Looking Back

Like everyone else, I get a ton of random stuff in my email. Most of the time, I read it, smile, chuckle, sigh or growl and then delete. But the one I got today hit a nerve.

You see, I’m the mother of a nine year old in this crazy age of technology. Which means I’m well aware of how different the times are from when I was nine. Since I grew up quite poor, the difference is astronomical. I can relate to every word in the following bit, and I’m guessing so can most everyone who stops by here. I thought it would be fun to post the following with my own commentary.

A Rant (by anyone over 30)

I hate to say it, but you kids today don’t know how good you’ve got it….

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!! (Have kids today ever seen an encyclopedia? We got hernias trying to carry those things around!)

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! (And we had to spell out all the words too!)

There were no MP3s or Napsters! Hey, you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ’d usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! (I made so many tapes this way.)

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that’s it! (My father would have less gray hair today if we’d have had call waiting. And I would have gotten in a lot less trouble!)

And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! 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, mister! (Can you even imagine not looking at a caller ID before answering today?)

We didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had Pong and the Atari 2600! With games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’. Your guy was… a little square!! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or
screens– it was just one screen. Forever! (I never owned a video game system in my life. Still haven’t. But oh how I envied that kid two houses down that had Atari.)

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE, damn it!! (I’m not sure who originally wrote all this but the bitterness is really setting in right here.)

Oh, and you had to use a Little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on ‘The Tube’, not your Plasma! 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! (Another thing that drove my dad nuts as we had to see what was playing on MTV during EVERY commercial break.) 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. Imagine that! (Never had a microwave until I was nearly out of high school. We won’t even mention how long the VCR took.)

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

So, anyone relate? LOL!

20 thoughts on “Looking Back”

  1. Ok, I actually lived through ALL of that except for the no microwave thing. I loved Atari! I actually still do…
    The busy signal was soooo annoying. And everything else he/she(is it a guy or girl?)wrote is still in my memory.
    Gah, that person was soooo bitter. I wonder what ticked him off so bad. Hopefully he has no access to sharp weapons.0_0

  2. terrio says:

    Kelly – I’m guessing it was a guy based on the “rat-bastard” insult. Just sounds like a guy term. LOL!

    And you remember the busy signal? Really? Were you a frequent phone user at the age of two? LOL!

  3. MsHellion says:

    We didn’t have a microwave until I was in 6th grade or so–and only because my aunt had one first and Dad fell in love with it. (Very scientific.)

    Didn’t get a VCR until…oh, senior year of high school? My brother brought it in the house. My dad doesn’t believe in movies.

  4. terrio says:

    I was 17 when we got the microwave. That would have been 1989. And I never had a VCR until I went off to college and moved in with my sister. She had one. She was the rich member of the family back then. LOL! Didn’t own one of my own until 1996.

    Your dad doesn’t believe in movies? Really? You should take him to the movie theater some time. Would he do that?

  5. Janga says:

    I’m blushing because while my language is more moderate. I say stuff like this all the time. The one I harp about the most is the cable. “What do you mean you can’t find anything to watch? With 100 plus channels, you can’t find anything to watch? When I was your age, you know how many channels we had? Three! Three–and we always found something to watch. And we watched it in black and white too–on one TV. We didn’t have a TV in our bedrooms. We had to fight for what we wanted to watch.”

  6. Quantum says:

    I think Clive Sinclare probably manufactured the first effective home computer.I have one that still works buried somewhere. That might have marked the dawn of the Internet age. I wonder if he could have foreseen what he had loosed on the world. *g*

    Writing letters with a fountain pen is still an effective form of communication I think. Much more personal than email and absolutely the only way to send a love letter with that bunch of roses. In my day we really tried hard to woo a lady. Nowadays the romance for youngsters somehow seems to have lost something. Everything is just too quick and easy!

    Heck, the fact that I could write this stuff is yet more evidence that I’m ageing. Darn it, I gotta crack this time reversal business soon or I’ll be a gonner!

  7. irisheyes says:

    Very funny, Ter. I can definitely relate.

    We have 3 cases of homemade cassette tapes. In fact I remember very clearly swearing at the DJ for talking over the end of songs! LOL Both of our families are huge music people. We were trying to figure out a couple of months ago what to do with all of our albums. LOL

    My father’s stress level would have been drastically reduced by Call Waiting. In fact he was stuck at work once and couldn’t get through to our house for about an hour. He was so mad he grounded all kids from using the phone for about a week. And after that we were not allowed to use the phone between 3:30 and 4:30 pm (his travel time). I love when my kids want to call their friend on the phone – the one who lives next door. My response – “get off your butt and ring their doorbell!”

    The DH was the one with the Atari – they were rich. Every once in a while the DH pulls out his Atari and shows the kids how to play pong. It’s pretty hilarious! My house sounded like your house. Any new bit of technology (color TV, stereo, VCR, Microwave, computer) that came into our home came in courtesy of my older siblings at about the time I was in high school.

