Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Back in My Day

SMD's Blog

Suze from Straight on the Ground did an awesome Back in my Day post. Everyone loved it because who doesn't like to think about what shit used to be like? So Steph @ Steph's Space and I joined Suze to co-host a linkup and here we are talking about how it was back in our days.
To give you a frame of reference age-wise, I was born in 1977 and turned 37 in March. I'm totally a child of the 80s and did my high school and college stints in the 90s.

Back in my Day...

You could sit this close to New Kids on the Block in concert because nobody knew who they were.
There were no cell phones. I got my first cell phone when I was a sophomore in college in 1996. So when you were out, people just couldn't reach you. When we were in high school or college, it meant setting up meeting times or just driving around/walking around to various meeting spots and parties and running into people. It was pretty awesome. I always had change for the pay phone.

We used to slide around in the backseat of Gamma & Pop's car, the triplets and me. No seatbelts, no car seats, no problem! Standing up was frowned upon though.

We used to go see Steve Miller Band in the summer and who was driving was always a big thing.
There was no caller ID. We used to prank call people all the time, and that would be our activity for the night. It provided endless amusement.

There was no social media of any kind. Up until college the internet was still something no one was really using.

We went to the library to study because we had no computers. We needed books and reference materials and the dreaded microfiche.

We took photos and didn't know how they'd come out until we got the film developed. I have a lot of pics that look like this.
When you wanted to share music with your friends, you dubbed a mix tape. To make the original tape, you sat around listening to the radio and hit pause/record. When a song you liked came on, you scurried over and unpaused it. SCORE when you caught it from the beginning.

School shootings were not a thing. Stink bombs were things. Schools were safe places that sometimes stunk.

We thought orange was a good hair color...or I did, anyway.
The weekend morning cartoons were awesome: Monchichis, Superfriends, Scooby Doo, Popeye, Bugs Bunny/Road Runner, Speed Buggy, Smurfs, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Cartoon Express on USA (Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, G.I. Joe, Captain Caveman, The Great Grape Ape, Jabberjaw). Pee Wee's Play House, The Glorious Ladies of Wrestling, and the WWF all ruled too.

The Berlin Wall was up until I was 12. We did duck and cover drills in elementary school where we'd get under our desks and also sit out in the hallways away from the windows. As if the drill would save us from a nuke the Russians may send our way.

If you weren't the winner, you didn't get a trophy. Period.

I ordered books from Scholastic Book Clubs. Pizza Hut's Book It program launched in the early 80s and that meant I got a lot of free personal pan pizzas. I remember the assembly where they announced the program. I was elated in the way that only book dorks can be. And oh, the books. I read The Little House books, The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Christopher Pike, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, choose your own adventures, Babysitter's Club, VC Andrews (whoops)...

The posters on my wall were of Richard Grieco and Jon Bon Jovi. In my basement, my friends and I ripped pages out of Teen Beat and Bop and glued photos of dreamy stars to the concrete block walls. My dad was not pleased with that when it came time to sell that house.

I tight rolled my pants, wore scrunchies and banana clips, collected Swatch watches and colored high top Reeboks, and had big bangs. In high school, I loved flannel and all the jeans were high waisted. There was no choice.
My room was a mess. And I photographed it with a Polaroid camera. I wish I never threw that out. Thank God I got neat.
We wrote notes. I didn't get my first email address until I was a freshman in college, and even then we didn't  use email for everything. In college, we sent letters and cards.

I made lists for everything. Wait, I still do that.
When we got our licenses, we got beaters or hand me down cars and drove them with pride, patting them lovingly and praying they worked. A negligible percentage of kids drove newer cars. A beater first car was a must.

We carried our college student IDs in these...and our student IDs had our social security number printed right on them.
MFD was homecoming king the year we graduated high school. This makes me laugh because people who didn't go to school with us are always like seriously? Yes, seriously. (Hi Nancy!)

Ugly then and now:
Many eighties styles are back
Stop with the peg pants.
Link up here, and click around to see what it was like back in someone else's day.

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png


  1. I'm 28 and when I look at the fact that my future kids wont know cassette tapes, records, diskettes or even CD's it makes me sad. Heck they wont even know about the first gen nintendo! I got my first cell at the end of High school and kids these days get them way before they're 10! Good old days!

  2. I am only a year younger so all this applies. The fact that computers were only just coming out when we were in college, how crazy is that one. I have the same phone number and email address I had in college. Is it sad too that all my old pictures have not been scanned so I can never participate in TBT posts. I feel old now.

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA beater cars!! a total MUST for a first time car. my husband's first car was a freaking mercury lynx; remember those? mine was an old VW lemon that somehow still ran even after a bad accident where the radiator pretty much fell out. this linkup is so awesome and thanks for hosting! i'm so glad my blog is back up and running in time for this linkup because heads were going to roll if not!

