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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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« Notable Moments in Exceptional Parenting, part 64 | Main | Happy 2009! Ow. »
Monday
Jan052009

Prepare to be shocked, youngsters.

Here’s how old I am:

I remember when Banana Republic sold nothing but faux-safari clothing.

In college, my boyfriend was a computer science major, and I witnessed a rudimentary form of instant messaging between him and another student, someone not even in the room. I thought it was some kind of black magic.

I grew up believing that Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde were skirt-chasing bachelors.

My first job out of college? I used a manual typewriter. Which may be why I quit after one and a half days.

The television I had growing up was made out of rock, and it was powered by a pterosaur.

Your turn.

Reader Comments (254)

I remember buying candy wax lips and syrup that came in a tiny coke bottle.I remember I was in typing class when JFK was assassinated.I remember our first tv. The neighbour kids came over to watch. My dad made them be quiet or they were out.My dad is older than toilet paper.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwitchypoo
The trolley had windows that OPENED, and we could take it all the way to Arborway - right down the middle of the street. The escalator in the Forest Hills Station had those rickety wooden slats for steps. At my first dance we did the Hustle!

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJean
When I went to college I needed to borrow a station wagon to fit in my stereo equipment and my crates of records (which took several hunky classmates to lug up to my room). When my son goes to college, he'll slip his ipod into his pocket and I'll fit all of his belongings into the prius.

When I got a part time job at a department store, I wrote up sales slips by hand and added the purchase price and tax using my high school math skills.

I wasn't allowed to watch "Love, American Style" or "The Newlywed Game" because they were too risque.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercarrie
Jelly shoes-those were so cool. Well kids, we used to have to unlock the car by leaning over! And we closed the window by winding the handle. Do kids these days know what a handle is? And I remember watching my dad, also an early computer programmer, use the phone on this funny cradle thing that made funny noises and my dad really mad. If you don't know what I am talking about, I am way older than you.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterangharad
I remember when the Internet came to my college (1994) and everyone said, "You gotta check out this 'Netscape' thing! It's amazing!"

When the new hot singles came out on 45s and everyone rushed down to the nearest Tower Records to snap them up.

The Commodore 64 with the tape deck on the side. Woah!

My first radio only received AM.

My first Walkman only had fast-forward capability, no rewind. To "rewind" a cassette, I had to flip it over and fast-forward. Oh, and the thing was about the size (and weight) of a brick.

Anyone remember Outback Red? Or Forenza?

I sold Girl Scout cookies for $1.25 per box.

This was the best post & comment thread EVER.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I remember candy-gram, land shark and the invisible pedestrian costume on SNL.



January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
25 cent candy bars--Yup! Those were the days.

Apple IIe was my first computer, age 11.

Floppy disks. "War Games" IRC. MOSAIC.

I bought vinyl records. The Walkman was a revolution.







January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Chatty Cathy and Cuddley Duddly.The first Barbies that were bendable.Little Kiddles.AM Radio played all the good music.We all collected 45s - cassettes were yet to come.Returning pop bottles for the deposits to buy candy bars for small change.



January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Oh, I forgot. This really dates me: spanking was an acceptable (and normal) form of punishment.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Pop rocksCandy cigarettesIt was morally acceptable to let your kid sit in the front seat of your car.Elvira, Mistress of the DarkJellies sandalsPainter's caps with flaps on the backPaint splatters all over your clothingWhat about that fad where clothes were stamped with a UPC symbol, like they were generic? I had white tennis shoes with UPC symbols on the top. Or was that just Texas? Or was that just my mother buying me generic clothes and convincing me they were all the rage?



January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
My whole family watched Hee Haw every week because there was nothing else on.My best friend and I made $25 a week and we were able to afford clothes out of the Esprit catalog.You could still accept candy apples and fruit from strangers while Trick or Treating.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Heavy Metal had yet to become parody. It was still, like, ACTUAL MUSIC.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe New Girl
The height of fashion was knickers - and I'm not talking panties. The pants that ended just below the knee and were cuffed - very Princess Leia

My first video game was two bars you moved up and down to bounce a ball across a screen.

My very first 45 record was Donna Summers "On the Radio"

Our collection of 8-tracks filled an entire bookshelf

Lawn darts were metal pointed projectiles and not these wimpy things with round, weighted bottoms

The highlight of my summer one year was when my dad let me drive his moped



this has been the best. Absolutely awesome.

Friday Night Videos. The first video I ever saw was Aha Take On Me.

Buying cigarettes for 75 cents and telling the store owner it was for my dad.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergreenduckiesgirl
Awesome. I never used a computer in college; instead I typed all my papers and made corrections with those little white strips.

I remember a highlight of high school was the year we could get on the phone and talk to people in between the busy signal. "Hi. . .buzz. . .who's. . .buzz. . .there?. . .buzz"

I remember when MTV started and when they played Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on fire" on the hour for the entire day.

