Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Back in my day we walked 2 miles to school uphill both ways, and..."

One thing I've noticed about getting older is you tend to reminisce a lot.  You think back to a simpler time when things moved slower.  There are just so many things we have today that we didn't have back in "the old days".  I don't mean the obvious things like smart phones, computers, the internet, and Wifi.  I'm talking about how mundane, everyday life has changed.

For example, when I was a kid we mowed our own lawns.  At first we just mowed our parent's lawns, then when we were at that awkward age when we couldn't get a real job but our parents wouldn't let us just loaf all summer, we mowed the yards of our elderly neighbors.  Today I don't know too many people of any age who mow their own yards.

Nowadays there are "lawn maintenance companies" that will show up with 3 or 4 guys and all the necessary will mow, one will edge, one will string trim, and one will blow away all the cuttings.  Twenty minutes, wham bam, pay the nice man.

Earlier this afternoon I took Jax to our neighborhood dog park.  It's about an acre, divided into small dog / big dog sides.  (Jax likes to run with the big dogs.)  As I sat there watching him sniff and water the trees it dawned on parks?  Really?  Growing up in suburbia we didn't have dog parks.  Dogs simply went out in the yard and did what dogs do.  Today people actually put their dogs in the car and drive them to a dedicated fenced in field so their dogs can play.  That, friends is a First World problem!

Back in my "yout" we just let our dogs out in the back yard to "take care of their business", then we picked it up with a bag or a shovel.

Now we have specialized equipment to do the dirty work, or for the Supremely Lazy... call does all.

When our parents needed a break from us they would send us outside to play.

These days moms arrange "play dates" for their kids, and even write books about how to arrange their kids play time so they'll know..."stress free".  (I understand there are pervs on the streets that we need to be mindful of these days, but isn't this overthinking it juuuust a bit?)

Just recently I heard a report on the radio that said <25% of high-school-age kids have summer jobs.  Now I'm not saying this is the cause of kids "entitled" attitudes these days, but this is likely a cause of kids "entitled" attitudes these days.  Parents do all the wrong things for all the right reasons for their kids today.  It's one thing to want your kids to have it better than you did, but IMO pampering makes spoiled softies.

I wonder if my parents wrote longhand essays on how easy I had it?   Two yo-yo's, an RC Cola every day, the big 64-pack of crayons with the built-in sharpener!  Yeah, it's all relative.  I guess I had it pretty easy, too.  Never mind.

Spoiled S  :)


  1. And I never got a trophy for mowing the lawn.

  2. You know, I'm 57 now and I reminisce. About how my husband and I had five jobs between us when we were in our 30's and we still lived paychecks to paychecks. About having young kids in activities that had us going four evenings a week, about being so tired I could fall asleep standing up. About phone calls to my family in Germany costing close to $1/minute. About a full-time job where I had no sick days and five days of vacation per year.

    And now? I'm still busy, I still work my butt off, but we just paid someone to paint our house and - gasp! - we just hired a lawn guy a few weeks ago, because we just didn't feel like doing it any more. I've talked to my sisters for hours for free, and if we want to see a movie we can stream it on Amazon or Hulu.

    To hell with the good old days - I like the good new days. Well, minus the political ads on TV. Heh.

  3. I think parents today think it's their responsibility to entertain their kids. My parents didn't play with us, but like you said would tell us to go outside and play for a few hours.

  4. I used to mow my grandma's lawn for about $10/week. I didn't get an allowance either so that pretty much my only source of income until I was 17 and got my first real job.

    I think a lot of the problem now is jobs that were traditionally "summer jobs" like the fast food industry are being occupied by grown ups who need work.

  5. Heck, I still mow our yard. Of course, I do it for satisfaction & exercise (since I sit all day for my job). Now, if I could afford to pay someone to VACUUM - that would be super fabulous!