It was different back then...
I was visiting with a colleague from work at his house and his son asked me; 'What was your favourite fast food when you were growing up?'
'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him. 'All the food was slow.'
'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?' he laughed at my retort.
'Well for me and my family It was a place called 'at home,'' I explained. 'Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'
By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I told him about my childhood:
Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis , set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or even had a credit card. These were all things most people considered to be extravagances .
My parents never drove me to school. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed - slow.
To his almost disbelief, I explained that we didn't have a television in our house until I was 19 years old, and it was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people.
I most certainly never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the kitchen and it was on a party line with 5 of the neighbors houses. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line. It was even more of game when the phone would ring, deciding who in the neighbourhood would answer.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home... But milk was. In fact you could get milk, cream, eggs, cheese and any number of dairy products right to your door, or in our case to a little cupboard in the wall that had a door on the outside for the milkman and a door on the inside for the family.
All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers -- or at least it seemed that way. My brother delivered a newspaper six days a week. He had to get up at 6AM every morning to be done in time to go to school.
Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive. Our parents never had to worry about us going to the show for entertainment.
My mother didn’t work at an outside job. She worked all day at home, getting up long before all of us to make breakfast, pack lunches for school, to set out clothes for us to wear, and to kiss us goodbye as we went out the door to school. Her day continued with doing the laundry, scrubbing the floors, cooking supper, having after-school snacks ready, mending clothes, etc.
I’m not sure he appreciated all of it, but I had fun telling him.
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