Difference in Decades

Remember when we were young and our parents told us how they used to walk uphill, both ways, in the snow to school? And we would laugh and shake our heads at how delusional they were?

I’ve become my parents. I bet you have to!

1970’s there were 4 channels on the TV and heaven help you if the President was on.
1980’s there were more channels but if you wanted to know what was on you needed to buy the TV Guide
2012 Not only is there 4 million channels, a 9YO can search the guide to discover she wants to watch On-Demand because (and I quote) there is nothing on!

1980’s we upgraded from the rotary phone that the telephone company provided. There was one phone, in the kitchen. And if you were in a vacation spot, you probably had a party-line where you could pick up your phone and listen to the cool teenager down the street tell all her friends back home about the lifeguard on Hampton Beach.

2012 Your house phone is cordless which means you can leave the kitchen. Except I cannot find my house phone. I had one. I did. But Boo reprogrammed it to French, rotary dial (who knew that still existed!) and I cannot figure out how to fix it. She also called Ireland on it. Thankfully Maeve was a beautiful grandmother who didn’t mind listening to Boo babble for 15 minutes while I was in the shower. So I put the phone someplace safe where she couldn’t get a hold of it. And now I don’t remember where that is.

1980’s MTV played music videos
2012 MTV plays ‘reality’ shows that make my hair turn grey.

1980’s the waist of our pants came up to just under your breastbone.
2012 the waist of our pants show the crack of our ass.

1980’s My hair was three stories tall
2012 My hair is still three stories tall but most girls use a flat-iron


1980 my mom straightened my hair using her ironing board, an iron and a towel.
2012 a hairstylist spent 2 hours trying to blow-dry and straighten my hair with a flat iron. (Sadly, mom’s remedy was less painful)


1970 we had rabbit ears with tin foil as antennas. To watch the Muppets some one had to be holding the ears
1980 we had to still get up off the couch to change the channel. In one direction only.
2012 Boo hid the remote and my husband almost had heart failure because he couldn’t flip between Duck Dynasty and the Sox game.

1980 you left the house after breakfast, came home for lunch and then we did not come back inside until it was dark or our friend’s parents stopped feeding us
2012 you are only allowed in the backyard and only if your parent has a monitor on you.


1970 George Carlin had the 7 dirty words you cannot say on television
1980 the words were still taboo
2012 I think I heard all but one of them on MTV

1970 Archie & Edith, Lucy & Ricky and just about every married couple slept in separate beds
1980 Newhart and his wife slept in the same bed
2012 Everyone sleeps with everyone and sometimes more than one

1980’s Ronald Regan told the Communists to take down that Wall
2012 We are trying to build a fence around the USA

1980 you nylons, tights, anything to cover up your legs
2012 you shave every day because there is no way you are wearing nylons

1970 you went to the bakery, the butcher, the pharmacist, liquor store and the market for everything else
1980 you went to the supermarket, the liquor store and the pharmacy
2012 you go to the Supermarket or the Walmart for one stop overpriced shopping

1980 that one phone in the kitchen, it was the only phone number you had to remember
2012 you have to remember your home phone, cell phone, husbands and childrens cell phones, your parents home and cell numbers. Oh wait, it is stored in your phone so you don’t need to remember it. Except the battery died on the cell and you are now screwed until you can find the cord to recharge it. It was around here somewhere. I am sure it is where I put the cordless phone so it would be safe from Boo.

1980 we believed everything Walter Cronkite told us
2012 we believe everything the Internet tells us

1980 you read Wifey by Judy Blume and thought you were a rebel
2012 you read 50 Shades in the gym, in full view of everyone who knows what you are reading!

Yup, I can see the conversation with Allie now…When I was your age I walked to school in the snow, uphill in both directions.

Because let’s face it, that sounds so much harder than I had to get my ass off the couch to change the channel.

Photo credit Google images


16 thoughts on “Difference in Decades

  1. Stacey Nicole

    Oh my gosh, this had me laughing so hard. I was born in '77 so I can relate to so many. My grandparents stayed with the old-fashioned things as long as possible — rotary phone, television that had two dials, et cetera. I remember when our family got a VHS player. We were so cool. It was a big upgrade from the BETA player in the family room. I remember when the cartoons now on Boomerang were our typical Saturday morning cartoons. I remember my brother and I getting our allowance, hopping on our bikes, biking the mile or so to 7-11 where we bought Slurpees (I mixed cherry and coke) and candy that eventually rotted our teeth (fun dip was my downfall). We (I) am protective of my kids, but we do let them play outside, unsupervised, and often until the night lights come on. They have to have some of the childhood their dad (who was born in the early 60s) and I had. 🙂

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  2. icansaymama

    Hahaha, so awesome and so true!! Yes, we all will definitely be turning into our parents, slowly but steadily! 🙂

    I remember that Dallas and Denver Clan were on late at night and we were of course (!) not allowed to watch it. Today things like “Two and a half men” or “How I met your mother” are shown in the afternoon although they revolve around s*x. (Hope this comment will not go to your spam section!).

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  3. Julie Sparks

    I am quite literally laughing out loud at this one. I loved the grandma in Ireland listening to Boo babble. The “someplace safe” spot at our house must be unbelievably crowded — just like yours! Now to locate it …

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  4. Another Clean Slate

    This is so true! I remember rushing home from school to watch music videos on MTV and sitting right next to the TV so I could change the channel while talking on the phone with the cord stretched 🙂

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  5. Dana @ Kiss My List

    This post is so funny and makes me feel so old! Our first remote was huge and had a dial – so if you had to go from channel 2 to channel 40 it took forever for the dial to get there. But at the time we thought it was so cool!

    Btw, I can't find my sunglasses – let me know if you find them with your phone.

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  6. K

    HAHAHA I love the last line of this post! & As someone who wasn't alive during the 70s and 80s, a lot of this was really interesting. I didn't realize that there were so few television channels in the 70s. I love that story about Boo calling Ireland too, haha!

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  7. Kristi Campbell

    Kerri!!!
    I adore YOU. This is freaking hilarious and OMG had me cracking up on so many levels. Hello to the channels on the tv and the aluminum foil and the rabbit ears! I remember when Channel 31 was released (Bart Simpson) and it was a HUGE deal like hello! We have another channel now! Sheesh. My dad also refused cable in the 80's. But my uncle was one of the founders of MTV so my mom's house got it. We used to live for videos that were supposed to kill the radio stars.
    Ok, I have to scroll back up to get more. Because you know. Memory. George! I memorized his seven dirty words back then. Huh. Maybe that's what's wrong with me now?

    PS how awesome will it be to tell our kids and K up there (who will be my first guest post for Our Land) that we are older than cell phones and the internet???? So cool. Or not. 'Cause it's a bit like walking uphill both ways.

    Holy crap this list is awesome. Yup to the Judy Blume. I read it in I think 4th grade? And I remember my teacher was like “this might be a bit advanced for you” and I said nope. Now? 4th graders read Twilight where people suck blood and get pregnant by vampires and stuff.

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  8. Big brother, Little sister.

    Hooray for the late 70's and 80's! I love how Boo called Ireland! I loved how we could spend all weekend outside back and forth to neighbours with not a care in the world! We are constantly telling our kids that if we used any of the language they do we would be in so much trouble! ( this was after Coop called Grandpa a dingbat 😉 ) thanks for a trip down memory lane xxxx

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