I recently sent an e-mail to several of you that was very much like this one. I did change I few things but essentially it was the same. Today I received a response from one of you and I can't keep it to myself - it is a brilliant commentary on the way things have changed - I know this isn't a "proper" article but I really wanted to share this with those of you I don't usually correspond with through e-mail and I most definitely wanted to share this response. Thanks for reading and I hope this brings back a few memories and opens a few eyes.
(The author of the response will have to reveal herself as I don't have her permission to do so).
Mom was at home when the kids got home from school; when nobody owned a purebred dog; when a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus; when you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny; when all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done and wore high heels; when you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked and gas pumped without asking, all for free, every time, and, you didn't pay for air, and,
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents; when the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum;, to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch submarine races; and people went steady and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped yarn so it would fit her finger.
And no one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked. And you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key. Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a..."
Remember when playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game because baseball was not a psychological group learning experience, it was a game.
Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger. And with all our progress, don't you wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace and share it with the children of today.
Remember when being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!
Go back with me for a minute... Before the Internet or the MAC... before semi automatics and crack... before SEGA or Super Nintendo...
Way back... I'm talking about hide and go seek at dusk, red light, green light, kick the can, playing kickball and dodgeball until your porch light came on ... and mother may I? red rover, hula hoops, roller skating to music, running through the sprinkler...
And... Christmas morning; your first day of school; bedtime prayers and goodnight kisses; climbing trees; getting an ice cream off the ice cream truck; a million mosquito bites and sticky fingers; jumping on the bed; pillow fights; running till you were out of breath' laughing so hard your stomach hurt; being tired from playing; your first crush... remember that?
I'm not finished yet... Kool-Aid was the drink of summer; toting your friends on your handle bars; wearing your new shoes on the first day of school and class field trips.
Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that! There's nothing like the good old days. They were good then, and they're good now when we think about them. Share some of these thoughts with a friend who can relate, then share it with someone that missed out on them.
I want to go back to the time when...... Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" and mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do it over!"
"Race Issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest; money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly"; catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening; and it wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends. Being old referred to anyone over 20 and the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better; it was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park; getting a foot of snow was a dream come true; abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare"; Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles; the worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team; water balloons were the ultimate weapon; and older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.
If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!
Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their "grown up" life.
I DOUBLE DOG DARE YA!
The brilliant response:
Mom was home that one time for the whole weekend.
When $25 was a decent allowance and another $50 a real bonus.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a hundred dollar bill.
When all the male teachers wore Reebok and Versace and all the female teachers wore Gucci and Dolce Gabana.
When you got your windshield cleaned at the junction for a dollar fifty and they introduced the fast lane in the gas station for credit card holders only and air was only 50 cents.
When Mom and Dad insisted on taking us out for the annual embarrassment of sharing a meal at the same table in the same restaurant every single Birthday.
When the worst thing you could do at school was shoot or stab your teacher.
Being arrested and charged after we stole, raced and burned out fifteen cars in one night.
When girls wore those Tiffany floating hearts and all had Louise Vitton handbags, were excessively promiscuous and teenage pregnancy and STD's were at an all time high.
And no-one ever asked where the car keys were because we had those magnetic swipe cards for everything including the then hi tech burglar alarm system to protect the digital VCR, DVD, PC, giant widescreen TV, Hi Fi, and virtual pet and you got into big trouble at home if you accidentally forgot the 19 digit code to the hi tech reinforced steel window security screens and the 26 digit code to the alarm system.
Remember lying on your back on the luxury, anti allergenic, 100 per cent polyester hollow fibre, fake fur covered floor cushions with pockets for all nine remote controls and saying things like - "I'm bored" or "life sucks" or "there's nothing an any one of these five hundred channels that I haven't already seen twenty seven times".
Remember playing grand theft auto 3 on the PlayStation and then going out and doing it all for real. Remember when your Mom would verbally and physically bash the principal for giving you too much homework or punishing you for spraying libelous graffiti in the halls.
Go back with me for a minute, before holographic partners, holographic pets, holographic TV and holographic sex. Before PlayStation 27, Super Hyper Turbo Nintendo 100 and Virtual Sega.
Way back I'm talking about the Internet, the MAC, semi automatics and crack, Sega and Super Nintendo.
I'm talking about chasing the dragon 'til your eyes popped, cyber sex, Internet chat rooms, Hanging around outside the local Pizza Parlour drinking Diamond White and Tennants Extra 'til your Dad called you on the cell phone because he couldn't find the remote control for cable and you always knew it was your Dad because you had a special ring tone for him. Ram raiding, computer hacking, cell phone theft, bunking off school, getting cocaine from the ice cream truck, vodka and red bull, your first shag... remember that?
I'm not finished yet... The drink of the summer was Alco pops in any and every shape or form, your friends rode pillion on the back of your moped, Gucci shoes, school trips to St. Moritz. Paedophiles on every street corner, police cars screeching through the streets in hot pursuit sirens roaring 24/7, Tequila shots, After Shock, under age drinking, under age sex, muggings, riots, drive by shootings, terrorism, third world debt...
Would this feel good to reflect upon????
I know it's exaggerated in places and ever so slightly cynical but sadly not too far from the truth! We all hope that the best of us will not go back and say "Yeah I remember that" to most of this, well not personally anyhow!
Share some of these thoughts with someone now so that they may have a chance to do something about the way this world is turning before it's all too late!
17th February 2002.
BW MB Profile...