My Childhood Could Beat Up Your Childhood (Pt. 2)
If you missed part 1, click here. I promise it’s a fun read. Here are some more reasons why my childhood could beat up my kids’ childhoods.
Or as it should be called now: dressing up and going to the mall to get candy, going around the neighborhood to get candy during daylight hours only, or Trick-or-lame. For our first Halloween at our new home 5 years ago, I got tons of candy in preparation because I didn’t want our house to get egged or TPed. I was excited because I got awesome candy bars, and King Size too! None of that Fun Size–which along with Red Delicious are arguably the most misleading names out there–business. Armed with King Size Twix, Kit Kats, and Snickers, I thought ours would be the most popular house on the block. Guess what? I was eating King Sized Twix, Kit Kats, and Snickers for months. I think a grand total of 8 kids came trick-or-treating.
Certain that it was a fluke and wondering if perhaps we accidentally moved into an old people’s active lifestyles community, I called my mom and mother-in-law, both of whom recently moved into new homes, to see how many kids came by and they said the same thing.
Things got worse a few years later. The week of Halloween, we got a flyer from our HOA stating the official neighborhood trick-or-treating hours were from 5-7pm or dusk, whichever comes first. Seriously? Appointed times for trick-or-treating?
Why My Childhood Could Beat Up Your Childhood (WMCCBUYC <–now that’s a ridiculous acronym): Trick-or-treating for me growing up was work. Laborious, yes, but the payout was immense, as there was no way in heck my mother would’ve ever bought me that much candy in an entire year let alone one night. When we were younger, my mom walked around with my sister and I, and we both had the cute little pumpkin pails. I later realized that I could go around my neighborhood several times and most of the neighbors wouldn’t care. So we graduated from the pumpkin pails to a pillow case and later a garbage bag. When we got home, we were a sweaty mess but we gleefully unloaded our loot, picked out the nasty candy (you know, the unlabeled ones that were wrapped in black or orange paper) and went to town until our mom instituted the one candy per day rule. Not only did trick-or-treating teach us the value of hard work, but it taught us to plan ahead. We soon figured out who gave out the best candy and who left out a bowl that said, “Please take one,” and we planned out our route accordingly to maximize our candy collecting.
Bonus WMCCBUYC: Kids today won’t know the joys of saying, “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don’t, I don’t care, I’ll pull down your underwear.”
I overhear kids moping all the time about being bored. Kid, you have a DVD player in your freakin car – you have no idea what it means to be bored.
WMCCBUYC: Kids today aren’t so much bored as much as they are used to overstimulation and constantly needing something to entertain them. Growing up, all I needed was my imagination. Are those just rocks?! No, they’re spaceships! Is that a stick? No, it’s my ninja sword. Is that the floor of the grocery store? No, it’s lava and the colored tiles are rocks on which I can safely land. I’m pretty sure a kid with an active imagination these days would be sent in for psychiatric help.
And we didn’t need much either. My parents weren’t rich so I had one ninja turtle, 2 GI Joes, and 2 Dick Tracy action figures because they were on clearance. I made an entire series out of those 5 toys that lasted the better part of a year. Today, kids have PS3, Wii, and a channel guide, and yet complain about having nothing to do.
I’m all for eating healthy and all about recycling but I don’t think Kashi should be allowed to recycle cardboard boxes, cut them into various shapes, and call it cereal. Growing up, I didn’t eat any cereal that didn’t have the word frosted in its name or frosting wasn’t clearly visible on the cereal. Frosted Flakes, Frosted Lucky Charms, Honey Smacks, etc…the chocolate cereals were my favorite because they not only allowed me to eat chocolate for breakfast, but all the chocolate frosting would turn the white milk into chocolate milk.
WMCCBUYC: Kids today eat Cheerios and other healthy cereals but somehow are still obese. The fat, jiggly butts of my kid’s childhood combined with the sugar highs I’d have after breakfast would allow my childhood to run circles around theirs.
Like pay phones, water fountains are a dying breed. I flipped off bottled water companies last month because of the insane amounts of waste created.
WMCCBUYC: For one, I never needed to carry bottled water around. If I needed water, a fountain was always nearby or at the very least, a garden hose. But additionally, kids today don’t learn water fountain etiquette: if there’s a line, you’re not allowed to take more than 5 Mississippi’s. Also, kids today probably couldn’t spell Mississippi without a spell check.
Jingles & Theme Songs
Double, double your refreshment…
Whatever it is I think I see, becomes a…
I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a…
Whatever happened to predictability…
When books are what you’re there about and looks are what you care about
the time is right…
Show me that smile again…
Makin’ your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got…
Life is like a hurricane…
Dashing and daring, courageous and caring…
I guarantee most readers of this blog can finish the rest of these jingles and theme songs.
WMCCBUYC: The 80s ended 20 years ago (did I just make you feel old?) and yet I still vividly remember the songs, the visuals, everything. Today, there aren’t very memorable theme songs or jingles – the only recent ones I know are 800-588-2300 Empire! Today! At Eastern Motors, your job’s your credit! and 1800-222-1222 and most TV “themes” are a random song in the background and the title flashes for a few seconds. With Google and Wikipedia, kids today don’t need to memorize stuff. Technology is great and all, but it’s making me dumber. Along with my imagination and memory, I wasn’t anywhere near as reliant on technology as kids are today.
What about you? What do you wish they’d bring back from your childhood? Would your childhood beat up my childhood?