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Goddess28  (Level: 92.6 - Posts: 5235)
Thu, 6th May '10 10:49 AM


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious 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… yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends." OH MY GOD !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! 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, mister!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEKfor cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And not many of us had 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 long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

And car seats and seat belts - 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!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!

The Over 30 Crowd

1mks  (Level: 221.1 - Posts: 5930)
Thu, 6th May '10 11:33 AM

LOL.........I STILL do the "safety arm" across the chest.

Goddess28  (Level: 92.6 - Posts: 5235)
Thu, 6th May '10 11:37 AM

"Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!"

My favorite!

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Thu, 6th May '10 11:45 AM

I used to love getting TV Guide in the mail. Not sure why. There was no remote control or fighting over remote control. My father pretty much dictated what was going to be on TV. And we pretty much marched to the big boxy TV and turned the dial to the channel he wanted. He had us hoodwinked. Fortunately, I enjoyed watching "Gunsmoke" and "Perry Mason." I didn't learn the fine art of negotiation until I was a teen.

M48ortal  (Level: 263.6 - Posts: 3849)
Thu, 6th May '10 12:10 PM

And some of us were born B.C. That's "Before Computers" and "Before Calculators!" We had to memorize that the square root of two was (approximately) 1.414... the sq rt of 3 is 1.732, and sq rt 5 is 2.236...

We were expected to actually know the entire times table. And we lived through it!

At age ten, I became the family grocery shopper. I was given a list and enough cash to cover it, because Mom had read the store circular and knew the prices. I had to return the left-over folding money, but was allowed to keep the coin change. So I learned to add prices in my head and adjust purchases just enough that the total would reach something like $18.02 instead of $17.99. That may be why I grew up to teach math. I mowed lawns and shoveled snow, and gave the senior citizens a discount off my $1.00 fee.

I'll add two things to your telephone memories. The first phone we had, you picked up the phone and a voice on the other end said, "Number plee-ez." And many times you would be talking to someone and hear a click. You knew then that the local Nosy-Rosy had pick up her phone on your "party line" and was listening in. You had to remember what your phone ring was, because your phone rang whenever anyone on your line got a call, and (unless you were Nosy-Rosy) you only answered it when it was your ring (Ours was two longs and a short).

As for television, if we wanted to change the channel, someone had to go to the antenna and point it toward the new station. In the mountains of Appalachia, that often meant walking to the top of the hill behind your house. Our antenna was 700 feet up the hill, so we had to space family members out along the way to relay messages. "Can you see it yet?" would get passed down the hill, and "Almost!, Turn it a little bit more!" would be relayed back up.

Video games? We had a pin-ball like game with one end higher than the other. A spring-loaded plunger would be pulled and released to shoot a marble to the top of the game, where gravity caused it to fall through the obstacles. You could affect the path by tilting and twisting the game if you could lift it, but sometimes that was not allowed. Since it was battery-free, there were no "Tilts."

Thanks for starting this. I hadn't thought of those times recently. But I'll bet that the exercise that we got is one reason that 60 is the new 40. Next year, I will pass the age at which both of my grandfathers died. Nervous but confident.

Chender  (Level: 205.1 - Posts: 160)
Thu, 6th May '10 12:54 PM

Ooh I hope you can put an "IM" in front of your name!

I remember party lines here in the UK our "shared party" used to chat for hours!

I'll confess to buying an 8 track player and a Betamax, and enjoying Super 8 movies.

Ladyvol  (Level: 213.0 - Posts: 5677)
Thu, 6th May '10 1:04 PM

We never had a party line but I can remember the operator saying "number please". Dime Stores were a biggie when I was growing up and soda fountains at the local drugstore...Going to town on election night and watching them put the numbers up on this hugh chalk board as the votes came in...And the TV antenna thing too. Ours was on the roof! LOL...we also had rabbit ears! Those were the good old days for sure. Drive-in movies, riding your bike everywhere, the carnival coming to town, doing all your shopping in town, and we rode the bus to school...not many of us had our own cars! We had to borrow our parents cars if we wanted to go anywhere on the weekend...My kids wouldn't last 10 minutes back then! wish I could go back and revisit those days...

Daveguth  (Level: 269.2 - Posts: 1636)
Thu, 6th May '10 2:24 PM

Super 8! I remember when it came out and that was like the "Blu-Ray" of its time. Even at that, only the wealthier kid in our neighborhood had a movie camera--and it was only regular 8 mm.

