When I studied history in high school, we were taught that the “American Dream” was attainable by all and that it meant that each generation would be able to do better than the last. Now, as much as I hate to admit it, the concept of the American Dream was still relatively fresh and new at that time. My grandparents were products of the Depression, and the concept that their grandchildren might be able to go to college was overwhelming to them. Their parents or grandparents had come from Europe. They, of course, felt they were doing better than their own parents. My grandfather worked in the International Harvester factory (full-time job with pension) and my grandmother stayed at home and raised the children. They had a washing machine with a ringer that you squished the clothes through after the cycle. The clothes were then hung to dry on the clothesline outside (winter or summer). The icebox had real ice in the bottom of it, delivered several times per week. Wasn’t life grand?
Not only did their children have a washer with full cycles but an electric dryer….and a dishwasher….a refrigerator….and more. All things are in the eye of the beholder and they felt their children were definitely doing better than they were.