Breaking it down for my spoiled children and letting them know what they missed out on.
My 11 year old daughter and 14 year old son have it all figured out. They’ve told me as much themselves. Because of that, I take every opportunity to knock them down a peg whenever I can.
I don’t build up their self-esteem as much as I manage it. And when I say manage I mean a constant reminder that their shit does in fact stink from time to time.
The other day I made the egregious mistake of saying “Don’t worry guys, I ‘taped’ Real Housewives of New Jersey”.
“Taped” they said?
“Like an old VCR tape, Dad? What are you like 44 years old?”
Fuck right I am you little bastards.
After the tongue lashing they received for disrespecting an elder, I ran off a list of “You think you have it great now in 2016? You should have seen how frickin awesome we had it back in 1982. I almost feel sorry for you whatever-you-non-milennials-have-been-identified-as.”
Here is that list:
Old school sliding cable box
We had hours of fun trying to devise an instrument that we could use to reach the slider so we could change the channels without getting up from the pastel colored couch. We innovated too you annoying hipsters.
You kids simply text us when baseball practice is over. I used to call “collect”(I’m not taking the time to explain here) and my parents knew to decline which meant I was ready to be picked up after basketball practice.
To make it even more fun, I used to make up names like Ben Dover and Richard Hurtz.
A true hoot.
The fun that was desperately trying to find a gas station when we feared that our totally inaccurate gas gauge said we needed gas.
Here’s the game.
We’re running on fumes and pull up to a stop sign. Each person in the vehicle had to guess which way (left or right) lead to the next available gas station.
It looks busier to the left.
It looks more industrial to the right.
There was no Google to let us know the exact coordinates where we could re-fuel so instinct ruled.
You haven’t lived until you had to wait in the cold in a horrific part of town while your dad hiked 3 miles to the nearest gas station.
It is too easy now with your super accurate gas gauge. Boring.
You haven’t felt comfort until you’ve worn super short basketball shorts.
The aeration was killer and it was such a great opportunity to show off your young and strong male thighs.
And the ladies loved them to boot.
Great Space Coaster
I see you on Snapchat when you are eating breakfast or watching another You Tube video that consists of 97% screaming.
Dull to the max.
We had the joy of television as the only option in the morning and nothing was better than the Great Space Coaster.
Seriously kids, You Tube that shit and then get back to me.
You are a very soft generation.
Back in my day we blew off seat belts and even hung out in the middle of the front seat.
Yes, a middle front seat existed and it was awesome.
It was a rite of passage to slam your head on the vinyl dashboard. That was some clean fun.
We had appointment television.
No tape and watch at your convenience.
The world was watching the same show at the same time and the bonding was palpable.
9:00 on Friday night was “Dukes of Hazzard” time and all of us pre-teen males grew up together ogling Daisy Duke.
No easy access to randy stuff on this world wide web. We knew where a Playboy was buried down by the train tracks. Or who had an older brother with one between the mattress and box spring.
It was a rite of passage to go find it. Not to mention a rite of passage to understand what the hell you were looking at.
We matured collectively, not in the dark bowels of our comfortable and well apppointed bedroom.
Dinner sans devices
No collective diversion of devices while eating.
No eating in the car on the way to practice.
We always ate around the dinner table and talked.
One day I’ll explain to you the concept of talking. I think you’ll find it fascinating.
You have VR and we had this.
Try functioning after 4 straight hours of Pong on a black and white 18” television in the basement.
That was good times.
Music on cassettes
Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music. Way too convenient.
You haven’t lived until you mastered knowing what song would be playing on the other side of the cassette when you flipped it over.
Or incorporating the mechanical sounds of the tape recorder when creating a mixed tape.