Now that I am firmly into my 30’s, my stories of The Old Days When I Was a Kid have become morbidly facinating to my children. I love the looks of shock and wonder as they try to imagine how much life has changed over the last 20-30 years.
- “When I was young, we didn’t have microwaves. My dad drank coffee constantly and we had to pour it into a saucepan and heat it on the stove every time he wanted a refill. Leftovers had to be eaten cold or heated in the oven. And there was no such thing as microwave popcorn.”
- “There were no DVD players or even VCRs (remember those?) when I was a kid. You could only watch was being played by the TV companies, and you couldn’t pause the show or rewind it if you missed something. And if you wanted to see a certain movie, you had to hurry and go to the theatre while the movie was new.” (This one is really bizarre to them, because our TV has always been used for videos.)
- “There were no remotes; if you wanted to hear better, somebody had to walk over to the TV and turn it up. Every time.”
- “When I was a kid,” I tell them, “Hardly anybody knew about homeschooling. For 5 years, I had to go to government schools. Every morning, through rain, snow or ice (mostly rain, because I lived in Portland, Oregon), I had to leave the house and walk 7 blocks to school. I had to stay all day, then walk home again when it was almost dinner time.”
This is where one of the girls breaks in with a question: “Mom, did they have cars when you were a little girl?” My reply varies slightly, depending on whether the questioner is over the age of 8.
- “Hey! Of course, you little smart aleck!” If the questioner was under 8 I might say, “Yes, honey. You’re thinking of Laura Ingall’s childhood…”)
- “But there were no carseats for babies or toddlers when I was a kid. They just rode on big people’s laps, or crawled around on the seat.”
- “Regular people didn’t have computers when I was a kid. Only big businesses and really, really rich people – and their computers were more like our calculators. They made science fiction movies about big fancy computers that still couldn’t do what our computers do now.”
- “And phones always had cords. Not only did you have to keep the phone in your house, you had to stay right by the phone base when you talked! Can you imagine?”
Ahhh, the old days. We’ve come a long ways. Sometimes it’s fun to feel old.