    As for the TV I say the exact same thing Janga does… “What do you mean you can’t find anything to watch!!!!” We had a b-day party for a nephew last week and one of his gifts was a DVD package of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons. The whole family was in front of the TV reminiscing about Bugs, Daffy, Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn. It was very funny. I gave the “we only got to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings and had to get up early to catch the good ones!” speech.

  8. Janga says:

    Oh, Irish, the music! When we moved last spring, we gave a ton of old LPs to a guy who runs a flea market in AL. I kept a few–my Beatles collection, for one.

    It depresses me that I have some albums that I have owned in four media now–vinyl, eight-track, casette, and DVD.

    Movies were almost as big a problem when we moved. We had boxes of videos that we discarded. We even trashed all the VCRs.

  9. irisheyes says:

    Remember the 8-tracks that would change tracks right in the freakin’ middle of a song. Sheesh that was frustrating! LOL Or the albums that would get a skip in the song and then you couldn’t listen to that song without expecting the click on the 8-track or the skip on the vinyl.

    We had Bobby Helms Christmas on 8-track and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus had the click in the middle switching from one track to the other. And my brother’s Harvest Neil Young album had the skip in “Out On The Weekend”. I still can’t listen to either song without waiting for the blip!

  10. J.K. Coi says:

    OMG, I remember I was so happy when we got a Coleco Vision game system and then later, a Tandy Computer. And my husband still has Atari!

    Our first microwave was as big as an oven with a huge fan that motored so loud…

    Oh, and I remember writing letters…on PAPER! Can you believe it?

  11. terrio says:

    Janga – I remember having three channels but thankfully we got cable around the time I turned 10. So I didn’t have to suffer near as long as some others. But I do remember that we had a little box with a dial on it and when one of those three channels wouldn’t come in clearly, we’d turn the dial which would turn the antenna on the roof. It turned very slow and was quite delicate, but it was really high tech at the time. LOL!

    And don’t forget about the TV on top of the non-working console TV. We had that for YEARS. LOL!

  12. terrio says:

    Q – nobody woos anymore. It’s quite depressing as I love to be woo’d. And I was never good at the hand written message thing because I’ve always had terrible hand writing.

    Now I don’t know why you’re worried about aging, 35 is not old. 😉

  13. terrio says:

    Irish – My dad had the SAME problem. Once he was trying to call home from work and, of course, I was on the phone. He actually left work, drove all the way home, walked up the basement steps and hit the button to hang up the phone. (We didn’t have such a thing as a cordless phone back then – the thing hung on the wall and I stretched the cord as far as it would go down the hall.)

    I was mortified that he had the nerve to hang up on my phone call. I really have no idea how he didn’t end my young life right there. LOL!

  14. terrio says:

    Janga – Good for you on keeping the Beatles stuff. Very smart. I’m worrying now about the state of my CDs. I’m getting all my music by download onto my iPod these days so the CDs are quickly becoming obsolete. *sigh*

    I had Queen, Journey, and REO Speedwagon 8-tracks I carried everywhere along with my portable 8-track player. That was my prize possession when I was 9. The funny thing is, that portable player was the size of a boom box today. LOL! Very different from the size of my iPod!

  15. terrio says:

    JK – I’d forgotten about the Coleco. And I’ve never even heard of the Tandy. LOL! I remember the first computers I ever saw were the ones we got at school when I was in 6th or 7th grade. Those things were enormous and did almost nothing. I think the only program on them was DOS. LOL!

  16. In 1980 I had three kids under the age of six. The seventies and eighties are a complete blur to me, LOL. I was either pregnant or about to be, LOL.

    I have a blog coming up on Vauxhall Vixens about the fact my parents didn’t get a color TV until I had been out of the house for years. That’s how “historical” I am.

  17. terrio says:

    Maggie – in 1980 my mom had three kids 11 or under. Then she went and had another one in 1989. LOL! Yeah, she’s a complete nutcase. But she had her own first grandkid so that helped out my sister and I. 🙂

    The other day my daughter was amazed to learn I was 30 when I got my first cell phone. I can’t get her to understand we didn’t have them when I was her age (9). LOL!

  18. Lol. You know, I don’t know why I still had the busy signal on my phone until I was maybe ten… but I remember how annyoing I thought it was. As for the Atari, they were replaced by sega already but I got to play it because my eldest brother(who is eight years older than me. And thirty now!) still had his. But my main memories are of the sega. I can’t believe it’s not around anymore, but I digress.

  19. Oh, and I still have a VCR(although they’re now like twenty bucks whereas they were pretty expensive when I was a kid). My VCR is connected to my DVD player. And now the DVD player is being fazed out. Crazy.

  20. terrio says:

    Kelly – to this day, other than the Nintendo DS I bought Kiddo for Xmas last year, I’ve never bought or owned a gaming system. Though I’ll admit, I’m considering that Wii fit thing.

    And I have one of those players that has VHS and DVD in one. Though the only thing I would use the VHS part for these days is playing this Denise Austen workout video I like. Now that I have the DVR, I feel totally high tech!

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