I remember watching The Day After.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFairly Odd Mother
I'm so old that it was cool to want to grow up and be an "airline stewardess" (none of this PC flight attendance stuff). Or, a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader.

People also dressed up when they flew on airplanes (no shit!).

Erik Estrada (of CHiPs) and Bucky Dent were the hunks of the day.

If you grew up in NY, I've got one word for you: PIX.









January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel Kallman
I've really enjoyed so many of these posts. Brings back memories:)I'm so old, I actually delivered the newspaper on my bike. Yes, my parents let their 12 year old daughter deliver the paper every day and then go alone to collect the monthly fees from strangers. A kid could make a decent living back then. I used my first paycheck to buy the Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet and Genesis Invisible Touch albums (real records).We rented a vcr on special occasions -- who had $1000 to buy one? When the knob on our television broke, we used pliers to switch channels for like 2 years!I had jelly shoes, leg warmers and listened to Madonna, until my parents heard their 9 year old singing "Like a Virgin" and banned Madonna.When my brother came home from the Navy he brought a commodore 64 -- I was addicted to the 1984 Summer Olympics game they had. Oh, and choplifter.. I loved that game.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
Damn. I forgot two important ones.

I used White Out

Halley's Comet
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel Kallman
I'm so old, I *bought* Underoos for my kids. Big Wheels! Fraggle Rock on cable! I remember how awed I was when I saw ice and water dispensed from the refrigerator door. Everyone let their cats and dogs run loose and reproduce. Car oil came in metal cans and had to be opened with a "church key". Soda cans rusted. My childhood toys and high school clothes are sold as "vintage". Front load washers came and went and came back. I own a car that came out when I was in first grade and it's impossible to drive it incognito. I had a Pinto. You could smoke on the airplane and choose which meal you wanted in coach.

I saw Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull in concert. I was very sad when the Beatles broke up.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Being excited to watch Six Million Dollar Man as a family on Sunday night.

Getting yelled at for turning the dial on the tv too fast. "It might break!" Which, it did - it slipped off. We had to slip it back on to change channels. We kept it on top of the tv.

"Coding" with Intellivision.

After watching Being There (in theater), answering "Yes" to my Dad's question, "Did you understand that?". I had no clue.

Playing Quest on a teletype because our NorthStar Horizon computer had no monitor. Type "N" to go 1 square up. A whole new page printed out, showing the same map as the previous sheet of paper, only now my "X" was 1 square higher.

Getting a brand-new "Car of the Year" Chevy Citation. Burnt-orange and complete with vinyl seats, it was perfect for 18 hour "family vacations" from Chicago to NY in August.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwickkevin
My introduction to the internet was a guy I knew in Jr high school. ~A totally! cute! guy!~ excited about showing me this Thing! This thing I HAD to see! Those exclamation points were totally included in both my perception of him and his written love note. What he wanted to show me was a screen that was blank for 11 minutes before 3 green blinking words appeared on the screen: "Dude, it works". So yep, I remember. And right now I am licking the modem to my high speed internet connection. Aren't you?
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJuls
HA!The "remote control" was tethered to the television with a long electrical cable.Can you imagine trying to convince your kids of that...Like trying to convince them that once cell phones wouldn't have fit into your pocket, let alone your handbag...

www.MiniHipster.com
January 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiniHIpster.com
This is so much fun! Reading all of the comments has me nodding in agreeement or remembering more instances.

I was at a Crosby, Still, Nash & Young concert the night that Nixon resigned. At the old Jersey City stadium (long gone)

For those of you from NJ - going to the Capital Theater in Passaic to see major acts at dirt cheap prices.

Listening to vinyl records the day they came out. Analyzing every single lyric for some special, hidden meaning.

The concert for Bangladesh

Nehru jackets and love beads - I was at the tail end of that

Polyester - the new miracle fabric - leisure suits in god awful pale colors for both men and women!

pet rocks

Ford mustangs when they were the cool car to cruise in
January 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Prince
Our phone (rotary dial, of course) was on a party line, and 2 old ladies were always on it, talking. I also learned to type on a manual typewriter, and when electric typewriters came out--wow! White-out was the greatest invention ever. The smell of mimeograph machines meant someone was having a test. When I got my first job, gas was 23 cents/gallon, and $20 bought a whole weeks worth of groceries. I started running before they made women's running shoes, and I had to figure out which men's size would fit me best. Women were supposed to be too weak to run, and besides your uterus would fall out. I used my dad's slide rule when I took physics. Watches were all wound by that little stem you use to set the time, and you had to read the time off the round face, no LED's. I remember those safari clothes at Banana Republic too. And what do you mean Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde were GAY!?!
January 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEllen
I remember getting a VCR, I think my parents paid $1000 for it, my mom still has it and it works actually.We only had two tv channels growing up - no remote.We had a party line, then we got our own line and had to pay extra for it.I had a manual typewriter.Our Microwave was AMAZING! Our mother would never let us cook popcorn in it though for some odd reason. It was huge too.

January 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarcie

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