The BAD Old Days

  1. Note: If you didn't grow up in the U.S., or maybe Canada, this probably
    won't make much sense. In the U..S., there have been huge changes in the
    past 20-40 years in terms of what is considered acceptable ways to raise
    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
    We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of
    high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having
    cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in
    light reflectors.
    can't recall any injuries but they must have happened 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
    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 lot, 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 Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his 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 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 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?
  2. Visit FranEMTnurse profile page

    About FranEMTnurse, LPN, EMT-I Pro

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 14,719; Likes: 7,941


  3. by   karenG
    hey it wasnt so different over here!!

    school started at 845 and finished at 430... I never got a detention - made to stay behind for an hour and do work!- because it would have meant a 10mile walk home. My mum would not have come to fetch me!

    social life meant swimming in the local river.. avoiding the cattle and the bull that scared me! we had no public transport to speak of.......its amazing how far you can go on a bike!

    going out with the boyfriend meant a trip to the local swing park and sharing a coke.. and heaven help you if you kissed him.. someone would tell your mum before you got home!! if you were lucky enough to find a BF that had money, well, you just might get taken to the pictures.. if someone could persuade their mum to take you.. tends to kill the romance that!!

    PE- we did that too. our pe kit was a very large pair of navy nics and a white t-shirt. I have played hockey dressed in my very warm pe kit while the ground was frozen and it was snowing. we learnt to swim in an open air swimming pool, in the winter. if it snowed the water actually felt warm! I did geography at school to A level.. our geog field trips meant being take into the peak district, given a map and compass and told to find our way to a marked spot!! we thought it was great fun but the teachers would get arrested now!!

    we didnt have teenage pregnacies cos everyone knew what you were doing and someone would tell your mum- usually before you got home. we had no where to go to misbehave!! a push bike doesnt quite cut it! and anyway.. until i had left home, boys werent much use.... then I discovered men!! whole new ball game!

    you talk of first aid....... when we got nettle stings, we were told to find a dock leaf. bee sting got no sympathy.. we were stupid to play with a bee in the first place. My mum was a nurse.. guess nurse mums dont change... no blood or bone showing, your arent hurt!

    and for me when i was small, the biggest punishement was to be grounded. we didnt have a tv until I was 13, never really missed that! but stop me going out on my bike.. that was a big punishment!

    so not so different over here.... and I had a tonka truck.. which was very tough, it got sent down loads of mud slides!

  4. by   Dave ARNP
    Very good post Fran!

    I loved it!

  5. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    "Schools didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion "

    And they don't do this now, either!
  6. by   FranEMTnurse
    Thanks Dave. All others, good input.

    Your geography trip sounds like the TV show, "The Amazing Race" here in the states. Interesting.
  7. by   nurseygrrl
    Fran...your post is SO true! I remember my father having an old Chevy pick up and he'd take my friends and I for a ride around the block in the back all the time when we were little. I'd never do that nowadays for fear of being sued or arrested...hehehe
  8. by   Dialyzin' Dar
    We played on monkeybars and swingsets that were over GRAVEL, not woodchips! We ran around the neighborhoods by ourselves on Halloween and never worried about being abducted by a nut in a car! It would never have occurred to us to bring a weapon to school or to hit a teacher.

    I don't think we've made any 'progress' at all... it seems like we're regressing.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I remember riding on the elementary school bus FOUR KIDS to ONE SEAT. I look at those seats now and think "heck, 2 adult butts might fit into those seats with a little Crisco and stay seated on those seats with a little help from Krazyglue".

    Four kids to a seat though, it's a wonder we didn't lose and eye from someone's elbow. Ironically the 4 of us that were sqeezed into that 1 seat are friends still today lol.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    And the way some kids treat their parents now? It never even DAWNED on me to ever talk to Dad in such a manner, probably because he taught me the value of respect.

    And Grandma? That woman maybe be a whole foot shorter than me (i'm 5'10), but she could still lay me out to the floor if i ever sassed her out.
  11. by   EchoOfThoughts
    We played on monkeybars and swingsets that were over GRAVEL, not woodchips!
    The park near my house has not gravel, not woodchips, but shredded tires! The kids just bounce back up!
    I wonder how beautiful my knees might be had I had shredded tires rather than gravel...
  12. by   mattsmom81
    "We didn't have teenage pregnancies cuz everyone knew where you were and what you were doing...and would tell your mum (usually before you got home)Also, nowhere to go."

    Loved this!!! Growing up in a small town has its perks doesn't it? LOL! Today's parents don't keep up with their kids or have the home life we did. They are left to their own resources ...not surprising the trouble they get into today really.

    And while schools don't actually offer the abortions, many will counsel the girl, refer her and not tell the parents the girl is PG (violates her right to privacy in some states)
  13. by   FranEMTnurse
    I believe the world's values have degenerated. Kids literally do not know what is right and what is wrong, because they're subjected to double standards constantly. I witnessed that personally when I was a schoolbus driver. There is no real value or justice in the justice system either. Look at the negative responses President Bush is getting from his decisions to right some wrongs that have been done. The US presidency is a tough role. And not everything can be done by one man alone. It takes co-operation from others as well. Can't really say there's very much of that anymore.
  14. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Frances LeMay
    There is no real value or justice in the justice system either. Look at the negative responses President Bush is getting from his decisions to right some wrongs that have been done. The US presidency is a tough role. And not everything can be done by one man alone. It takes co-operation from others as well. Can't really say there's very much of that anymore.