Thursday, April 02, 2009

When We Were Ten

I thought for today’s Theme Thursday (TEN) that I’d focus a comparison on when I was 10 years old back in 1971 and when my son was 10 years old back in 2006. Has everything really changed? Let’s consider…

When I was ten the running joke was “Made in Japan”. It stood for cheap electronic products coming out of Japan.

When my son was ten the running joke was “Made in China”. It stood for cheap products made with questionable materials and processes. Things made in Japan were considered quality (Sony, Toyota, etc.)

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When I was ten my hair was long…like a hobbit. I refused to want it cut. It was the style of the day. My Dad didn’t care.

When my son was ten his hair was long…like a hobbit. He refused to want it cut. It wasn’t completely the style of the day but a lot of kids were wearing it that way as well. I, of course, kept trying to get him to have a shorter haircut. I have no idea why…

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When I was ten I had Lego’s and built cars and houses from a 200 piece set that included about ten different rectangular Lego pieces in it.

When my son was ten he had elaborate Star Wars Lego sets with over 3000 pieces and an instruction set thicker than some work manuals I’ve owned. There were dozens of different shapes and some were unique to the sets.

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When I was ten we had to go outside. We couldn’t just hang around the house and who would want to anyway? Our entertainment was a huge Laurel bush that we turned into our own private jungle gym.

When my son was ten he stayed inside. None of the kids went outside anymore. They just couldn’t hang around outside; it wasn’t safe and nobody had scheduled any activity for them. He played on his Sims computer game and made play structures…

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When I was ten I’d listen to classic rock and play my air guitar while asking my Dad about who I was listening to

When my son was ten he’d play his Guitar Hero to classic rock and ask me who he was listening to

57 comments:

Dalton J. Fox said...

Hmm. It's actually surprising to hear that things haven't really changed as much as most of us think they have.

Ronda Laveen said...

Bejesus, VE! When you were 10 in '71, I was graduating from high school. When you were wearing long hair, I was dating long hair. When you were playing air guitar, asking your dad who you were listening to, I was at concerts seeing who you were playing. The times, they keep a changin'.

Mrsupole said...

Ditto for me, what Ronda said.

The one about going outside is probably the most telling thing that has changed in those ten years. I drive through my neighborhood and you would think that none of the houses have kids living in them. The only time you see them is when they are walking to or from school, or to their parents cars to get a ride to school. Cars had to wait for us to stop playing our game and move so they could drive on through.

Plus when we were kids, you stayed outside until it was dark and even then we sometimes stayed out past sunset, if we were on school break. Then you came inside ate dinner, did your homework if you even had any, took your showers and went to bed. You might spend an hour or two watching TV, but it was not very important if you did.

Yes, some things stay the same but a lot of things change.

God bless.

Chris Eldin said...

Hehehehe.... Ve likes older gals.
;-)

This is really sweet. But the one about playing indoors, that got to me. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. It's the reason I feel so *tired* all the time, scheduling the activities. Very sad.

Your dad also sounds like a neat person.

The Clever Pup said...

Same vintage as you, VE. I can't get my kid to leave the house.

lime said...

kinda weird how time changes things. i am glad to say my son who is now 13 still likes outdoors (wish he didn't). winter he stays indoors, but as soon as the snow thaws he is out bouncing the basketball or tossing baseballs and footballs.

Candie Bracci said...

Great post VE!

The Incredible Woody said...

Thank God Guitar Hero has classic rock to introduce to today's kids!!

Marianna said...

Everything changes and yet...remain the same lol

great TT post :-)

Peace
xoxo

Mariane said...

Very funny post

moooooog35 said...

My son is five.

Remind me to comment on this in five years.

freetheunicorns said...

Did you also have hobbit-like foot hair when you were ten?

Beth said...

Ah, the good old days. And there are ten year olds with iPods & cell phones now! How many phone calls do you have to make when you’re ten?!

VE said...

dalton - I was surprised too as I wrote it

ronda - I don't remember the 60s! I was going to concerts only 4 years later though

mrsupole - I guess that's why parents go bonkers these days; parents of before didn't have the kids around to deal with much and they didn't have to be the entertainment director

chris - Yeah, I don't remember ever announcing to my Dad "I'm bored" so that he'd arrange something for me to do...

clever pup - Yep. I can't get them to leave the Simms computer game...

lime - My son is more of the skateboarder type; he's never been into the ball sports

candie - Thanks

incredible woody - Here, here. Kids today have so many music choices beyond radio that they would never get exposed to any other music otherwise

marianna - Sometimes its just how you look at it

mariane - Thanks

moooooog35 - By that time I won't remember a thing!

