img_20110309_195054Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy, etc.

My girls, who are 7, Skype their little friend Dahlia from school like it’s nothing. And it is nothing to them. But to me? It’s huge. I remember when “video phones” were a fantasy. I used to be relieved that there was no such thing so I didn’t have to worry whether I was dressed or bleaching my mustache before answering the phone.

I know it’s incredibly square and old-sounding to say this, but I feel like we’re living in the future and any day now, we’ll be strapping on the jet packs and zipping off to school, eating pills from a home vending machine that encompass an entire meal and being waited on by a robot maid.

At the same time, the hapless dad will still have rough days at the office and a priggish boss and get stuck in air traffic and the mom will look like Betty Rubble and be way smarter than him and the daughter Judy will want to be in a pop band and the world will not have changed at all but for the bells and whistles.

Let’s do an inventory of what was on the Jetsons or was the stuff of our imagination when we were kids that has now come to pass: video phones, robot domestics…what else? I seem to remember a lot of conveyor belts, which Whole Foods has for sushi, but I don’t think that’s new. I remember wondering why everyone didn’t have walkie talkies, and now we all essentially do. What am I missing?