Grumpy About (Some) Nostaligia
If You Haven’t Received One of These Lists, You Will
Since I’m a certified Olde Guy, I get a lot of these. You know, the lists of how rotten things are now compared to how wonderful things were then (the 1970s, the 80s or even the 90s if you are really young).
This one is for the older crowd and I found myself grumbling as I read it. My grumbles are in RED CAPS.
“Progress” ain’t all good, but what is? Here’s one list:
TO THOSE BORN 1930-1970
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!! WHICH IS FAR FROM ALL OF US.
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while
they were pregnant. WE DON’T REALLY KNOW HOW MANY KIDS WERE CURSED BY FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME OR STUNTED BRAIN DEVELOPMENT OR PREDISPOSITION TO TOBACCO USAGE.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and
didn't get tested for diabetes. WHEN A WOMAN “LOST HER BABY” WE JUST WERE SORROWFUL.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby
cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. DITTO ON BRAIN DAMAGE, SIDS AND SUCH. WE JUST DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT, AND SURE AS HECK TV NEWS DIDN’T NOTICE – NO TV NEWS! (A MIXED CURSE AT BEST.)
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and
when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we
took hitchhiking. KIDS WERE POISONED, BRAINS WERE DAMAGED, RAPES HAPPENED, BUT HEY…
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster
seats, seat belts or air bags. THE ROADS WERE WORSE, TIRES BLEW OUT MORE, THE CARS WERE LESS CONTROLLABLE AND THE ACCIDENTS JUST AS OR EVEN MORE PLENTIFUL. “THERE’S NOTHING WE CAN DO FOR YOUR BABY GIRL” WAS A COMMON REPLY IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM – IF YOU GOT HER TO ONE.
Riding in the back of a pickup on a warm day was always a special
treat. UNTIL YOU BOUNCED OUT AND SKIDDED A HUNDRED FEET IN THE GRAVEL.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. STILL A GOOD THING. TRY IT!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one
actually died from this. A LITTLE YUCKY, MAYBE, BUT GENERALLY GOOD FOR STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made
with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! AMEN! WHERE HAVE ALL THE RECESSES GONE?
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were
back when the streetlights came on. DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU LIVED.
No one was able to reach us all day, and we were O.K. DITTO.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride
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. BRAKES WERE ON VERSION 1.0 FOR SOME KIDS.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at
all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no
surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computer, no
Internet or chat rooms....... NO WII’S EITHER. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! NOT HAVING COMPUTER GAMES IS NO GUARANTEE FOR HAVING FRIENDS.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents. EVEN WHEN OTHER’S NEGLIGENCE, FAULTY PRODUCTS OR MALICIOUSNESS CAUSED THE INJURIES… STILL NO LAWSUITS.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in
us forever. SOME OF US DID NOT EAT WORMS.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks
and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not
poke out very many eyes. I ACCIDENTALLY SHOT A GOOD FRIEND IN THE STOMACH WITH A BB GUN. HE NEVER FORGAVE ME.
Oh, you see what I mean. All this “things were just wonderful back then” nostalgia stuff that basically says progress is a crock of sissy-ness just makes me grumpy sometimes.
At least there was no glorification of WWII, Korea, or Vietnam in this list.
Although I have to admit I do miss the God-given right to blow off my hand with high-powered firecrackers.