One of the things that happens to you as you get older is you look at kids today and roll your eyes at how protected, coddled or spoiled they are compared to how "rough" you had it "back in the day." It happens to everyone. Your parents went through it. Now it's your turn. Kids today can't wipe their butts without having the appropriate safety equipment on. They aren't allowed to go anywhere alone. And they are born with technology up the wazoo.
When we were kids we walked alone, fell off our bikes and skinned our knees, ran away from scary vans, used rotary phones and played in the dirt. We were TOUGH!
Here's my list of things we used to do that kids would never do or experience today:
- Playing in the woods with your friends and not coming in until it was time for lunch (which was usually a bologna or Fluffernutter sandwich).
- Slamming down the the phone on someone that you're really mad at.
- Walking to school by yourself with only the help of one neighborhood crossing guard.
- Writing an essay by hand...or better yet, in cursive.
- Playing on the cross bars or monkey bars at a playground lined with nothing but gravel.
- Accompanying friends/family all the way to the gate at the airport.
- "Smoking" candy cigarettes.
- Looking up facts for a paper at the library using the card catalog, an encyclopedia and microfiche.
- Answering a ringing phone having no idea who it could be.
- Driving in the family car with "road beers."
- Watching soaps with your mom after school.
- Sitting in between your parents or grandparents in the front seat of the car...no seat belt.
- Going to a slumber party and watching slasher flicks on The Movie Channel and playing with an Ouija board until someone cried.
- Eating raw hot dogs with your dirty kid hands.
- Recording your favorite top 40 hits from the radio to a cassette tape.
- Winding the tape back into your cassette and praying it would still work.
- Calling to check your answering machine messages from a pay phone.
- Using the phone book to find phone numbers.
- Getting up out of your seat to change the channel on the TV...or flipping the buttons on the "cable box" to go between HBO, Cinemax and The Movie Channel.
- Being inside the house or car with both your parents smoking and having no open windows.
- Listening to someone else's phone conversation by picking up another line in the house and covering the mouthpiece with your hand.
- Listening to an album from start to finish because you couldn't find individual songs on the record.
- Riding bikes until dark...wearing shorts and a t-shirt (or a sundress) with no helmet or pads.
- Eating a real meal on an airplane.
- Going trick-or-treating on Halloween...in the dark...with a suffocating mask on...and being able to eat your candy when you got home.
Doesn't that make you feel like a real bad ass, Gen Xers??