My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same
cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to
get food poisoning.
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes too, but I can’t remember getting E-coli.
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of
a pristine pool (talk about boring).
The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a
pager was the school PA system..
We all took gym, not PE…and risked permanent injury with a pair of
high top Ked’s or Converse All Stars (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened a lot because they tell us how much safer we are now.
Flunking gym was not an option…even for stupid kids! I guess PE
must be much harder than gym.
Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson by running in the
halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot. How
much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued the school system.
Speaking of school, we all said prayers and the pledge and staying in
detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention. We must
have had horribly damaged psyches.
I can’t understand it. Schools didn’t offer 14 year olds an abortion or
condoms (we wouldn’t have known what either was anyway) but they did
give us a couple of baby aspirin and cough syrup if we started getting
the sniffles. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses?
Ours wore a hat and everything.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was
allowed to be proud of myself.
I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, PlayStation,
Nintendo, X-Box or 270 digital cable stations.
I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through the
denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day
about a mile down the road to some guy’s vacant 20, built forts out of
branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to
be the Lone Ranger. What was that property owner thinking, letting us
play on that lot? He should have been locked up for not putting up
a fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder alarm.
Oh yeah…and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got
that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant
construction sites and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48 cent
bottle of Mercurochrome and then we got our butt spanked. Now it’s a
trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of
antibiotics and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for
leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
We didn’t act up at the neighbor’s house either, because if we did, we
got our butt spanked (physical abuse) here too, and then we got butt
spanked again when we got home
Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked
down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks
(Remember why Tonka trucks were made tough…it wasn’t so that they
could take the rough Berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car
with leaded gas.
Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am sure
that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the danger they put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent.
Summers were spent behind the push lawnmower and I didn’t even know that mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an
automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive.
How sick were my parents? Of course my parents weren’t the only psychos. I recall Bucky Finsky from next door coming over and doing his stupid tricks on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead she picked him up and swatted him a few times for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck!
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they
were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known
that we all needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes?
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even
notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac! How did we survive?