the NCAA Basketball Tournament this year because of all the insurance commercials. They just go on and on. Maybe all the foolishness their marketing companies come up with appeals to the younger generation, but it’s not for me. I can’t get used to it.

I can’t get used to pressing the brake and pushing a button to start an automobile. I was first introduced to the push-button jobs when I rented cars in my speaking travels a few years back. I must admit I had considerable difficulty getting out of a few rental car garages until I finally got the hang of it.

Just the other day, I was discussing this very subject with a gentleman when he remarked, “I can’t get used to turning a knob to put my wife’s car in drive. One day, I turned the wrong knob, and the radio came on.”

See what I mean? The day is fast approaching when a skilled shade-tree mechanic will no longer be able to repair these modern contraptions.

And here’s something else I can’t get used to … when I say, “Thank you,” to a member of the younger generation, and they answer, “No problem.” No problem? … of course, I probably would have been disinclined to say, “Thank you,” if there was a problem. How about saying, “You’re welcome.” That works much better for me.

And here’s a biggie. I can’t get used to being directed to a website when I call any corporation seeking to have a problem resolved. I recently contacted a wireless provider, which shall remain nameless, with an insurance claim. Of course, I was directed to their website “iin order to have my claim processed more quickly.” I have visited that website (and two others) over a dozen times since March 17. Occasionally, I was offered a number to call for “immediate help,” only to be directed to a website for “faster” service. It’s a run-around I can’t get used to.

I can’t get used to the “you-deserve” mentality that is being fostered in these United States these days. You see and hear it everywhere. Maybe it began with McDonald’s many years ago. You might remember the jingle, “You deserve a break today, so, get out and get away … to McDonald’s.”

You see in all areas of life. “You deserve health insurance. It is your right.” “You deserve to have a cell phone.” “You deserve a free lunch.” “You deserve to drive a Lexus.”

Come to think about it, when my time is finished on this planet, I will be happy not to get what I deserve.

My late father used to say, “You can get used to anything except a gravel in your shoe.” I am find myself having to re-think that.

Hartsville resident Jack McCall is an author and motivational speaker.

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