Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kids These Days . . .

One of my favorite things to torment my kids with is the old parental stand-by, "When I was your age . . ."  We've got it so much better than our parents, so much more variety, and our kids are positively appalled at how things were in the "olden" days.  My goodness, we answered the phone without knowing who was calling!  We had to go to the LIBRARY to do a research paper!  We had to stand up and walk across the room to change the channel on the TV!  Gasp!  The inhumanity of it all!

But then when I stop to think of the things my kids will never experience, at least not on the scale I did, it makes me kind of sad.  My teens and pre-teen kids never hung out at the mall on Saturdays, seeing how far they could stretch $5.  My kids have never walked a mile (plus) to get a snow cone and then eat it while walking the mile (plus) back home (uphill).  And sadly, my kids have never - and probably will never - have the wonderful experience of a drive-in movie.

As a teenager, I went to the Timp Drive-in in Orem regularly during the summer.  It was just what people did then.  I usually fell asleep before the second movie began, because I'm exciting like that. 

A group of friends of mine bought an old car (I don't know what it was, but it was reeeaaalllly long), and they cut the top off it and put seats in the trunk space.  It could seat about 13 people, although if it rained it was not so cool.  We would take that thing, lovingly called "The Vert" (as in conVERTable) to the drive-in, park it sideways, and we could get 6 speakers on it that way.  Ahhh . . . good times.

The Timp Drive-in was also conveniently located next to a Winchell's Donut shop.  That was handy.    Sadly, the Winchell's Donut shop is also gone, and apartments sit in its place (also the drive-in).

I remember going with my friend Shauna to the drive-in once.  It was just the two of us, everyone else must have been on missions at that point or something.  Anyway, the double feature was Dead Poet's Society and then Beaches.  Who's idiotic idea was that?    That is surely the worst double feature ever.  We could barely see to drive home, what with the red, swollen eyes and all.  That was the worst.  Whoever dreamed up that double feature should be taken out and shot for poor decision making.

Also, no northern Utah county youth at that time could grow up properly without going to the movies at the Towne Cinema "Sticky Shoe" theater in American Fork.  That was the theater I most frequented back then.  It was a first run theater once upon a time.  That's where I saw Footloose and E.T.  (I'm thinking 1982?)  The only movies I remember seeing at the fancy University Mall Theater was Star Wars (as it was known then, but now I have to specify A New Hope), but I could be wrong.  But it seems like most of the movies of my youth were at the Timp Drive-in or the Sticky Shoe.

I don't think there are any drive-ins left around here (if I'm wrong, let me know), so I don't know my kids can experience that thrill.  But the Sticky Shoe is still alive and well.  If I can drum up the nerve, I'll take my kids over there so they can fully appreciate the name.

Then in my teenage years, the video store came into it's glory days.  My kids have some memories of Blockbuster, but they will never appreciate the days of having to call ahead to Adventureland Video in downtown PG to reserve their one copy of Holy Grail for a Friday night.  Everything had only one copy.  And now thanks to instant streaming and cheap DVDs, kids today don't know the anguish of going to the video store on Friday or Saturday, and finding that everything is out except for a copy of "Thouroghly Modern Millie" which was to be avoided at all costs because it was a - GASP - musical, or maybe a movie in black and white.  And every kid of the 80s knew that if a movie was in black and white, it couldn't possibly be any good.

My kids don't know the torture of dragging a hose around the backyard during the summer months, moving it every 30 minutes, because now we all have sprinkler systems. They don't know what it's like when the President speaks on TV and he's on Every. Single. Channel.  Thanks to Spotify, they will never know about trying to record a favorite song off the radio, only to miss the beginning of the song and have to wait around for it to play again.  They don't have to worry about having a dime on hand at all times to make an emergency phone call.  Other than their parents having access to their grades at all times (thank goodness that didn't exist in my school years!), kids today have it pretty good, I guess.

But thankfully, my kids also don't know the agony of trying to choke down a lima bean dinner.  Too many lima bean dinners prepared by my mom made me swear I would never, ever, EVER serve them to anyone I loved.  Because, let's face it, that's just abuse.