"What are pantyhose?"
My child asked me this as we were dining on dollar burgers at four o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon. She heard me discussing the woman at the next table, the woman and her open toed heels with pantyhose. Not only a crime against fashion, but it was also snowing out, making this an instant double no no.
I told her they were nylons. "What are nylons?"
That's when I reminded myself how old I really am. And then I realized that these children sitting across from me with their potato chip breath will never experience the egg that I used to pop open every time I needed a new pair of Suntan size b Leggs.
Then my mind started racing once again, thinking about all the things these children would miss out on. My mind was only racing mind you because my little one asked me if I was sad that I was born in the 80's. And since I was born in the 60's I told her I wasn't sad at all.
I started to tell them of all the good things they would never experience. I could see their little minds racing because they know I used to HAVE to watch black and white television shows. That it wasn't a choice sometimes. What could they POSSIBLY be missing out on?
Here are a few things I thought of that they will never know that they are missing out on:
Getting lost. I mean really really lost. With no GPS and no cell phone. I long for the days when I had to look at the sun and try to figure out which way was north and which way was south. I don't believe that is a skill that anyone is willing to learn in this modern day and age. This skill that may come in handy someday. You never know when you will be walking after your car breaks down, gps signal goes dead and cell phone battery caput. You never know. You might head east instead of west and end up in Lake Michigan without even knowing it.
Go Missing. I mean really really missing. From any contact with your mom, your friends, your facebook. I remember just living my life, me and myself, doing whatever I wanted with whoever I wanted and not having someone tracking my every move for 2 days straight. That was so much fun. I can't imagine that the younger generation knows what its like to be out in the world just you, and you alone. Not texting someone as you wait in line at starbucks. Not facebooking while you sit at a red light. I miss the "old days" for this very reason. Sometimes after not signing in on facebook for 2 days straight, you get messages asking if you are okay and where are you. Do we really need to be accounted for at all times?
The erasure cleaning machine in the janitor's room. Who doesn't remember being picked to go to the janitor's office to clean the erasures on that big machine? The erasure dust flying all over. Feeling so special and priviledged to have been picked for this very important job. My kids would be green with envy if they saw me doing this. Green I tell you. And not just from the flying chalk dust.
The smell of a new oil cloth or freshly opened jar of paste. Ahhhhhh... enough said with these two. I can smell them now, and some of you can "taste" the latter. Something our kids today would never think of doing, eating paste! One question, why were kids eating it back then??
Mr. Softee. No this has nothing to do with viagra. Mr. Softee. You know, the real ice cream man. With actual icecream in cones, made right in front of you as you waited in line with a zillion other kids who were in line with you. Not just some man with a little cart pushing boxed popsicles. Mr. Softee was the real deal.
Leaving school grounds at lunch. Piling you and your friends and whoever else fit into the back seat of the person's car, usually a Camaro, the person who was lucky enough to have a car in high school (we didn't all instantly get cars after turning 16 back then) and going to wherever we wanted for that glorious half hour. Waving to all the smokers that were standing on the sidewalk in front of the high school puffing away for their half hour. We were free. Free for 30 minutes.
Full service gas stations. Actually having someone else pump your gas into your car for you. Not that we had Iphones to text our friends while this person did this, but it was neat to have the choice of whether or not I felt like getting out to pump the gas. I admit, I only did this one time. I didn't want to take a chance of running my new pantyhose or spilling a little gas on my open toed pumps that day. I was heading out on an adventure for 2 days and the sun was setting and I wasn't sure what side of town I was on. So I paid the extra money and watched him pump my gas into my huge 1966 baby blue ford comet that I paid $75 dollars for.
Wow. I am glad I was "born" in the 80's.
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