Thursday, January 8, 2009

Speaking of Ancient

Here's one that made the email rounds a few years ago.
You're not old unless you can remember...

  • Being sent to the drugstore to test vacuum tubes for the TV.
  • When Kool-Aid was the only other drink for kids, other than milk and sodas. (I remember FIZZIES! In fact, I think I remember Bro #1 nearly killing Bro #2, by daring him to hold a Fizzie on his tongue.)
  • When boys couldn't wear anything but leather shoes to school. Sneakers were for gym class.
  • When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up. (Our first TV had dials the size of bagels.)
  • When nearly everyone's parents smoked; even nonsmokers often kept cigarettes for guests.
  • When all your friends got their hair cut at the kitchen table.
  • When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there.
  • When nobody owned a pure-bred dog.
  • When a dime was a decent allowance, and a quarter a huge bonus.
  • When girls didn't date or kiss until late high school, if then.
  • When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
  • When all your teachers wore either neckties or had their hair done, every day.
  • When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time.
  • When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents, and your behavior was expected to reflect that.
  • When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed--and did.
  • When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
  • (My addition) When parents were more afraid of ending up with an extra kid than they were of having one kidnapped.
It's tempting to look back fondly and remember only the good stuff. But would I want to go back to a time when no one reported wife beaters or child molesters? When gays were forced to stay in the closet? When interracial marriage was illegal?

What do you think: are we better off now?

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