I remember when Betamax came out with the newest upgrade--a remote control type of thing that allowed you to switch channels from your couch. Only it wasn't remote--there was a cable to the machine! I decided this was the time I needed to jump into the market and bought one with a "fantastic" sale price--marked down from $1,499 to $999. What a deal!

As far as calling anyone outside of your home, remember how many pay phones there were? Do you remember driving from pay phone to pay phone because jerks would always steal the phone book, or at least rip the page out that you needed!!??

Ah, but the bike rides when we were kids. Yep, we'd go out all day, riding everywhere--friend's houses, the movies, stores, etc. No helmets. No lecturing by parents about which streets to avoid. No 10-speeds. Just "1-speed" sting rays with their banana seats and baseball cards in the spokes. The nerds sat up higher--looking like Elmira Gulch--on their fancy-schmancy 3-speeds.

Goddess28  (Level: 92.6 - Posts: 5235)
Thu, 6th May '10 2:45 PM

Or when HBO first came out? You could get big movies right on your tv set! Revolutionary.

Kaufman  (Level: 269.9 - Posts: 3941)
Thu, 6th May '10 6:03 PM

Pepperdoc wrote:

"I used to love getting TV Guide in the mail. Not sure why."

I'll tell you why. TV Guide listed every show on at every hour of every day. None of the newspapers' "Even though we're a morning paper, we'll just offer you the evening listings" crap. None of this "one size fits all for daytime listings, so we'll only list them once with no show descriptions, and tough luck if they're not uniform throughout the week". And no "We'll only list the 'important' channels in the regular listings and bury the others where you'll NEVER find them!" TV Guide was a real tv guide.

Daveguth wrote:

"Super 8! I remember when it came out and that was like the 'Blu-Ray' of its time."

Look, man, I still don't understand all this fuss about Blu-Ray DVDs. I mean, if you really open up your DVD player to see the color of the laser beam, you'll likely (a) ruin the player in the process, and (b) burn your eye out. Who cares if it's a pretty shade of blue? No one sane will be looking to tell the difference.

Jerrys  (Level: 200.1 - Posts: 334)
Thu, 6th May '10 8:16 PM

Yeah, the good old days

I also remember riding my bicycle without wearing a helmet, and riding in the back of a pickup truck.

And then there was the time when Dad got a brand new car. We'd had it about a month when we took it on a road trip to visit relatives. Unfortunately, I was at that age where long rides made me carsick...

But I digress - we also didn't even have tapes in the car - in fact, the earliest ones didn't even have FM radio, only AM. And they took 30 seconds to a minute after you turned them on before the tubes warmed up.

Daveguth  (Level: 269.2 - Posts: 1636)
Thu, 6th May '10 8:33 PM

Yeah--the AM radio. Our only source for "mobile" music was holding a transistor radio to our ear, suffering through the poor reception (and the screaming DJ), and waiting for our favorite songs to appear about once an hour. You young people out there, this is what I had to do to hear the Beatles' early hits!

M48ortal  (Level: 263.6 - Posts: 3849)
Thu, 6th May '10 9:46 PM

We were talking at work about some of these things, and one of our senior wits said, "You know why the world ain't as safe as it was, maybe 20 years ago?"

His question spawned a debate that almost escalated to a Trivial Tangents' scale before he raised one hand and whistled loudly. Everyone hushed. "I'll tell you why we ain't as safe," he said. "Since these cell phones took over, Superman ain't had a decent place to change out of his skivvies!"

Virtus  (Level: 171.0 - Posts: 2495)
Thu, 6th May '10 11:25 PM

This would be really funny if it weren't for the fact that kids today actually couldn't have made it in our world.

I remember making a bed on the floor by the front door to maybe catch a breeze. No such thing as AC, not at home or at school. Now in the same school I attended for six years they actually sent kids home when the temperature got up there. Then those ugly big AC boxes came along to put in our windows. I loved standing in front of one.
Oh, by the way, the house was never locked. Kids weren't afraid of people and would actually speak to a stranger.

I had horses when I was growing up. I would never have ridden a horse with a helmet on my head. In fact, my hair was so long that I rode my bike, no helmet, of course, to dry my hair. The alternative was sitting with a hat on blowing hot air.

Most days the only time kids went in the house was for meals. After dinner we could go back out and catch lightening bugs in a jar.

Oh, those were the good old days. I am glad we still have memories to share and make us happy.

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