Like every generation before me, after spending a space of uninterrupted time with my children, I am very nervous of what the future has in store of all of us as these little people are the leaders of tomorrow.
I don’t know what the angry birds are or why they are so angry. Maybe their children won’t eat their vegetables or they keep fighting over stupid plastic toys in the back seat of the car or something. Please do not come up to me with your little hand held video device and shove it under my nose when I am cooking or sewing and beg me to “Look! Look! I just beat the Alien Tyrannosaur Cyborg and unlocked level 47!” I don’t care. If a video game has more that two buttons and a toggle pad, I’m lost, OK?
When I was growing up, all my food was slow. We only had a couple fast food restaurants but they were all over 20 miles away. I only got to eat at them as a special treat. Most of my food was home made by the loving hands of my parents, aunts or grandmothers. We did have a pizza restaurant in town but they made pizza from scratch (again, “slow”) and they didn’t deliver. So stop begging for “Donald’s” when we are out; it is expensive. Don’t make “Blech!” noises when I have spent the afternoon making you a meat pie or stuffed shells because I want you to eat something nourishing and healthy because I love you.
I only recently figured out what “streaming” was. Now all of you can watch any movie you want when ever you want due to TV On Demand, Zulu and Netflix. Once upon a time, we all had to get in the car, drive to a video store and pick a movie together. This was a fiasco. Usually, there were tears. No one ever wanted the same movie and most of the time it took weeks to get your hands on the movie you had been dying to watch. I understand that now, cartoons are on several stations all day every day. Once upon a time, they were only on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours. After that, we had to go outside and play, use our imaginations or help out around the house and basically be productive. TV was not a 700 channel 24 hour a day experience. We could have as many as three channels depending on how the weather was between here and Boston. The set was black and white and weighted 478 pounds. We had to get off the couch and walk across the room if we wanted to adjust the volume, change the channel or turn it off. TV would go off the air around midnight. They would put up what was called a “test pattern” and you didn’t get to see a show again until 6 O’Clock the next morning. Oh. If you actually think those “big screen TVs” are big, you should have seen a drive-in.
Phones in back pockets still feels very Star Trek-y to me. There were no cell phones, we carried dimes in our pockets. That way, if there was an emergency, we could find a pay phone and call someone. This required us to actually know our home phone number as well as numbers of friends and family members. When we were expecting a call, we had to hurry home to be there at the appointed time as there were no answering machines, either. It also meant if your car broke down some place, you either waited for help to arrive, walked to a pay phone, or a passer-by helped you out. (Yes, people used to help each other way more than they do now. I actually knew my neighbors’ names.) There was no internet, social networking or texting either. We basically just kept pointless information to ourselves (OK, that’s a lie. It actually got around just as well as it does now. It just took longer.)
Cars only ever ran on gasoline. Gasoline cost 95 cents a gallon the year I got my license.
Our books were not battery powered. We could just take those bad boys any where and not worry about the location of the nearest outlet. Neat, huh?
Vacuum cleaners, cars, bicycles and Tonka trucks. All made of metal. Soda bottles were made of glass.
If you think you have it bad growing up in my house, you should have had my parents. Nag nag nag blah blah blah and they were full of ridiculous stories about how there were no grocery stores because they had all been destroyed in the Dino Stamped of 41 (BC) so they had to go out to the barn in a blizzard up hill both ways to get the milk from the cows. Then they had to carry it back to the house in their hands because buckets hadn’t been invented yet.