I spent more time than I wanted to today looking for bank statements from 2010 — which I no longer have. The bank doesn’t have them either; they purge records after seven years. But in the bottom of a closet I found some really old checks, as well as the lease for an apartment my husband and I lived in, in the mid-1960s.
So what did things cost more than 50 years ago? Rent for that small but recently renovated apartment was $135 a month, and that seemed like a lot of money at the time. A therapy session cost $12.50. A doctor’s visit was only $5.
And W-2 forms. For eight months of work at a new job, as copy boy at the New York Post, my husband earned $3,170. For a full year of work as a secretary at Bantam Books, I earned $3,804. And we lived a normal life, eating out, drinking in bars, going to the movies (probably $2.50 or less; a movie ticket didn’t go to $5 until 1972, and I remember the first film we saw at that exhorbitant rate, “Last Tango in Paris”).
I’m participating in the 14th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 11 of the 31-day challenge. It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about. Join in!