then and now.

[I post this at the risk of showing my age. But I’ll never confirm anything so let’s just forget all about that right now. Thanks.]

Let’s face it… this owl was kind of a dick. He totally stole that kid’s lollipop.

Life is hard for kids these days. And I hate it for them. When I was a kid, things were simple and fun and easy. It’s not like that anymore. Not for me or for them. [And for me, it’s not even just because I’m an adult (although I hate being one). It’s because the world has changed. And NOT for the better.]

Because really…

This was pretty much the worst problem I had.

But in today’s world, my daughter deals with knowing way too much about her friends, their every move, and when she has been excluded… because of social media. When I was a kid, if some of my friends got together and didn’t invite me, I didn’t really care because I usually didn’t even know about it (nor did I need to know). Unless they used one of these… and didn’t forget to get the film developed. Then sometimes I knew. But I still didn’t care.

My son, in 8th grade, already feels pressure to know what he wants to do with his life just in case he wants to go to a high school other than our town’s ‘regular‘ public school. I am useless in advising or guiding him as I never figured out what I wanted to do with my life. And I still don’t know. I’ve had a number of jobs, none of which ever really satisfied me, and now, I’m laid off and unemployed. I am not exactly the right person to guide him! And he is thirteen. Thirteen! Do kids that age really know what they want to be? Obviously, I didn’t. And I don’t think it’s odd that he doesn’t either. [And let’s not even get into the subject of college… (How the fuck can anyone pay for that nowadays???)]

So my son feels some pressure to know what he wants for his future. Already. Hell, a difficult decision when I was a kid? Choosing between fruit punch and whatever the hell flavor the blue one was.

Or choosing between the cookie-flavored and chocolate-flavored lip gloss. (Yes, I owned this and ALL my friends were jealous.)

I wish my son could forget all of that and just go outside and pop a bunch of these bad boys.

If they still existed (I don’t think they do…but I could be wrong), I’d go out and get him some. In my awesome car.

And then there are the 13-year-old girls. I don’t get a lot of information from the boy. He’s at an age where he does not want to discuss such things with his mother. But once in a while, he mentions something in passing. Like today. He told me he makes a joke and he’s often ignored. Some super-popular kid makes the same joke and the girls think it’s hilarious.

I suppose that’s pretty timeless. Not really specific to the 2010s. But still.

Shouldn’t the girls just be watching movies wishing they had their own Lloyd Dobler? 

Maybe this is why so many boys just hole up in their room or basement with their xbox. But that turns into social media in a way, too, doesn’t it? Constant contact is a bad thing. Maybe just spend some time alone or with the people who actually live with you. Who needs an xbox?

But I guess wishing for things to be like they were during my childhood is asking too much. I mean, let’s face it, you don’t even get a toy in your Cheerios anymore.

Okay… I have to go. I’m getting a call. I wonder who it is…

Oh, and by the way… then or now? Then is the winner. There’s really no contest.


©2018 what sandra thinks


About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, sometimes blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
This entry was posted in family, life, parenting, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to then and now.

  1. Holy shit, I remember everything in this post. Even that cookie lip gloss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All so true, although these memory pics were more from my daughters’ time than from mine:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marquessa says:

    Omg. That lip gloss I was never allowed but my friends had. Whst was the name? Fancy Free? Fancy something? And the nail polish that peeled off? Nostalgia…simple life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. simplywendi says:

    I so wanted one of those phones!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Life was so simple then. I mean it really was. I didn’t even know what I wanted to major in till I was 3/4 through college. And high school, geez, I took the same classes everyone did. Well, college prep classes, I guess. Even when I got married it was white table cloths, white napkins, some kind of chicken. Boom, that was it. Now everything is such a production. Poor kiddos. Growing up was fun when I was a kid…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah… growing up was fun when I was a kid, too. I took college-prep classes in high school. I had a couple of AP classes but there were only a couple offered then. I pretty much did what everyone did… like you said. And college? I had no idea what I wanted so I just bounced around and settled in the art department. Which got me nowhere. And I never did figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Too bad the growing up went ahead and happened anyway…

      I want to go back on that metal swingset where the legs would start to wiggle out of the ground if you were swinging too high. LOL


  6. I think because everything is very much education orientated these days (meaning that you have to figure out what career path you’re on, take the right classes, get the right grades JUST to make sure you’re even on the right path). Jobs are so hard to come by these days if you don’t have a million years of experience. I’m guessing that puts pressure on younger people. By the time they’re entering the job market, they’re competing with older people who have the experience…. It’s crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But then again, I’m an older person with experience and I couldn’t (and still can’t) find a job… because they hire younger people who are willing to accept a lower salary or who are fresh and new… and who knows what other reasons. I think part of my problem was also being overqualified. I think it’s easier for people just entering the job market to be given a chance. Also, I hope that when (if?) my son (and my daughter later, for that matter) figures out what he wants to do, he finds a good college that will place him in internships and things like that so he’ll already have a foot in the door somewhere.

      At least he gets *really* good grades. My daughter, too. The boy just heard about the “Advanced Academy” program at our local high school and he wants to apply. Calculus, here we come!

      Liked by 1 person

      • To be honest, these days, it’s all about who you know. The best way to get a job is through personal recommendation. Unfortunately, it’s touch and go even with that. I remember emailing a lecturer from Oxford with my resume/CV. Of course, I was in the second year of my degree and I had no idea what I wanted to do. These days, you need to have some kind of set goal or you’re left in the wind.

