Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Kids Will Never......

Davis and I went to a retirement party this past weekend.  It was for a dear, family friend....the mother of one of my good buddies since childhood.  Her mom was retiring from her post as the church's financial secretary where she's been for 40 years.  When I came through the line, we talked about how she'd been at that job since back in the day when I was spending the night over at their house as a child.  I could even still rattle off their phone number, which I have permanently branded into my memory from the thousands of times I called it back in my younger days.   

I'm a 46 year old woman and can still tell you all of the home phone numbers of my childhood/teenage friends.  I can't tell you where I put my glasses or what I was about to say, but I can remember phone numbers that I called repeatedly back in 1980.  I suppose my children won't ever have anyone's number indelibly tattooed in their brains like that.  That's just not necessary anymore.

That got me thinking about other things that my children won't ever do because of their cell phones....

1)  My children will never know the horror of.........having all their calls go through their parents first.  Parents are loose cannons, you know.  You never knew what they were going to say when they answered the phone, so the possibilities kept you on pins and needles.  And when someone called and you weren't home, you always wanted to know exactly what your parents said to them.....word for word.....you know, in case you needed to change your identity or something.  I think it should still be a requirement that phone calls go through the parents first.  It is quite the character builder.  

2)  My children will never know..........the inconvenience of the old system of letting your parents know that you'd arrived safely at your destination.  Once I got to my friend's house or wherever I was going, I had to ask to use their phone so I could call home immediately and report in.......then again just before I left their house to head home, I'd call back to let them know I was on my way.  If I didn't arrive within 15 or 20 minutes or if I forgot to call, the National Guard was deployed.  Without cell phones, your mother could only assume the worst if you didn't show up in exactly 15 minutes.  You were either on the side of the road with a flat tire and your car was surrounded by a lawless motorcycle gang or you'd run away with a long haired boy to go on the road and work the fair circuit.

3)  My children will never know the anxiety of..........answering the phone without having a clue who is on the other end.  It could've been your grandmother, the boy you've dream about, or your teacher needing to address your parents with a problem.  You had no idea which and there was only one way to find out.  But sadly, never will they call and ask anyone if their refrigerator is running.  Caller identification has ruined that for all of us.   

4)  My children will never know the horror of........having a note taken up by their teacher since they just text now.  You know the note that you wrote to your best friend in which you finally confessed your secret, obsessive feelings for this boy.  The same note that ended with a poem that you wrote as a tribute to that same teacher holding your note, which included stanzas about her polyester pantsuits, tragic at-home hair color, and Elton John glasses.  You were so proud of that poem 10 minutes earlier.  Now.....not so much.       

5) My kids will never know......what it's like for there to be engagements, new babies, surgeries, break ups, trips, anniversaries or new cars that they don't know about until a week or two after the fact.  They will never be in the dark about what their friend is having for dinner, what their foot looked like before and after it was sewn up, or even how many centimeters someone is dilated.  These are things about which no one should have to wonder.              

6)  My children will never know the horror of........needing to tell your best friend something really HUGE and when you call her house, she's not there!!  You'll just have to wait until she gets back home and who knows when that could be.  They'll never know the awkwardness of wondering if her Mom remembered to give her the message when she hasn't called you back in a couple of hours.  Should you call back or not?!?       

7)  My kids will never know what it's like to.......only hear your favorite song when it comes on the radio....unless you were lucky enough to get a clean recording of it on your boom box during the countdown.  Nor will they ever know the joy of getting 12 cassettes for one cent if you just agreed to buy 6 more at $29.00 each over the next 2 years.   

8)  My kids will never know what it's like to........drop film off at the drugstore, only to get them back a week later and realize that 18 of the 24 pictures were blurry or had a finger in front of the lens and there you were with doubles of all of them. 

9)  My children will never know.......what it's like to only enjoy the amount of phone call privacy that a coiled cord stretched down the hall and into your room provided.....oh, and a brother who picked up the other phone, periodically, to hurry you up.  Of course, over time, the door pinched a short in the cord and then you really had problems.....having to hold it just right to get rid of the static. 

10)  My children will never know what it was like........when the only way to show someone your prom pictures or your beach photos was to get them developed, put them in an album, and drive them to your friend's house......because "that's not how it works.....that's now how any of this works" anymore.

They've got their apps and their Google and their calendar notifications.  They have more information at their fingertips than we could've ever tracked down in the card catalog.  They will never get lost or have to wait until the 6:00 news to hear what's going on or what the weekend weather will be like.  They can have conversations with 10 different people at one time.  They can listen to their music anywhere they go, take pictures and send them across the country, and make announcements to thousands of people with just one click.  They can get scores, play games, post videos, and order whatever they need.....all while sitting in a crowd of people.     

We all want our kids to have it better than we did. 

I wonder if they really do. 










       

10 comments:

  1. Times sure have changed!!! And you said it so well. : )

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    1. Yes, they have, Happyone! Thank you :)

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  2. Oh my goodness!! I laughed so many times! I may have let out a squeal at the penny for 12 cassettes deal! How me and my brothers would fight for which 12 to order! And the quote of "this isn't how any of this works" perfection! Absolutely loved this!!

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    1. Thanks, Karmen! The day those cassettes came in was like Christmas! Good times :)

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  3. I "found" you by way of BooMama and am just so tickled that I did! I am a "Texas "Girl". We share a similar number of birthdays and anniversaries. I have one away at college and two still in the nest. I am so thankful you share you gift of words with us! I can relate to so many of your life events and love how you use humor and TRUTH. Thanks for keeping me laughing and reflecting.

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    1. Awww.....You just made my whole day! Thank you so very much!! :)

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  4. I love this! #7 trying to get your song without the DJ messing it up, so frustrating.

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    1. Yes! Or your tape would be at the end and it would cut off before the song was over! So many hurdles to clear!

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  5. joni, ohmygoodness, your memory just kills me! yes to all of these!!! i dearly love my cell phone but gosh if i'm not all teary-eyed missing that big box on the wall! love your posts. now if i can figure out how to post to facebook then all the friends can share the memories. :)

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  6. You're so sweet, Tracey! Everything was going great with my FB links until 2 weeks ago. They just quit working! I'm trying to get answers. Thanks for reading :)

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