"Growing Up Isn't What It Used To Be"
Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "What was your
favorite fast food when you were growing up?"
"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him.
"All the food was slow."
"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"
"It was a place called "at home",I explained. "
every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together
at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."
By this time, the child was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part
about how I had to have permission to leave the table.
But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it.
Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In
their later years they had something called a revolving charge
card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was
Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore.
My parents never drove me to soccer practice.
This was mostly
because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed
probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).
We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my
grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and
white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the
screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third
was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for
programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's
lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of
the TV to make the picture look larger.
I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called
When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese
slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned
that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.
We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in
our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a machine." I
never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was
in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could
dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you
weren't already using the line.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.
newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers.
I delivered a newspaper, six days a week.
It cost 7 cents a paper,
of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every
morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents
customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50
cents and told me to keep the change.
My least favorite customers
were the ones who seemed to never be home on
Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called
French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know
what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we
weren't allowed to see them..
Growing up just isn't what it used to be, is it?