Nite Mirror (nitemirror) wrote,
Nite Mirror

Hmm, and another email from that same friend:

Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have.
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

As children we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special

Our baby cribs, toys and rooms were painted with bright colored lead
based paint. We, often chewed on the crib, ingesting the paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and
when we rode our bikes we had no helmets.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We would
leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when
the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. We played
dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt.

We played with toy guns, cowboys and Indians, army, cops and robbers,
and used our fingers to simulate guns when the toy ones or my BB gun was
not available.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda, but we were never
overweight; we were always outside playing.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who
didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment. Some students weren't as
smart as others or didn't work hard so they failed a grade and were held
back to repeat the same grade. That generation produced some of the
greatest risk-takers and problem solvers. We had the freedom, failure,
success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

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 system.

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. I 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
attention for the next two weeks. We must have had horribly damaged

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 20, 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 wasn't so that they could
take the rough berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car with leaded

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?
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