    Vodka and Soda

  4. I still make people mix tapes (well, CD's but I call them tapes) and I don't think I'll ever stop. I also love letters and notes, so I refuse to let those go either. I will say that I am soooo happy we didn't have social media or cell phones when I was a kid/teenager. The Book It program was the shit. We also got free Subway when we got good grades. This whole post made me so happy.

  5. That homecoming picture: It should be on your mantle.
    I didn't have a cell phone until college, so I always had change for the pay phone in high school. That or I'd call home Collect and say come get me when I needed to be picked up after practice, instead of saying my name.
    For what it's worth, Scholastic Book Clubs are still kicking and I spend the better part of every school year incredibly in debt to them. It's awesome because you order online, click "send checks by mail", and you get your books within a week. It's like racking up a credit card bill without any interest! I still do Book-It too.

  6. I loved this! MFD looks like a baby! Sometimes I wish my kids could know what the world was like before iphones and social media!

  7. You touched on so many things I loved! Beverly Cleary books and book order forms and the Ladies of Wrestling, ha! And yeah seriously, what was the deal with the ducking and covering? And all the pics I found from this time were super off center and someone's eyes were always closed. We are so spoiled with camera phones now!

  8. Book It?! I loved my free lil' personal pan pizza, back in the day. Also, so even though you have seven years on me, cell phones were just becoming a "thing" when I was in middle school, and not everyone had one, because you know back then it was like a Zack Morris phone, and unless you were rich, your parents made you buy your own phone with your own cash, lol. I sort of actually miss those times. Kind of makes me worry for the future. And ohhh how I also loved me some NKOTB!

  9. I am still in the 80's with my hair manes! I love them. They are collectors' items now. So much has changed since you were younger and really changed since my 1960-early 1970 growing up years. Pros and cons during each generation.
    Love the Homecoming King picture!!! I am beyond thrilled that all of my chickens have cell phones and am waiting for the day when the cell phone batteries remain forever charged. #safetyfirst
    Love your MOMMA

  10. looove this. i'm so mad at myself for not planning ahead and getting some of my old photos from my parents' house. how could I forget book it??

  11. I don't yearn for much in the past except a time when everyone was not glued to their cell phones. I struggle with people posting the moment, recording the moment, ignoring the moment, checking out everyone else's moment. People are not living the moment. My Jr. High and High school years were spent in the 80's and yet I don't love 80's music. Thanks for a great post.

  12. I'm very sleepy
    I got up at 4 0'clock
    forget how to link...

  13. Yes. To all of this. It's my whole childhood in one post, except I had Kirk Cameron and Bret Michaels on my wall. There was nothing better than an afternoon of reading Christopher Pike, VC Andrews or a Sweet Valley book and trying to record songs off the radio.

    I was always so jealous of people who wore banana clips because my hair was (and still is) too damn thick to wear them. And that little wallet thing made me weepy for our days in Thompson.

    I should do a second post for today. I left out SO much.

    1. OMG JANA- I am way jealous of your thick hair. There is no such thing as too damn thick hair.
      Your are blessed.
      Love Steph's momma

  14. WELL SHIT. i am kicking myself for missing this linkup. Would it be weird if I posted tomorrow? I totally meant to link up but this weekend was hectic. don't hate me.
    steve miller band? that is AWESOME. and caller id. and no social media. take me back!

  15. Damn it, I fully intended to do this post for today and forgot. I guess I still have time!

    I was the Book-It queen. Too bad we always forgot to get the damn pizzas though. I am extremely jealous you went to a New Kids on the Block concert. I had the full NKOTB bedding set and it is one of the great tragedies of my life that my parents did not find a way to take me to a concert.

  16. Book It!!!!!! Too bad that wasnt a thing for grown ups these days. I would be getting free pizza all the time!!! All those books you mentioned were my favorites!!!! Especially Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club! Are you there God? It's me Margaret will never leave my mind lol.

    Oh card catalogs. Remember how much time we had to spend learning how that worked?!?!?!

    I wish I would have went and saw NKOTB when they were doing a tour a few years back. I probably still have my tshirt somewhere that I used to live in back in the day. It was way too big for me then....which is perfect now :)

  17. Swatch is totally trying to make a comeback. And WOW! I forgot about banana clips. Those things were awesome. And your school photos reminded me of "The Wave" Thats how we referred to our bangs back in the day. They looked like ocean waves. This was way to much fun! And caller ID. I remember that little box by the phone. That's when I first started screening calls......

    And MFD as Homecoming King! I DIE! He looks the same.