        It all depends on experience, really. After my degree, I didn’t get so much as a sniff because my work experience was pitiful. My friend who got the same grade as me managed to get a job, do her Master’s, find work after. The difference is that she had more medical work experience than I did.

        Oh that’s true. I think people who’ve been graduated for maybe 2-3 years and done volunteering and whatnot stand a better chance of getting a job than a fresh graduate. They’re still relatively young and they have life based experience.

        The real issue is fact that degrees these days are all exam based. We sit in a lecture hall or lab, but things like work placements are hard to come by. I’m not sure how it works in the US, hopefully they do find internships. Even something like working a few days at a local business is helpful.

        Good grades are always a good start! Good on him! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  7. gigglingfattie says:

    So I don’t remember much in this post – I did have a clear phone though! And I do agree that life is so hard for kids these days. And I think the being in contact all the time is a huge part of it! That and all the technology haha my kids can’t even go a day without technology. They can’t even think of anything to do!! The boy I nanny is getting to that age where he isn’t talking about stuff too (turned 11 in August) but last night, we had a good study session for a test he had today and then he even let me read him a story before bed! It was a Dog Man book but still – that was 20 minutes of just us time which was nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’m a little (ha… a little) older than you. All the technology has ruined childhood. I definitely believe that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie says:

        Me too! I totally agree with that! It’s such a shame too. There was such a difference between the families I’ve worked for and their approach to technology. The one over the summer, with the 3-year-old, recognized that when he had more screen time he turned into a little monster (to put it nicely lol) he gets one tv show a day. Maybe two if he’s like super extra fantastic. And when he was told no more screen time, they meant it. The other family if you say to turn off the TV or “no more screens” they think it means that particular TV or screen. So sure the ipad gets put away but the kid just moves to a tv. Or the tv in the kitchen gets turned off but they move to the xbox down stairs. They literally can’t deal with no screens. They can’t think of anything to do otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I barely bother trying to get my kids away from screens at this point. Hell, I’m guilty, too. TV, phone, laptop… I often am using one or more of these. Bad parenting, maybe, but like you said, they struggle to think of anything else to do. It’s just bad nowadays in so many ways compared too when I was their age. Really wish we could go back.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m with you on this. It’s much different for them now. We’re in the same boat. Girls, hormones, social media, college, etc. It’s too much, too often. We don’t give our boys much choice but to talk. It’s not an option not to. We feel like we have a finger on the pulse of where they’re at mentally, but I’m sure there’s plenty we don’t hear from them directly. This is the part of parenting that the parenting books don’t tell you about. Most days, I feel like I’m just winging it…and poorly. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I feel like I suck at parenting. Every single day I wonder what the hell I was thinking having kids at all. I’m so bad at it. This morning my daughter told me that she gets made fun of for her phone because it’s an android not an iPhone. My husband hates iPhones… he hates i-anything. He refuses to get her an iPhone. But she was in tears this morning before school and I’ve been in tears since I dropped her off.

      I think my son tells my husband more than he tells me. I don’t care as long as he talks to one of us!

      Anyway… yeah, I’m having a really bad morning because of technology. 😢

      Liked by 1 person

      • People, kids or adults, certainly suck sometimes. Who gives a flying fuck what phone you use. Those little fucks would find something else to pick on others about. Tell her what kids like that are about, that it would suck to peak in 8th grade, and that 10 years from now, when she’s kicking ass, those little fucks will be going to their arraignments. 😃

        Liked by 1 person

        • She’s the 5th grader but that doesn’t really matter. The thing is that she says it’s literally everyone who comments on her “crappy phone”. I told her if they say those things they are jerks (I think I used more colorful language). She says if she ditches them all, there is no one left and she will have no friends. These girls are nice to her usually… she talks to them all the time… gets invited to their houses (she’s at a friend’s right now). But they make comments about her phone. I also told her even if she had the “right” phone, they would probably find something else to pick on. Kids are just mean… even if they’re your best friend, they’ll probably still say stupid things sometimes. Damn, we pick on my husband ALL the time. It’s not vicious… and doesn’t mean we hate him. My son days kids say shit to him, too, but he barely mentions it to us because he knows there’s nothing we can do… kids are just mean like that. Even the super popular ones are mean to each other.

          I really wish it was 1980.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. mydangblog says:

    So many memories–not only did I have that lip gloss, but I haven’t that douche-y owl! I’d love to talk about parenting but my son is at uni, hardly ever comes home, won’t text etc. I thought I was a really good mom–still trying to figure out what I did wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ogden Fahey says:

    I cant hardly believe its really 2018! How the feck did that happen?? was just wandering about in the 1980s, and a few decades kind of disappeared somewhere, and now, I’m like WTAF?? 😀 😀 😉 Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hunida says:

    Loved this so much. I wish we could go back to more simpler times with prizes in my cereal. ♡ I’m gonna share this in my fave posts next month.

    P.S. If no one else has already mentioned it, they do make those pop pop things still!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. alexraphael says:

    Such a sense of nostalgia reading this

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I was born in the wrong era!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Prior... says:

    Oh wow – I had the clear phone and a similar lip gloss!
    If I made this post I would have included the maroon double-handed lunch box from Tupperware –
    But it needed nothing else.
    Very masterfully done post and really enjoyed the flashbacking with you!

    Liked by 1 person

thoughts? talk to me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.