Growing up was tough for me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but being a live antenna for my black and white television set was not normal behavior. Now I’m not complaining, because my childhood was amazing, but there are certainly some items that I now own and love that I wouldn’t give up for the world.
- The cod liver oil capsules: No longer do I have to be force fed raw cod liver oil from a spoon every Sunday afternoon. These days this supplement goes down pretty easily. It still has a fishy after smell but I suppose you can’t win them all.
- TV Remotes: Oh yes, believe it or not at one point you had to get up every time you wanted to change the channel. Of course, you were so thrilled you had a TV to begin with, that you were only too happy to do it.
- Inside TV Antennas: Speaking of TVs, most of them back in the day had antennas that were mounted on your roof. Imagine the hilarity of the three person verbal relay that had to take place; one person looking at the tv, one on the roof and another in between the two relaying the messages needed to get the picture quality just right.
- Cell phones: Back in the day cell phones were huge, cumbersome and expensive. Now they’re so small and compact and affordable, I cannot imagine what I would be doing without one. Before cell phones became so readily available to the masses, we had to use the nearest paid phone and use a prepraid card for minutes. Of course the cell phone has created more problems than it has solved but that’s another story for another blog.
- Pop top tins: Goodbye tin openers, now tins just pop right open thanks to a pop top innovation that has made the can opener all but obsolete.
- The digital camera: If any of you reading this blog right now can identify the object below then I need not elaborate. For the younger generation, this is a roll of film and yes, you needed this film to make the picture taking process work. There was a set amount of pictures you could take and no, you could not increase the memory. Sounds like a nightmare? Well it gets worse. The real nightmare was not knowing how your pictures came out until they were cleaned. Did you blink, did you stomach suck right? There was no way of knowing until days later when you got your pictures back from the photo shop. Oh and there were no picture enhancers or editors to hide the flaws in your pictures, you just had to live with them. Looking back at it though, we were actually more satisfied with our pictures back then. Maybe the deprivation had it’s place. If you’ve lived through both eras you be the judged.
- Email: As you might have guessed, since there was no internet and few computers (in the world) there was no email. Instead, we would write a letter, buy an envelope, go to the post office, buy a stamp, put it all together, mail it and hope it got to its destination. On this note, who remembers pen pals? Oh you do? You age is showing 🙂
- Voip Calling: Back in the day, long distance calling was expensive, unreliable and short. A 5 minute call would cost a fortune so calls were planned in advance. In Jamaica we had to use an ICAS code. Let’s just say that those were trying times I want never to return again.
- Online banking: In days gone by one would have to stand in a line for hours to change their paycheck (which believe it or not was an actual check) and then stand in line at each utility company to pay their bills, conduct business or even query an anomaly on their account. So many hours wasted, so many fainting spells, so many people who did banking with their babies in hand so that they’d get a pass to the front of the line.
- Washing Machine: Yes, you guessed it, I’m ending this article with a cliche 🙂 This one is a big one for me though and could not be left out. The washing machine was invented long before we got one, but was pretty expensive and only owned by well to do Jamaicans. I continued to wash all my clothes by hand until I was 12 years old and these days, while I still wash some clothes by hand, it has been an incredible life saver for me. One that has changed my Saturdays forever.
Close calls:Audio books, online libraries, online shopping, automatic cars.
Would you like to add anything to the list? Please do so by leaving a comment below. Please also include where you grew up so that we can have some cultural context. I look forward to reading your comments.
Photo credit: http://www.truepresencesc.com/2011/03/snailmail-email/