  18. New Kids on the Block! That's awesome. Was it at a mall? Haha! You got a cell phone early! I got mine at Christmas in 1997 and was the first of all my friends to have one. You were on top of it! I did have a pager though. Haha! Yes to prank calls! Yes to the lack of internet (my first email address wasn't until 1999), yes to studying at the library (we hoped for a private study room so we didn't have to be so quiet), and yes to orange hair! OMG, we never had to do nuc drills! Scary! My mom did though and when she was little our town would have planned black outs since there's a navy base to try to hide, I guess? I loved Book It! Does it still exist? I love your yearbook photos! Your hair in the first one at the bottom would have made me so envious. I loved my first beater car, 85 Honda Civic!

  19. I LOVED Pizza Hut's Book It program...my mom was a librarian and during the summer, we would spend days at the library with her. Meaning I would just rack up the number of books I read. Mmmm personal pan pizzas were the best!

  20. Scholastic Book Club and prank calls! Ah, such fun!

  21. This is so amazing and cool to read! I was more in the 90's/early 00's but my sister grew up in the 80's. I should send this to her, she'd get a kick out of it! :)

    Morning Neon Blog
    "Let's move to Vegas."

  22. Well it was fantastic reading this post until I scrolled down all of the many eighties girls comments. LOL. Thank goodness for LOL - I graduated high school in 1976! Seriously loved this post and all of the memories during that time, you captured it so well! Great Job!

  23. Awesome list. I loved prank calling people too!

  24. OMG stop it with the scurrying over to unpause when a good song came on so you could record it!!! I have so many random tapes like that to this DAY! I used to make radio station tapes where I was the DJ with them. Good lord.

  25. The book clubs were THE BEST. And Saturday morning cartoons. Ah, how I miss those lazy mornings!

  26. Book it was literally my mom's savior. She was a single mom until I was 12 and didn't get child support so we didn't eat out much. Every Tuesday night my sister and I would go with her to Pizza Hut to get a pizza from Book it. If we didn't read enough to earn it that week we had to share pizza with her (and forfeit the chance to choose our toppings). Life was great.

  27. I was obsessed with the Scholastic Book Clubs - I would always HAVE to buy enough each month to get the free poster or sticker. I'm pretty sure my mom still has boxes and boxes of books in the basement from my childhood. And I had an ID holder just like that. I always thought I was the shit when I had to un-Velcro it and show my BUCK-ID.

  28. I was just talking about Book It personal pan pizzas the other day! I loved them. BJ's (the restaurant...) has personal deep dish pizzas that are basically the adult version of what we got at Pizza Hut as kids. Delicious.

    I do what I want.

  29. This is my first time stopping by and now a new follower! I can relate to everything you mentioned above (I am 35)! Totally cracking up now :) Thank you for all the fun memories flooding back to me!

  30. I was a 90s kid but i remember rocking tommy like it was no body's business

  31. I remember how exciting it was when we picked up photos from CVS. You never knew what was going to be on the film!

  32. love the link-up.. great list!

  33. I was all freaking out over your hair and NKOTB but then MFD AS HOMECOMING KING omg, I can't even handle it.

  34. My sister was obsessed with NKOTB....she got tickets for Christmas and ran around our house like a lunatic. Oh the joy of picking up pictures to see what was actually taken!!!

  35. I remember crank calls!

    I remember NKOTB too. I had their tapes.

  36. Oh my gosh I love, love, love this. It was like I just took a trip down my own memory lane. New Kids On The Block was the very first concert I attended. I had posters, ripped from Bop and Tiger Beat, of them and of Donnie plastered all over my bedroom wall.

  37. So I'll just cut and paste your post to my blog since we are the same age and YES to all of these things! Ha! Too funny. Oh but I'm impressed you had a cell phone in college. I had a "bag" car phone senior year but didn't get my first cell phone until 2001. So you were a lucky girl!!!

  38. Fun post. Stopping by from Northeast bloggers fb page. I was born in 1970 & loved all the 80's hair bands. I had big hair & long finger nails.

  39. just curious but is this a weekly post or not. j/w I love post like this. and to this day i still live in the 80s LOL

  40. Hahahah yes I have some terrible pics. As I was going through photos, I'm like, why? Oh yeah. Disposable cameras. :)

  41. im so jealous!!! You get to see NKOTB that close!!!! i was so in love with them when i was in high school :)

    Delightful Ideas
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  42. hahaha with three way calling my friends and I would each call people and they would both answer and then get irate swearing the other person called them. haha I have some fantastic pictures too but we have been out of town so I had to use generic pics. wahhh.

  43. Best linkup EVER! So sad I missed the fun!
    I used to LOVE prank calling people; and half of the fun of taking pictures was developing it to see how it all came out. Or, if you were like me, I wouldn't get them developed for M O N T H S so I never really knew what was on the roll when I dropped it off. It was like Christmas morning. Oh my gosh and I forgot about GLOW!


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