Monday, October 26, 2009

Uphill, Barefoot ... Both Ways

{this was an email sent to me, which I edited a little to add my own personal touches to and being that I fit into to the OVER 30 crowd, reluctantly and so obviously , I lay it out....}

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 25 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 Utopia!

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 catalogue.

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.

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us.

There were no MP3' s or Napsters! If you wanted to steal music, you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning of the song. There were no CD players. We had tape decks in our car.

My grandpa had an 8-track. Oh yeah. Did you even ever see one of those? In A CAR?

We didn't have crap like Call Waiting. If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal.

And we didn't have Caller ID. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know. You had to pick it up and take your chances.

We didn't have any fancy Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. We had PONG. Pong rocked. Of course nowadays, if you put Pong on the tv, kids would look at you and be like, "what is this lame game?"

Then came Atari with games like Space Invaders and Asteroids. Your guy was a little square. There were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen. The game just kept getting faster and faster until you died!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on TV. 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. A lot of TVs were still black and white. At least in my house.

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 WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove.

You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!

What do YOU remember??


Anonymous said...

Being born in 1989, I can somehow still relate to this sentiment. Heh. I'm 20 and already a technophobe (I don't even know how this OpenID thing works!).

Cathy Winsby said...

I was having a bit of a cranky day until I read your post and it made me smile. I was born in 1968 and graduated in 1986. We did have a colour TV but we only got 3 channels and you had to go outside to turn the antenna manually in order for the picture to come in clearly. It took three people to do it too! One to watch the TV, one to stand at the window and relay messages and the final one to turn the damn antenna!
Thanks for the smile!!

Soapylove said...

Amen, sister! Do you remember learning DOS on super early Apple computers? Typing rows and rows of code to make a picture out of colored squares? THAT was cutting edge!

I remember when my older brother got a risque computerized picture of Madonna made entirely of green numbers and letters on a black IBM screen.

It's all coming back like a flood. I could go on all night. Thanks for the memories!

Suds to Love said...

I love it... thanks so much for giving me a bit of a chuckle.

In sixth grade we had Apple IIe's that we got to play "The Oregon Trail" everyone looked forward to playing that and at home we had a DOS based computer and we played Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune, which looked weird because we had a monochromatic (amber) monitor.

dcyrill said...

Totally agree. Of course there was not internet, don't you remember looking all your information in the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Every home had a least one edition.:) There were definitely no remotes back then, because we were the channel changers. Don't let the antenna mess on the tube. Oh I mean the rabbit ears with the wire hangers and tin foil hanging off the side. With you moving it ever so slightly to get keep to snow from messing up the picture.

Child services please. We were afraid of our parents back then and did not even think about call 911 otherwise you would still get a beating and your parents would still send you away. LOL

lindsey said...

This post has been the most enjoyable for me to read. And all the comments. I too was always so annoyed with the uphill the snow ...stories of the parents and grandparents. HOnestly, most days I wish we could go back to that time, when kids appreciated what they had and were afraid of discipline. Back when kids wore pants around their waste and not around their crotch. When people actually had conversations with people not by texting or email. It was a lot tougher, but we also had a lot more value for human life.

Thanks for this post.

milk and cookeez said...

I remember driving 24 hours to Florida in a CAR with 4 doors and windows that had turning handles.
I also remember that I slept on the floor with the hump in the middle. The car had no DVD, Sattelite radio-just AM in the mountains. We had no ipods, DS's, Leap Pads. We had Simon and BOOKS.
We read-unless you got carsick from reading, like me, then you just waited and asked 1'000'000 times-"How much longer". It was 1984!
Thank GOd and my husband that we have a van, with a DVD, blackberries, ipods, wireless headphonesfor the dvd,and outlets to plug the xbox into the car.
Sad thing is, we've never driven to Florida, our longest trip that we can handle is 6 hours to the Grandparents :) Im So OLD!

egassner said...


Seawolf said...

Just a minor correction, and I know you didn't write this but,the first home microwave went on the market in the 1960's.

Everything else is spot on!!

Kristen said...


Anonymous said...


Ah, Debbie, I looooved DOS!

How about being born in 1964 - the joys of black-and-white tv and pretty much 1 channel back in Hong Kong. But, then again, I got to watch the first astronauts land on the moon in real time. So nyeah!

Alana said...

Hilarious!!! I was born in 1981 and I cant even fathom what its like to have the internet as a child...woah!

Thanks for posting Joanna.

Erica said...

I would add that we had to wash dishes by hand. I didn't have a dishwasher until middle school. And microwaves did sell in the 60s but only to people with a lot of money. The average Joe had to wait. I think I was in middle school for that as well (early 80s).

I remember when my young, cool uncle got his first VCR and we were amazed that you could stop the movie and go to the restroom whenever you wanted. We watched Karate Kid. Now you can do that with a TV.

How about popcorn - you had to cook it on the stove in the Jiffy Pop aluminum contraption.

The only thing is, we could go on and on about the advances we have made, but there are drawbacks to growing up in this day and age, including limited attention spans, sexual predators stalking kids on the internet, added peer pressure thru technology. While amusing, I really don't feel like one time is "easier" than another - just different. Great post.

Bathtub Bling said...

this is hilarious!! I was born in 1975 & graduated in 1993...

My grandpa still has his 8 track player, its built into his big wooden case that also holds his record player. It still works too!

Soapylove: I remember the DOS code!!

I remember when they came out with Pitfall for Atari and it was so exciting that you could go underground! and the screen actually "traveled" as you moved through the game.

One of the things I miss the most from back then was dinner. Every single night we all sat down for dinner that my mom cooked and most of it from scratch. Everything seems so busy now and there's never enough time.

I miss the slowness. But if you tried to take away my laptop and internet, you'd have a fight on your hands lol

great post!!

SewSweetStitches said...

Ahhh The Oregon Trail!
Oh and those plastic charm necklaces, made of colored plastic chain and all manner of charms. Mine was pink and I remember there being a telephone charm!
And I had a Popple, remember the dolls that turned inside out?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, we had a Pong game! I remember being sooo excited when we got it. Remember when you had to go to an ARCADE to play video games?

DOS?! I learned Fortran on keypunch cards!

In graduate school, I had an Apple Macintosh Plus: with a little B/W screen and NO hard drive. The system worked off a floppy disk!

I better stop now. I feel old. But it's fun to look back.

The good girl said...

I love it! This is soooo true! And I am just over 30 *lol*.

Kim said...

I miss a lot about the so called "old days." I miss the smell of my local library. I think that budget cuts have forced it to only open for 5 hours a week or something silly like that. I miss the "ca-chunck" sound that the machine made when the librarian would date stamp the cards in the sleeves.

I also miss going to the department store once a week to pick out a 45. This was my weekly allowance. I would stare at the wall of top 40 records forever until finally settling on Michael Jackson or John Cougar or Pat Benatar.

I miss rollerskates. Not rollerBLADES. I miss trying to skate backwards at the rollerskating rink with my friends.

I miss waving a Polariod around, wondering how it was going to come out. It was like magic!

I miss those little tiny boxes of Kellog's cereal. Remember those? You bought like, 6 varieties at a time. And each box had a dotted line so you could cut it open and use it as a cereal bowl! Genius!

But mostly, I miss the time in my life when it was my job to "go outside and play."