My kids will never know

A long, long time ago in a galazy far, far away… not really but at least 5 months ago, I read a post over at Just Joanna about things our kids will never know… and THEN, My dear friend Andrea posted the same type of article about growing up in the 80’s (again 5 months ago)… and I just KNEW I wanted to join in and be nostalgic with the rest of them…

and then, well, life happened and I got busy and honestly forgot about it because, well, my memory isn’t as great as it once was…

but THEN… I was talking with a friend of mine who recently moved into a new apartment.  He was talking with his neighbors, young whiper snappers that they are, and not only had they NEVER heard Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, but were also utterly perplexed by his reference to an album… and said “Like a photo album?” *Headdesk*

I knew I smelled a blog post as soon as he told me that.

There are a few things that I’m cramming down the kids’ throats sharing with the kids…  Like my love for Alf and Goonies… I’ve noticed slap bracelets are making a come back (not 100% sure that’s a good thing but whatevs)… but I think some things are gone forever… except in my folk’s attic where – NO LIE I’ve unearthed their 8-track player and cassettes.

So here’s my list of things that I remember about my childhood that my kids are missing out on…

Cassette Tapes - Things my Kids will never know - Slightly Off Kilter(1) Cassette Tapes – I have memories of being a love sick teenager, laying on my bed listening to the radio just WAITING for them to play whatever song I was DESPERATE to include on my mix tape… (I’m sure it was Air Supply) and hoping I’d catch it right at the start… because if you didn’t, no telling WHEN it was going to come on again.  They will not appreciate the connection between a pencil and a tape… nor do they understand WHY I still have one of those “travel” cassette tape carriers that I used to keep in my car … since my car doesn’t have a cassette player anyway…

(2) Watching Commercials – Nowadays, we record EVERYTHING at our house and fast-forward through ALL commercials… Not so much an option back in my day… Funny story about commercials though – My mom instilled in me my hatred for commercials and since we didn’t have the ability to fast forward, she would just mute all commercials and then turn the sound back on once our show started.  This was a fine practice except that more often than not, she’d get up to go do something while the show was muted and sometimes would take the remote WITH her… my dad used to scream across the house… which was as entertaining as the show we were watching.

(3) Life Before Computers – My kids have absolutely NO reference for life before computers.  No idea how many hours I spent in a library doing research for a paper… no idea how to even DO research without a computer.  We may have forgotten to teach our kids how to learn with the influx of Google and standardized testing… and I’m not sure this is a good thing.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of Googling EVERYTHING… but you should still know HOW to ascertain info in the absence of a computer.

Oregon Trail - Things my Kids will never know - Slightly Off Kilter(4) Oregon Trail – This was the highlight of our school week when we got to play Oregon Trail… although, looking back – getting excited about you and/or your friends contracting dysentary may not have been the greatest of teaching tools…

(5) Phone Books – Honestly, I’m surprised the Yellow Pages still exist, but the last time I used one, it was used to make christmas trees out of and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the intended purpose.

(6) Saturday morning Cartoons that are WORTH getting up for… there’s always been a rule in our house – it was a rule when my mother was a child, when I was a child, and now it’s been implemented with my kids.  If, on a saturday morning, you can manage to wake up and watch cartoons without waking an adult, you get to watch TV.  If not?  There’s plenty of chores to do.  It’s a GREAT rule… except that now, you can watch cartoons any day of the week so the thrill has lapsed and let’s be honest, the quality just isn’t there… give me bugs and road runner any day over the drivel they now show.

(7) Waiting by the phone – My kids have cell phones… NOT SMARTPHONES mind you, but cell phones.  and so does almost everyone else in their class… which means that my boys will never have to experience the fear and anxiety of calling a girl only to have her mom or dad answer the phone… will never imagine the girl of their dreams sitting by the home phone waiting for it to ring.

(8) Riding without seat belts – I recall road trips where my brother and I were sprawled in any manner we could be because, guess what, seat belts were OPTIONAL… and when given the option, we opted no thanks…

(9) Sneaking the Sunday Funnies from Dad’s newspaper – I’m sure that some people still subscribe be we haven’t in years. We get all our news online and forgo the newspaper.  Growing up though, my dad wanted the paper- he had a subscription that came only on the weekends since he read the paper at work the other days and it was always a race on Sunday morning to see who would get the funnies first…

(10) MTV Showed Actual Music Videos – For the record – MTV is a banned channel in our house… but I recall when it first came out… and I know this is a shocker for some… but it actually played music videos… all day long.

(11) Exposed bra straps, thongs, and other under garments will have always been a fashion statement for my kids… not one I approve of, but yes, this makes me a mean mom for actually buying jeans that FIT my boys and requiring the use of a belt.  To emphasize this, when even the belt wasn’t serving it’s purpose, I bought the eldest SUSPENDERS.  I proved my point quickly.

(12) Reality TV – in my day, Reality TV existed… we called it the evening news.  Not “how F*&@ed up do you have to be to make it to stardom”

Floppy Disk - Things my Kids will never know - Slightly Off Kilter(13) Big Floppy Disks that were actually FLOPPY!  Remember those?  Yeah – my kids had no clue until we unearthed one at my folks house.  I swear someday, I’ll open the doors and charge admission as a museum.

(14) Heavy Luggage – seriously?  We carried what we packed.  There were no WHEELS on it.  If you couldn’t carry it, you better re-think your packing choices.

(15) Answering the unknown – Ok, I’m really glad for this advancement… but when we were kids, you didn’t know who was calling – what they wanted – who the call was for… If it rang, SOMEONE answered. and if you DIDN’T answer, you had an answering machine you could listen in as they left a message… and pick up if it was someone you WANTED to talk to.

There are a few – what do you remember from your childhood that your kids won’t have?  Good bad or ugly, the times they are a changing… and it won’t stop with our kids.  While I’m still disappointed that we don’t have the flying cars promised us in the cartoons and movies, I still think we’ve got it pretty good.

Photo Credits: Cassette Tape; Oregon Trail; Floppy Disk


  1. You know it! Great read. I’m gonna have to pin this one on my Children’s of the 80’s board. lol

  2. *LOVE* I cracked up a little (or a lot) about Oregon Trail. It is absolutely true. Best day of school!

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