Talking on the phone – now vs. when I was 15

phone

In 1993, I had a best-friend.

I’d rush home from the bus stop (Yes, I rode the bus home in high school – that’s because we had busing back then and my parents worked.) and immediately run toward her.

I held her in my hand, sitting at the kitchen table and pure magic happened right there.

I’d punch in the phone number of my other best-friends, and from 3 until 4 p.m., I’d just sit there and talk, talk, talk.

I’d talk my life away – literally – seconds and minutes would tick by and I didn’t care. That was the one hour of ME time. My parents were still at work and my brother, still at school. I was the ONLY one home.

And then, oh, and then, when three-way calling was invented – Oh Lord – that was the best thing since Rave Hairspray at the time. No, of course, I didn’t have three-way calling (I didn’t even have a phone in my room, despite my constant begging and pleading) – but my friends did.

The kicker was … I had just seen my friends all day at high school, but there was something extraordinary about talking on the phone.

And I loved it.

I loved it so much that eventually even though I never had a phone in my room, my dad did buy a 10-foot phone cord that I stretched all the way into my room – choking anyone who walked in the hallway.

That three-way calling came in handy when my one friend called the boy I liked and had him on the other line, and I was there too – secretly listening in their conversation.

“So, would you go out with Melissa if she asked …?” “Do you LIKE anyone in your English class?” “What about a dance … would you dance with her IF she asked you?”

Girls these days have no flippin’ idea what it was like growing up in the 1990s. We didn’t have texting, or email for that matter. We were forced to talk to people either in person, on the phone or by way of a folded-up piece of paper that looked like a triangle.

And now, the world of communication is wide open.

Cell phones that text or even voice-text; email; and social media messages.

Gone are the days of me having to use a phone to actually converse with another human being.

Now that I am adult … when I can go into any room in my house and carry my phone with me to chat, I refuse to do it. The thrill of talking on the phone is gone. The excitement of “having the phone call be for ME” has vanished. I’d rather NOT have the phone call be for me.

Am I the only one who is openly admitting that “I hope you can’t hear me now?”

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Schools dumbing down society by eliminating cursive

I wanted to write a “Dear Diary” paragraph here, but would you believe, a computer will not let me …

Yes, soon, cursive will be a lost art.

I guess I don’t have to worry about my children sneaking into my room at night to read my old diaries from the late 1980s/early 1990s – they wouldn’t understand the words on the pages anyways. It’s all in cursive.

Second grade – that was the year that separated us from the “younger” students. No more “Letter Friends.” (In kindergarten, we met the “Letter Friends” and in first grade, we watched them on TV before/after we read “One Potato, Two Potato” in class.)

And, more importantly, second grade was the year we learned cursive as part of our curriculum.

For the past nearly three decades, it’s all I have used – or some form of it.

And lucky for me, I can actually read the lost art.

In college, my Grandma would send me letters, notes and cards – all written in cursive. Her writing was beautiful. Still is. I love the way she slants her words and signs her name. Throughout her apartment are notes, still written in cursive. I have never seen her use print.

I don’t like to print either. It takes too long.

The other week, I had to write a note addressed to the speech therapist at my son’s school. I used cursive. I hope she was able to read it.

What is going to happen when people “my age” write notes in cursive for our children to read or others?

We are going to hear this, “I don’t know what that says. I never learned to read/write cursive” as they walk away holding yet another new electronic device.

Students are still required to learn a foreign language – at least to my knowledge.

Why?

I took Spanish for five years. I have used it … zero times. Although, in case I am ever lost in Mexico, I can ask the following question: “Donde esta el bano?” – WHERE IS THE BATHROOM?

By not offering cursive in school, we are dumbing down a generation already engrossed in iPods, iPads, tables, cell phones, texting, emailing, tweeting/twittering, kindles, kindle fires, Xboxes and PlayStations.

Even libraries are now offering courses on how to use electronic devices and Microsoft Word programs.

I wonder if in 30 years these same libraries will offer “How to Read/Write Cursive” where everyone brings along hand-written notes from their ancestors to be deciphered by strangers.

Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Having strangers tell your loved ones what life was like day in and day out …

And for those of you reading this 30 years from now, my diaries are located in the green bin inside my closet … it is filled with juicy details of junior high dances; romances; fights; and breakups written from the view of a sassy teenager.

 

Why don’t kids play outside?

Petting Zoo
Petting Zoo

When did kids lose the ability to play OUTSIDE?

A friend of mine let her two older daughters outside recently, and they just stood on the deck, starring at her like deer in headlights.

They had no idea what to DO outside.

In the summer during the 1980s, I was outside from sunrise to sunset – only going back in the house for lunch and to go to the bathroom.

The kids in our neighborhood were a mix of ages, but we all had something in common – none of us wanted to be INSIDE during the summer.

For today’s youth who are being deprived of the joys associated with summer, I blame technology, and parenting is also different, or so it seems.

When I was growing up, there was one television in our house (well, OK, there was a black and white teeny tiny TV in my parents room, so I am not sure what they watched on that vintage machine) and it was in the living room.

We didn’t have a computer, 200-plus television channels, Kindles, an IPhone, IPad, IPod, Tablets (wait, we DID have tables, to write on) or cell phones. For those of us who were lucky, there were Walkmans, but mine rarely tuned in any channel except for static.

But, as the children of the 1980s aged into parents of the 2000s, something changed.

Yes, technology became more advanced, but it seems as if the days of ALLOWING kids to be kids have vanished.

No one seems to let their kids PLAY outside – and it’s probably because of the increased fear of kidnappings/abductions/sexual predators, etc. But let’s be honest, all of those existed in the 1980s too, yet the social media wasn’t as advanced, so the instances were kept on the “DL.”

We all remember when the kid who’s faced ended up on the milk carton – that is the only abduction I honestly remember as a child, but that is probably because it made national news and my dad insisted on watching “60 Minutes” every.single.Sunday.

There is also, this is a stretch, but still, the fear of THE SUN. I know skin cancer exists and lathering on sunscreen is a pain in the ass, but seriously, slap on the sunscreen and give them a bottle of water to keep hydrated. We drank from a garden hose for crying out loud. We survived.

Here are some of my favorite childhood memories from the summer:

  1. Making mudpies – for that you needed an old bowl from your mom’s coveted Tupperware storage; mud; water; and various grasses found in your yard. We also made “tacos” this way and served up to our friends.
  2. Playing house – a friend of ours had a nice storage shed in their backyard and we just pretended it was our house.
  3. As a rule we were never allowed in someone’s house, unless it was a rainy day and they invited us inside. Or, if we had to use the bathroom – that was definitely allowed.
  4. Riding BIKES. Oh, the freedom that came with being old enough to ride a bike in a neighborhood full of kids – Oh the places you’ll go!
  5. The community swimming pool. Cost was maybe $1 for an entire afternoon of fun in the sun!

So, this summer when your kids just stare at you when you toss them outside, remember it’s for their own good. We had awesome summer memories … they need some too.