Lost Awesome

While I was culling the interwebs for something mildly amusing or interesting, I came across a few pieces that bemoaned things that our kids will never have to experience.  I found some of it entertaining because it took me back to a time when I had hair, glasses and absolutely no clue… about anything.  I then dredged up the memory of doing a post on a similar topic, very early in this blog’s history.  That was a period I call “The Insipid Phase.”

For good or bad, possibly both, here’s some awesome stuff that will never be inflicted upon our offspring:

Call Anxiety: It’s summer break in 1986, and the cute girl from your Calculus class left her number in your yearbook.  Obviously she wants you to call, so standing at the phone your hand freezes – who the hell will answer the phone?  Best case, it’s Cute Girl, who’s been pining and camping by the rotary-dial, wall-mounted phone for days.  Less encouraging, Cute’s Mom might answer and yell for Cute loud enough for you to hear through your window.  Worst case, it’s Cute’s Dad, and he’s going to want to know who you are, why you’re calling, and exactly what you intend to use your penis for with regards to his Cute Daughter.

Report Toil: It’s 1987, and your History teacher assigns a research paper as a way to learn to research and write papers.  This automatically will involve a trip to the library, guaranteed.  Even if you had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, that evil teacher wants a minimum of five – yes, five – sources (Never mind you’ll eventually go on to write a Masters’ thesis with seventy-two references…).  Even better, quotations and citations with footnotes are  also mandatory, so investigation of your funds are necessary to make those ten-cent copies of whatever book you find.  Unless you copy notes by hand, that is, to save your gas money for another date with Cute Girl.  Gas isn’t cheap, and it takes mowing a lot of lawns to fill your tank at $1.05 per gallon.

Call Anxiety Part II: You’re in with Cute Girl, and she even has permission to call you. She’s fun and all sorts of curious about you, but how can you even think of answering questions while the whole family is sitting right behind you? You wish the phone could come off the wall somehow, all the way into your room for example. There’s the awesome fifteen-foot curly-cord for the handset, but that only gets you as far as the kitchen.

Report Toil, Part II: It’s still 1987 if you’re lucky and you’re nearing completion of this report.  But wait!  A change of plans in History means you’ll have to type the report.  This is overwhelming, because none of your Calculus or Algebra classes prepared you for figuring the space necessary for a footnote at the bottom of a page.  Even worse, you take days to even get to that first page bottom without too many typos that turn the page thick with White Out.

Signs of Commitment: After dragging yourself across the finish line of the History report, you have some free time again and it’s time to take Cute Girl out again.  After a few dates and Father Unit talks, things are looking up.  Every date has been awesome, and you’ve decided to present her with something with real meaning, to show her you truly care: a mix tape.  The creation of this tape involved hours crouched next to the stereo, the cassette oh-so-carefully stopped a few seconds past the last song, the stereo set to record but on pause.  When a candidate song played, you jab the pause button and pray to the God of Simple Bra Hooks that the DJ won’t start talking over the final seconds of the song.

Life is easier now for sure.  Sometimes, I wonder if its better.

66 Responses to “Lost Awesome”

  1. I don’t wonder, I know it was. People couldn’t contact you at every minute of the day. If you were out to have a good time you could not be distracted by the moblile phone. It makes me laugh when I see everyone out at a restaurant and half of them are on their mobiles.
    However cut and paste is my hero!

  2. These reasons are we are so awesome. Don’t forget pegging your jeans…now it’s done for you with the skinny jean.

  3. I wonder if it’s not easier, but different.

    • I think that’s true in some instances, yes. I do prefer writing on a computer to typing, though. Hands-down easier no matter how you slice it.

  4. You forgot when cute girl had her friend call and break up with you…

  5. Call anxiety – you hit it right on the head except for one thing. When she writes the number in your yearbook and DOESN”T EVEN WANT YOU TO CALL. It especially hurts when you see her number in your best friend’s yearbook too. Your life is crushed.

  6. Awww…nice post, Rants. Ahhh, the ’80’s. Knew’em well…miss them only now and then. I remind the kiddies they have it different. Mix tape? They don’t know the joy of mix tapes….

  7. Reminds me of the original cut and paste – type up the footnotes, cut each into its own strip, pates them to teh bottom of the page they should go on. Then type the page, remove the footnote strip and type it on the bottom.
    Pain in the ass.

    But life then was definitely better.
    So whatever happened to cute girl?

  8. Melanie Says:

    Being Cute Girl and having to beat Dad to the phone so he wouldn’t torture Cute Boy and ruin it all before it even began. We tried to save you from our fathers, we really did.

  9. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Aww, this is actually a sweet post!

  10. Oh man, the hours spent in the library. Kids today have NO IDEA. And I forgot all about having to allow space at the bottom of the page for footnotes. Man, that sucked. Typing on a typewriter in general kind of sucked.

    And the mix tapes! Yeah. Sending someone a playlist isn’t quite the same.

    I used to get call anxiety too, even when just calling my friends. I had some friends whose mothers/sisters were very chatty, and it was brutal to try to get off the phone with them. But call anxiety when a guy is calling a girl, that’s a whole different animal.

  11. Ha! My dad bought every type of reference book known, including Encyclopedia Britannica. I was geek girl and read them for fun…thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  12. The Elite of Just Alright Says:

    Now Cute Girl just snapchats you nudies…

  13. You forgot the part about the mix tape being stuck in the dash and the surgery you have to perform on it using only a pencil.

  14. […] I have some sort of power over you. While I have your attention, you should go check out this awesome post by BrainRants. It’s all kinds of amazing. Onto the […]

  15. The phone thing is such a funny thought! I feel this sort of ended around my age because I got a cell phone when I was 16. From 13-15 though my mom was always behind me and like, “don’t call him, he needs to call you!” and “you giggle too much when you talk to boys on the phone, they’re going to think you’re a floozy.”

  16. The phone call one is spot on. I remember being scared to call friends and boys for the exact same reason. Minus the penis.

    Where is your about page?!

  17. That was an awesomesauce trip down Amnesia Lane. Just what I needed after sleeping in The Suck. Thanks.

  18. Oh a mix tape! Yes! I want to be courted through a series of mix tapes

  19. raniasbrain Says:

    Reblogged this on raniasbrain.

  20. Love love love the trip to my graduating year of 1987.

    This year I taught my students that in google docs you can actually have it automatically footnote for you. It even does your research. Hell…you don’t even have to think!

    I have a box full of mixed tapes at home, I made my husband a mix CD when we were courting in the 10’s. He still bitches about the fact that I put Rufus Wainwright on it. But I got the guy…and that is all that matters.

  21. I just threw the phone when things got rough.

    I find that approach works for most things, really.

  22. Oh, I remember those days! I was talking to my parents on Father’s Day & recited off our old phone number & the phone number of the phone I had installed in my bedroom when I lived at home. My father was into some political thing & spent a lot of time on the phone back then (sitting on the kitchen counter) & none of my friends could ever get hold of me, so I ordered my own phone installed in my bedroom (paid for with earnings from my part time job). Neither of my parents remembered anything about any of it.

  23. My nieces and nephews will never be stuck trying to remember the words of a song, they can just google it. They will never have to use the phone in the bathroom because its the closet place a door can be shut but the cord will still reach, even though its 1999 and cordless phones have long since been invented! Thank you parents!!

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