Wednesday, May 05, 2010

You're Not Old Unless...

Yesterday, my oldest son turned 36. My oldest grandaughter turned 10 (double-digits, gasp!) last month. And I have five - count 'em, five! - wonderful grandchildren. I'm feelin' old. Proud and happy, but old.

But how old am I, really? And how old are you?

Here's a quick test to check your age. According to the test, you're not old unless you can remember:

1. Being sent to the drugstore to test vacuum tubes for the TV - yep.

2. When Kool-Aid was the only other drink for kids, other than milk and sodas - yep.

3. When there were two types of sneakers for boys - yep (and a bonus point if you call them sneakers instead of athletic footwear).

4. When boys couldn't wear anything but leather shoes to school - check.

5. When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up - oh, yes...and they were long minutes.

6. When all your friends got their hair cut at the kitchen table - yep. (I love my dad, but he gave some pretty crummy haircuts).

7. When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there - yep.

8. When nobody owned a purebred dog (or knew there was such a thing) - yep.

9. When a dime was a decent allowance, and a quarter a huge bonus - and a five-dollar bill for your birthday was an absolute fortune - yep.

10. When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny - yep (and I still do it).

11. When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then - yes, dammit.

12. When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces - check.

13. When all your teachers wore either neckties or had their hair done, every day (except for the nuns, of course) - yep.

14. When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free, every time (and the attendant didn't sit in a locked office behind armored glass) - yep.

15. When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box - yep.

16. 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 - yep (back then we called it "showing respect for our elders").

17. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents (or to have steak and french fries for dinner two or three times a year) - check.

18. When schools threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed...and did! - yep (not that I have any personal experience of this, you understand).

19. When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home - oh, yes!

20. When women were called, "Mrs. John Smith," instead of their own name - yep.

Well, I'm 20 for 20 - anybody have any other items to add to the list?

Not that I need any more help feelin' creaky today, of course.

Have a good day. Enjoy life, regardless of your age.

More thoughts tomorrow.



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Bandit said...

When a Mom next door called you down for a childish infraction and your Mom backed her up....I think today that's called a lawsuit.

Maryscove said...

When girls could not wear pants to school. Except during "track and field week". Oh, how I looked forward to that week. Even though I was(am) not athletic at all! Yep.
Your bicycle was your prize possession. It was your only means of transport,and it represented true freedom. Mine was purple, and I kept it so clean, I nearly washed the paint off of it! Yep.
Oh,yes, and when girls had to wear one piece bloomers for gym class. Horrible pieces of work, with snaps up the front, and puffy little legs. The color of dirty,faded jeans. Yuck and yep!

Anonymous said...

Some of us can actually remember listening to the Lone Ranger on a device called a vacuum tube radio. How about the big treat of hearing an AWAY baseball game of your favorite team--for me, the Brooklyn Dodgers, recreated by Vin Scully or Red Barber--by getting a teletype (Bilbo, you'll have to explain a teletype to Zipcode, et al) feed from the ballpark. Vin or Red would fill in the details. The feed would come out on a strip of paper saying, fastball, over the left field fence, home run. Red would verbally paint the whole picture, the left fielder rushing to the wall, the fans scrambling for the ball, Jackie Robinson circling the bases with his determined pigeon-toed trot!

Anybody out there remember their mother collecting used household grease to return to the butcher shop for a few pennies credit on the next purchase? This was a carryover from WWII--apparently fat was needed to make TNT. (Restaurants still do this today, but for more peaceful purposes.)

My grandkids are continually amazed that I could possibly have grown up without a computer, and most important the Internet.
Bilbo--rembember going to the library to research your big report on--Ecuador for 6th grade?

Thanks for the memories!
Eminence Grise (AKA Eminence Ancien!)

Mike said...

When you get a little older you won't remember anything from that far back.

KKTSews said...

Maryscove--OMG, we must have gone to the same school. I remember feeling really LIBERATED when we were allowed to wear pants (not jeans, though) to school.
I'd forgotten about those bloomers for gym. Thanks (NOT) for that memory. I do kinda wish I had a picture to show what social torture was really like.

Gotfam said...

Aww...I'm only 31 so I actually don't remember a lot of these things (sadly). But I will say this - i WISH this was the way the world was now (minus the nylons on women...yuck).
How about when men held doors for women. I'm a huge pregnant lady and the guy in front of me walking out of the grocery store today practically slammed the door in my face. Time to find a store with automatic doors i guess.