Totally bodacious things we did in the ’80s

I came across an article the other day that caught the eye of this 1980s kid.

It read: “Things Kids Did Back in the ’80s That Would Shock Kids Today.”

Off the top of my head and before even reading a single word, I could rattle off a few, including: dialing a phone and walking to and from school.

Here’s what the article had to say about it all.

l Commit important phone numbers to memory.

In the 1980s, one of the first things kids did was memorize their family’s phone number. If there was ever an emergency, you needed to be able to rattle it off like it was your Social Security Number. This, as opposed to kids today — who with their 1 terabyte contact storage on their phones — would not be able to imagine such a thing.

It is true that kids can message, text, and of course, make old-fashioned calls to their folks.

l Walk or bike to school.

See? I told ya! It went on to state:

“Of course, we can’t talk about unique 80s kids’ things without mentioning the age-old favorite of walking and / or biking to school by yourself. While crossing guards were a thing, there weren’t a plethora of them. So, you’d see a ton of teeny elementary schoolers riding down highways to get to school on time.”

Now, I don’t remember that scene exactly but, given how strict bus and car rider travel is for kids now, they would likely marvel at the idea of being able to traverse by foot up the road, so to speak.

As for me and my siblings, we used what my father used to call our ‘foot-mobile(s)’ to get to school every day. Even in the winter, you dig? We were hard-core in the ’80s.

l Wait for Saturday mornings to watch cartoons.

Sure, we waited for the weekend to get our cartoon on in the ’80s. But let’s face it, with the onset of streaming services — if you’re willing to pay for it — there’s practically nothing you can’t watch at the drop of a hat today.

Not so back in the ’80s, when the prime time for cartoons was on Saturday mornings.

You’d spend your entire week looking forward to whatever new cartoon was on cable. You, and all the other kids in your class, were at the mercy of whatever lineup the network wanted to put on.

Oh, how times have changed!

The fact that not only did you have to wait for something to air on TV to see it, but also that you couldn’t pick from more than a handful of channels would blow some kids’ minds today.

l Use an index card to check out a library book.

Checking out books at the library has gone by the wayside in large part, thanks to that great virtual library known as the World Wide Web. But flipping through card catalogs, finding the index card that matched, and getting it stamped with the date by your librarian was a reality for us ’80s kids. Now this is my understanding: If Gen Alpha set foot in an old-school library, they’d likely not know where to start to find any info, capisce?

Thanks for joining me on a trip down memory lane to a simpler time, my friends. And as we said in the ’80s, “Rock on, dudes!”

Kimerer is a columnist and child of the ’80s. Send her totally tubular messages to pkimerer@zoominternet.net.


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