Wednesday, July 28, 2010

10 Things That Were Better “Way Back When”

[Originally posted in February 2008. Bumped by request in comments.]

Thought I'd give this meme a try. It's been interesting to think about. It's amazing how I am so ensconced in my role as mother, that even a simple list that might start out elsewhere leads to my children and why I homeschool...

1. Way back when, people used to know how to live within their means.

So many people I know are struggling to make ends meet. Someone I know lives in a house rent free with no mortgage, and Mom still has to work. I just don't get it; why don't people know how to budget themselves anymore? And why to people walk around with this sense of entitlement?

I think the baby boomers are screwing it all up for the rest of us. They are gliding into retirement without a care in the world, while the rest of us are trying to keep up. Everyone is all about the "stuff". My generation, "Generation X", is going to be in serious trouble down the line. Not many people are putting enough money away for retirement, and after the boomers are done, social security will probably be non-existent. So "Generation Y" will not only have lots of stuff, and no idea how to pay for it, they'll also have aging family members to support.

2. Way back when, people didn't waste food the way they do now.

That probably somehow relates back to #1, when we lived within our means.

Way back when, we didn't have to worry about genetically modified foods or eating cloned animals.

Or at least back then, we would have been appropriately grossed out by the idea.

Way back when, there were very few fat people around.

I remember when I was little when we saw a fat person it was a really big deal. We'd notice how it was so unusual. Then microwaves became readily available, and so did lots of processed food. We were also told to avoid fat, and in doing so, ended up overdosing on carbohydrates. So here we are with an epidemic of diabetes on our hands, and people who don't cook anymore. We just heat things up.

Way back when, kids had free time after school.

My kids don't even know what it means to go "call for" a friend. There's no need to, when nobody would answer anyway.

Way back when, there was no such thing as ADD or ADHD.

Kids were just kids, and boys were given time to play out in the playground when they needed it. Their energy was respected as something that was needed for the future. But back then, teachers were being accused of only calling on the boys, and favoring them, and blah, blah, blah. Now we have a classic case of backlash, and boys all over the country are on drugs for not being able to sit still for abnormal amounts of time. Which leads me to...

Way back when, girls didn't behave as if they were the superior sex.

I mean, what's up with shirts that say "Princess" and all the other stupid and mean sayings these days? Of course I would never want to go backwards, but how about a little humility ladies? We are not the supreme intelligent life on the planet any more than the men are. Girls are getting so snooty and downright conceited, just by virtue of being a girl.

Recently I read The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, and it really enlightened me as to how obnoxious we've become. I'm not usually a fan of the super conservative Dr. Laura, but what she says in this book really makes sense:

...what is the cause of this self-centeredness? I believe it's a result of the women's movement, with its condemnation of just about everything male as evil, stupid, and oppressive...The result is women get married thinking largely about what their marriage and man can do for them, and not what they an do for their men...
This book is filled with tidbits about how women think of ourselves as superior, and ridicule and micro-manage our husbands. And it all starts with the teenagers and the "Princess" shirts.

Princesses, get over yourselves.

8. Way back when, people protected their kids from violence on TV.

And now we can add gaming systems to the mix. Man, even the commercials for these things are over the top. And many people are totally ignoring the age recommendations on them. Are people clueless? Do they not care? Or perhaps they simply don't want to argue with their kids. Which leads me to...

Way back when, parents taught their children self-discipline.

Kids get away with so much today. Many of them are rude and demanding. What happened to parents expecting their children to behave nicely? Why do they let their kids boss them around? I've seen preschoolers at playgroups over the years kick their mothers, who then respond with "Oh, don't do that, it's not nice", and send them off to play. When that was my kid, we left playgroup and went home.

Way back when, people were nice.

This statement was pulled from a comment someone left on a post I made a while back: "
Not everyone deserves respect. The lady that grills my child about what he/she knows might deserve a blunt response that wouldn't be considered respectful by mainstream America."

My response was this: "...when the word respect is defined as 'courteous regard for people's feelings', yes, I expect my children to show respect for all people, same as I do. Even to 'the lady that grills my child about what he/she knows'. A blunt response might be where I end up, but hopefully never where I start."

I have to admit I don't have much respect for "mainstream America" anyway.


Lisa said...

I wish we could go way back when... Things would be different and we would not have all the problems we have today. I too have read Dr. Laura's book and agree the princess theory is alive and well and we will all suffer for it. Great blog. Lisa

Jules said...

Oh my gosh - I love this post! Especially #7 - I have hated those Princess shirts for a long time. My mother in law once gave my daughter a shirt that said Drama Queen. It went right in the garage sale pile! ;)

I also love what Dr. Laura has to say in your quote - that women get married thinking about what their men can do for them and never think about what they can do for their men. This is so true.

Thanks for posting this!

Aisha said...

I really agree to this! Nicely written. It's sad that now it has become the opposite of what you've written in here.

Anonymous said...

I love this.

More than 2 years later and no one has learned a darn thing!