VE said...

freetheunicorns - Alas, no foot hair at 10!

beth - Exactly! My teenage daughter is tethered to her cell phone as if the world will stop if she doesn't get the next text.

Kurt said...

When I was 10, I looked for cigarette butts on the ground to smoke. Does your son do that?

Quirkyloon said...

Funny VE! You got me brain a workin' again. When I was 10 I listened to Tie A Yellow Ribbon (please forgive me) when my son was 10 (a whole year ago) He listened to Nickelback's, Rockstar.

Thank goodness for progress!

heh heh

Wings said...

Great post, a wonderful take on it!

When I was ten, if you wanted to watch something coming on TV, you had to make sure you were there, in front of the TV. Missed it? Too bad.

My youngest son IS 10 now, and if he wants to watch something he can sit and wait for it to air. OR he can DVR it to watch later. OR he can download it and watch it when he wants WHERE he wants. OR he can record it to a disc to save and watch on a computer that can be carried anywhere.

Some things don't change much. Others change remarkably!

VE said...

kurt - Ha! No, I have never even tried a cigarette and was never exposed to it anywhere. He's in a completely smoke free environment everywhere; I'll bet he doesn't even try either. A lot of times your surrounding define who and what you'll do.

quirkyloon - No, no! Not THAT song! The Yellow Ribon one that is. Do you play them now as a warning to him as to what can happen if you go down the dark path? haha

VE said...

wings - Yeah, and now you can buy entire TV series and movies. Sure couldn't do that when I was a kid. We'd have to go to the movies and then spend all day switching theaters to see everything...

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Great post!

P.S. I double-dare you to use your quote in the "thought of the day" the next time you get pulled over! Now you've just gotta do it 'cause you've been double dared!

Brian Miller said...

great post! it's a shame about kids not going outside much anymore, it seems we are losing our imaginations to video games...it is interesting how guitar hero has brought back some of the songs i enjoyed in my youth.

VE said...

perpetual chocoholic - I find that policemen lack my particular sense of humor during that particular instance...

brian - Yeah, my son knows about every classic rock song there is now. Who woulda thunk it?

Mike said...

When I was ten I was looking for the nearest baseball game.

Now I see ten year olds sucking face.

WTF?

Kanrei said...

Hey VE! Been super busy this week, but I tried the email and it did not work. I would love to meet you and the wife! My email is kanrei@bellsouth .net or you can just hit the red button on my blog. Email me so we can exchange details!

Elizabeth said...

Hi VE! I love the post! Kinda the same thing as Wings said, but with movies. I remember my mom not letting me go see Greese 2 and I was sooo upset, becasue if I didn't seee it then, I'd never see it at all!! Soon after VCRs came out but I didn't know that then.

VE said...

mike - Boy were you slow ;) Why I was practicing my guy pick up lines by then...

kan - Will do!

elizabeth - Ha! Yes, the world did come to an end if you missed a key movie. I remember being on the Coast Guard ship and they had all these reel-to-reel movies and I thought, wow, they have actual movies. That was so cool. This was, of course, before the VHS and such.

Jaime said...

i don't remember what i was doing when i was 10. although i certainly wasn't trading blow jobs for cigarettes like kids are doing on the playground during lunch these days. what the hell are they teaching our kids in school?

ReformingGeek said...

You're just barely older than me. When I was 10....I think I was making crank phone calls, drooling over David Cassidy, and begging some radio station to play some silly song. All the innocence!

Fun post!

Gladys said...

When I was ten I was still watching the earth cool.

When my youngest was ten Al Gore decided the earth was going to burn up.

Dakota Bear said...

Comparisons very clever. The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

willow said...

Like a Hobbit? That's cute...thanks for the giggles.

This was a lovely post.

VE said...

jaime - Yeah...most of the girls in my school missed BlowJobs101 too! Damn... ;)

reforminggeek - Well I can't say that I was drooling over David Cassidy...

gladys - Bwahaha...nice!

dakota bear - What every parent says as they enter the teenage years: "If only I could have thrown that acorn..."

willow - You're welcome!

Jacki said...

Hmmm...since Emma isn't 10 yet, let me think.

Ok.

When I was 4, I didn't even know what a VCR was, and the only music I had was those thick little records to play on a toy record player.

