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.