REMEMBER WHEN... (12/7/02)
I saw the following piece online. Read it first, then continue:
When we were kids...
Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have...
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles., doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones.
We played dodgeball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no law suits from these accidents. They were accidents. Remember accidents?
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we were never overweight...we were always outside playing.
We shared one grape soda with four freinds, from one bottle and no one died from this.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games at all, 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, Personal Computers, internet chat rooms...we had freinds. We went outside and found them.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment...Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were hald back to repeat the same grade. Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
Ah, the old days...
Do you remember when black people and white people had to use separate bathrooms?
Remember when women never got promoted above Executive Assistant?
Remember that time your neighbor beat his son nearly to death with a belt and no one said anything about it because it was a "family matter"?
Remember when rape was something you could just lie back and enjoy?
Remember when Jews weren't allowed on the golf course?
Remember when people didn't know if they could trust a Catholic president?
Remember when you couldn't make friends with or understand people in other cultures than your own, because the only people you could connect with were whoever happened to be in your stultifyingly homogenous community?
Remember when people with mental disabilities were locked up in the state hospital and never again acknowledged by their parents?
Remember when local offices were held by Ku Klux Klansmen?
Remember when no one could trust the filthy Irish?
Remember when old people who were no longer able to work had to either live on the street or with their children?
Remember when Elvis was the Antichrist?
...I could go on, but I find my nostalgia waning.