If you are 30, or older, this may make you giggle!
When I was a kid, adults would bore me to tears with their diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with
walking twenty-five miles to school every morning…. uphill… barefoot… BOTH ways, in the snow (in Florida!).
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay that junk on my kids
about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!
But now that I’m right close to 50, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. They’ve got it so easy! Compared to my childhood, they live in complete utopia. Worst of all, they don’t know REALLY how good they have it
When I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog, using the Dewey Decimal System. Or we had to go to our grandmother’s house and use her Encyclopedia Britannica or World Book Encyclopedia volumes.
There was no email!! We had to actually write someone a letter – with a pen! Then you had put it in the mailbox, and it would take a week to
get there! You had to ACTUALLY lick the stamp.
Child Protective Services (DFACS here in Georgia) didn’t care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the
parents of all my friends also had permission to smack us! Nowhere was safe! We needed a good “whoopin” every so often. It was good for us.
There were no MP3’s or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to ride your bike to the record store and shoplift it yourself! If you wanted a mix, you had to record it from vinyl to a cassette using a microphone attached to a bulky tape recorder (if you could afford cassette given 8-track was cheaper.)
If you wanted a specific song, you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! There were no CD players! Hell, my parents only had AM radio in their cars. Cool people had FM and really rich folk had cassette or 8-track tape decks in their cars. If you did have a tape deck in your car, you’d play your favorite tape and “eject” it when finished, and then the tape would get wound up inside the player rendering it useless. Or you’d be right in the middle of your favorite song when the 8-track would “click” to the next channel and continue the song from there. Worst was having your favorite cassette or 8-track melt in the wonderful Florida sun!
We didn’t have fancy services like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that’s it! And if you didn’t have a direct line, you had a party line. Damn, couldn’t those old people EVER get off of the phone?
There weren’t any mobile phones. If you left the house, you were off the grid. You actually had to
be out of touch with your “friends”. LIke OMG!!! The horror… not being in touch with someone at all times. And then there’s TEXTING. We actually passed notes to people via go-betweens. “Do you like Steve, check A for yes, B for no, C for NO WAY!”
Caller ID! HAH. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent… you just didn’t know! You had to pick it up and take your chances.
We didn’t have any Wii or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3D, HD graphics! We had single level pinball at the convenience stores and skating rinks. Sure, PacMan and Space Invaders were just around the corner. The big fear was that you’d “tilt” the machine. And if you sucked, everybody knew because they’d all sit there and watch as you blew it.
You had to use the newspaper find out what was on TV. All 4 channels. And you were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your rear and walk over to the TV to change the channel! No remote controls. We did get UHF. Opening a whole new world of new channels. WOW!
A/C? Back then, that was called a “fan”. Oscillating if your dad had had a good year.
There was no Cartoon Network! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons. We did have the comic section in the Sunday paper.
And we didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!
And our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day on Saturdays. No electronics to
excite the senses. And if you came back inside… you were doing chores, FOR FREE.
And car seats – oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot gun” in the first place!
Kids today have it too easy. They wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in the 60’s or 70’s. BUT, I guess I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in the 40’s or 50’s!