Now that Emma is 4, she uses words such as "download" and "iPod" fluently. Sometimes in the same sentence. As in "Mom, can you please download that song on to your iPod?" when she hears something new on the radio. And she can successfully turn on a computer by herself, navigate through passwords, and log on to the internet to play Playhouse Disney and Disney Princess.

Megan said...

I like your choices for comparison.

VE said...

jacki - Isn't it interesting how things like that are so much more sophisticated but when it comes to other things like values and interpersonal skills and the human concepts it really hasn't changed that drastically; we were all woefully underprepared and needed the same kind of lessons and guidance and time to move through it. No cell phone, ipod, school technique, computer is going to speed that up...

megan - Thanks. I actually just thought about either what I was doing at 10 or what he was doing at 10 and took the first five things I thought of.

Cinnamon said...

Very good comparison VE, I did enjoy reading this. Now that my children are teens, I constantly have to remind myself that their behaviour is not so outrageous- after all- didn't I used to do that too?

VE said...

cinnamon - Thanks. Yes, we did it all too. Well...I did...

Serena said...

We practically lived outside during the summer when I was 10. Of course, kids think differently these days.

The Self-Deprechaun said...

At least on Guitar hero you guys might actually find some similarities in old school songs that still rock!

this was a great post.

VE said...

serena - But it's the parents that set that up...

self-deprechaun - Yeah...but he kicks my butt on it...

Janna said...

Wow.
In 1971, I was one year old.

When I was ten (in 1980), Jimmy Carter was president.

Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington...

The newest Star Wars movie was "The Empire Strikes Back".

Pac Man was immensely popular.

And John Lennon was shot. I vaguely remember hearing people talk about it but was too young to really understand what it was all about.

These days, I still don't really understand what's going on in the world. Luckily, I've learned to pay attention to other things instead, like pretty butterflies and pizza and the fact that my left knee itches.

Fundamental Jelly said...

So, did you have funny, hairy feet like a hobbit?

VE said...

fundamental jelly - I think they were just stinky...

VE said...

janna - Wow, when you were 10 I was in the red zone of Mt. St. Helens two days before it erupted (didn't know) and I was in the first showing of the Star Wars sequel along with all the actors and I could score millions on Pac Man and even knew a place to park him so the ghosts couldn't find him while I went to the bathroom and I had been tired of John Lennon's politics but liked his last album and was sad to hear of his death...

Baino said...

I must have been the most old fashioned parent. Mine HAD to go outside it was a mandatory drill. I didn't get the internet until my daughter was 17 (2001) and needed it for a biology text. Didn't get a mobile phone until 2000 when the Olympics were on here because she wanted to pootle about the city at 16 years of age and well. . now that we're in our 'ahem's' we all play Guitar Hero! Although one thing I have really noticed with Gen Y is the 'need it now' syndrome. If it doesn't arrive toot sweet, they're having a caniption and it doesn't much matter whether it's food or gadgets! Noic post!

VE said...

baino - Well you called it right about the 'need it now'. Of course around here it's no wonder its that way. Everyone needs bailout money now. Everyone needs the big house how. Etc, etc, etc

Dee said...

that was fabulous!

VE said...

dee - Thanks

Nessa said...

When I was 10, we chased the pesticide spray truck and breathed in the fume cloud.

Ten year olds today have air filters in their bedrooms to absorb the chemicals in their carpets.

VE said...

nessa - And they'll still die of some cancer from genetically mutated foods...

Kris said...

The world is mad. As it always has been!

VE said...

kris - Well now that is true. Why I was mad just yesterday. I can't help it if I find waiting for traffic lights with no cars around a waste of my time.

Maureen said...

Everything old is new again. I just about dropped dead when my teenage daughter asked if I kept any of my clothes from the 70s and 80s.... and NOT just for Retro Week at school!

VE said...

maureen - That's scary. But if you look out on the internet, it's hard to buy tacky 70s clothes now. They're all sold out.

leelee said...

"When I was ten we had to go outside. We couldn’t just hang around the house and who would want to anyway? Our entertainment was a huge Laurel bush that we turned into our own private jungle gym."

I think the saddest thing is kids can't be free to play outside...we used to leave the house at 8:00am on a Saturday and not return till lunch..come home eat.. go to the bathroom and leave again till 5...Mom saying "Take your sister (age 5) and keep an eye on her..

OK MOM!!!!BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

can you imagine doing that today?

sad

HUGS!

VE said...

leelee - True. I think smaller towns it probably hasn't changed too much. Culture these days also feeds kids to be helpless. Every thing is scheduled for them. It's a wonder they'll know what to do when they are finally out on their own.