Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time Warp: or Am I Really That Old?

Our 17-year-old daughter has recently started drinking coffee - or more accurately, a half a cup of coffee filled with Coffee Mate.  She has an adorable hot-pink travel mug that she fills up before heading off to school each morning.  Since she leaves an hour earlier than I do, I'm usually the one who starts the coffee.  One morning last week she hollered from her room and asked if I had remembered to start the coffee and I answered, "It's perking."  Now of course I don't still use a percolator to brew my coffee.  I have an automatic drip pot like most homes any more, but the word "perking" was still the first word that came to mind to describe the coffeemakers actions.  Later, as she was headed out the door, Daughter asked, "What was that word you said about the coffee?"  Never dawned on me that she wouldn't know what "perk" meant and had never seen a percolator-type coffee pot other than the big 30-cup units used at church dinners, etc. 

Got me to thinking, what other things seem common to me but are totally foreign to my children?  I have heard all the stories from my grandparents and parents about the "good old days" and there is a list of experiences that were common to them that I'll never experience - I never rode a horse to school, I never used a cistern to collect rainwater, I never did laundry by hand or with a wringer-style washer.  But that was a l-o-n-g time ago.  I'm not so old that the ordinary things of my youth would be alien to my kids, am I?  I grew up in the 60's for crying out loud!  That's only....*sigh*... 40 years ago??? 

So...How many items or experiences can you think of that were once a daily part of life for you, but are outdated or foreign to your children/grandchildren?  Here's a few to start you off...

1.  Percolators
2.  The check-out lady at the grocery store calling out the price of each item as she rings them up by hand.
3.  Changing the tv channel with a knob (and Grandpa constantly adjusting the color/brightness, etc. - that is, once we got a color tv.)
4.  Saturday morning cartoons - as opposed to 24 hour cartoon channels.
5.  Roller skate keys - for those awful adjustable roller skates that clipped on your shoes (but not very well).  Our kids had roller-blades.
6.  Marching band.  I know many of you are saying "We still have marching bands" but they, and music programs in general, are becoming a thing of the past in small schools that are cutting the arts to pay for technology.  The instrumental music program has been discontinued in our school, so this is an experience my kids missed.
7.  Paper dolls.  Do they still make them?  My daughter has never had one, but I used to love them.
8.  Vinyl records, 8-track tapes, cars with radio only - sometimes just a.m.
9.  Bench seats in the front of vehicles.  We have not owned a car without bucket seats in front since 1982.
10.  Donny Osmond.  This one became clear during the last season of Dancing With The Stars when Daughter couldn't identify Donny O.  I had his albums and his poster hung in my bedroom - how could she not know "Puppy Love"? 

Can you think of more?  Leave us a comment and share your memories.


  1. Recently Matthew drove to Missouri to pick me up these 120 drawer card catalogs. I have had several kids walk in and ask me what they are. I had to tell them how is used to be before the library had a computer system

  2. That's one we hear a lot about at the library - one generation saying "I don't know how to use that computer. Don't you have a card catalog? And the next generation saying "What's a card catalog?"

  3. What about a walkman or a diskman. I loved my walkman when I was little... lol.

  4. I had totally forgotten "diskman" - both of our kids had one and thought they were soooo high-tech. Now they wouldn't be caught dead with one.

    Anyone remember Atari? We spent hours playing Space Invaders during college. Our kids just laugh at it.