Now that my oldest child is 14 and going to high school, it's time for that
great tradition all parents of teenagers share. It's those "When I was your
age..." sayings. Parents always like to tell their kids how much worse off they
were so that the kids would feel guilty about how much they have. My mom grew up
during the Depression and World War II, which was certainly the Greatest
Generation when it came to handing down guilt to their children. Even though I grew up in the 1970s, there are still enough stories
of deprivation I can use to irritate my kids.
|"When I was your age,
we didn't have..."
|PlayStation 3s, Nintendo Wiis, and XBox 360s...
||To walk five miles uphill in the snow in our
bare feet to the video arcade to play Pac-Man on a machine so old that the
maze patterns burned into the CRT. The ghosts were so faded, they almost
look white. And if you ran out of quarters and the change machine wouldn't
take your wrinkled, faded dollar bill, you were out of luck!
||Only one phone in the house, and it was
attached to the wall and had a rotary dial. And you had only one choice for
a telephone company. Ring tones? Riiiiing! That's your tone! And the phones
only came in one color: beige!
||To write on a bathroom wall if we had something
meaningless we felt we had to share with everyone. And on your fancy Blogger
site, could you replace the "x" in "Nixon" with a swastika? Bah! Didn't
||Saturday Night Live! The great Saturday
Night Live with Gilda Radner and John Frickin' Belushi. Steven Colbert?
Please! Chevy Chase can bring that psuedo-neocon bozo to his knees with one smirk.
||To watch ABC if we wanted to watch inane crap.
||To drive a Datsun with a good AM/FM/8-track
player if you want to take your tunes with you.
|George W. Bush
||To elect Jimmy Carter if we wanted an
||An 1972 Oldsmobile 98! We could fit eight Boy
Scouts in the back seat and all their camping gear in the trunk. And gas
mileage! Our 98 got 4 miles per gallon. You still want to complain
about the Hummer H2?
|Drug ads on TV
||Cigarette ads! Hard liquor ads! Junk food ads!
All the habits that cause the diseases those advertised drugs are supposed
||To watch a movie over and over again. You went
to the 10:30 a.m. showing of Grease with John Travolta and Olivia
Newton-John, and you stayed in the theater until you were good and sick of
it. And if you couldn't memorize the entire dialogue by the end of the day,
you didn't watch it enough! So, you had to go back the next day until you
could sing the entire chorus of "Summer Nights" by heart!
||Only one flavor of coffee: coffee! Nobody cared
what it tasted like as long as it woke us up. It was 25 cents a cup with
unlimited refills. And we were happy!