Last week as I half listened to the tedious cricket commentary, I noted that Mark Taylor said he would have to tape an episode of “Alcatraz” because it was on so late at night. I snorted from the kitchen and cried ‘Tape? Tape!’ as I kept stacking the dishwasher. But it brought to mind something that my husband and I quite often reflect on with amusement: it’s our discussion, “how funny will it sound when we explain to our daughter…..”
Now a bit of context: we are Gen Xers in our mid thirties and our daughter is six months old. Let’s imagine the discussions with our daughter in the future, starting with Taylor’s “taping”:
1.When your dad and I were young we ‘taped’ programs on this thing called a video tape. They were big and clunky, and you had them stacked messily under a video player, which was this big box under the tv. Our job as the kid was to painstakingly hand-write the program name on a label on the tape, along with a message intended for the rest of the family – let’s say for instance, ‘21 Jump Street – tape over this and you die!’. And would you believe that when Poppy did regularly tape over shows they were gone FOREVER. You couldn’t even download the program or for that matter, even buy it. It was just gone – forever. Can you fathom that? Nup, it’s unfathomable. What was 21 Jump Street you ask? A programme that had the guy who plays Jack Sparrow in it. You know, from Pirates of the Caribbean 34? Yep, he pretty much looked like he does now – does the man ever age?
2. Yes, I do type quickly on the computer. That’s because in kindy I learnt to touch type on a typewriter. Look it up on Google. It had a ribbon in it, which our little kindy-sized fingers had to keep untangling from the keys. Amazingly, those typing skills have made me a valuable commodity at work. Yes, we did eventually get computers in primary school but we didn’t use them for educational purposes. No, just for playing a game called ‘Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiago?’ for, like, hours on end. And can you believe this? Years later in Year 12 we still hand- wrote all our homework and exams. Hand-wrote!!! And there was NO INTERNET! I know – utterly miserable… You looked things up at the library in a file of cards, and then found the book on the shelf. And then hand copied out the information. Yes, it was time consuming – now that I think about it….
3. No kiddo, you cannot go to the Big Day Out. Yes, Dad and I do have a clue what goes on there. We went when we were teenagers. Yep, that’s right, its been going that long! You didn’t invent it. But when we went, we caught the bus to the venue WITH OUR FRIENDS, and STAYED WITH THEM ALL DAY AND NIGHT! Why? Because no one had mobile phones to find each other. Yes, yes it seems unbelievable; but we can confirm that we all met up quite easily – and you always seemed to be able to find each other when you did get lost – well actually, you mostly just stuck together all day. What bands played then? I seem to remember some fourteen year olds called Silverchair playing a set in the early days? They’re probably middle aged men now…sigh.
4. Back in our day, we waited until the shops were open to buy what we wanted, and buying something from overseas? Pfft! There wasn’t even an inkling of online shopping back then. And now we’ll blow your mind- when we were primary school aged, the shops closed on Saturday at lunchtime and didn’t even open on Sundays!I know. No – we didn’t grow up in the outback thank you – this was the city!
5. You want me to order your lunch online for tomorrow – a Californian roll and mixed berry frappe? Wow, in our day there were only three options – a meat pie, sausage roll or a finger bun. Sushi? You’re kidding, right? When chicken burgers came on the menu it was like we had leapt into the new millennium… And to order, you put the exact money in a paper bag and it was sent down to the little corner shop, and two kids got to walk down to the shop before lunch and pick up all the orders in a milk crate. They had to carry a heavy crate of lunches back on their own?? I know, it was like child slavery back then wasn’t it….
How ever did we all survive?
Angie Holst is currently on 12 months maternity leave and had told all her colleagues that she was looking forward to being a lady of leisure for a year – she is still waiting for that leisure time to kick in.
What do you think you’ll have to explain to the generations of kids to come?