What do you remember that shows your age?


I’m not talking about stuff like nostalgia. I mean stuff that is really ancient. For example:

I recall, as a child, reading about this new kind of food. It was an article about a group of Japanese scientists creating food from soybeans. Textured soy protein. It would look and taste just like real meat. As a kid I thought that was real cool. Like the food that astronauts would eat.

And here we are. I thought of this when I noticed a bottle of Bacos in my pantry. Why do I have Bacos and not real bacon bits? Because if I have the real thing I will eat the whole damn thing instantly. Along with those Frenches fried onions.

Obsolete things from your youth
  • How momentous it seemed when gas finally hit $1
  • It seeming really amazing to my friends that we had a personal computer in our house
  • My next door neighbor’s father being really proud of having the first microwave oven on the block, and how outlandishly careful he was when using it.
  • As a kid, Godzilla films were all the rage among my friends.
  • Also as a kid, asbestos was everywhere.
  • The library was once a go-to place.
  • Black & white tv was perfectly awesome… until I got spoiled by this new fangled “color” stuff.


Self-service taking over at gas stations. Sprayway glass cleaner still conjurers the old full-service memories.


I remember using Gopher to pull files and thinking that browsers seemed like a step backwards from the efficient setups that I had.


Is this like one of those BookFace “share” quizzes that scrape your personal data?


You shut your mouth! It still is.

For me it’s all about phones and computers. I remember not having a computer until late grade school, how it was a big deal to get an used Apple ][e.

I remember having pay phones in school. How they were the only real option to call your parents, and you had to know the number.


I remember the series finale of MAS*H, and that my family watched it on a “gigantic” 25-inch console television. We may even have recorded it on our top-loading VCR, which had a wired remote.

I remember the gritty, crumbling New York of Death Wish and “The Message.” Never been to NYC in my life, but my “memories” of that era are almost physical.

I remember when nostalgia was relatively new, and nobody had yet realized that it would continue spiraling back on itself in ever-smaller loops, until we had nostalgia for our nostalgia’s nostalgia. Ironically, I have no nostalgia for those days.


Having B drive!
What the Cone of Silence is.
That a floppy icon means Save.
Crazy Straws
Dewey decimal Point System in the Library
When having an Encyclopedia in your home (you didn’t have to go to the library to do a report).
White out for the typewriter
When the greatest thing on your TV was a push button channel changer (pre- remote era).
Toaster Ovens (a four slice toaster predates this).
Frozen Waffles!
When the electronic cards for subways started


Wait what? My kids still eat those.


Yeah, I was thinking of when they first appeared.


I have a smallpox vaccination scar on my shoulder. My brother who is a year younger than me doesn’t have one. I must have been one of the last kids in America to get that shot.

I also sat in a desk like this early in elementary school.


I now have my OWN library… instead of a dining room. I mean, who really needs a dining room?

Oh, yeah; remembering the awesome clicking sound of a rotary phone.


Oh yeah , this was the phone we had in a house when I was a kid.

Never forget the agony of a mis-dialed number.


I remember watching the Challenger explode on live television while sitting in class.


I remember driving, getting lost, and having to stop and ask for directions.


Wired television remotes.
Bottle cap openers on Coke machines that vended glass bottles.
Going to the movie theater for air conditioning.
Who shot JR?
“Unleaded or regular?”
load “*”, 8, 1
Velour pants.
“I can’t believe I just voted for an actor.”
Nuclear fallout preparedness filmstrips in school.


Do you accept Mastercharge?

(which remains the name in some countries)


@Clay that reminds me of asking to stop at a MAC for money. :D



Duck and cover drills.
My teacher getting a phone call letting her know President Kennedy had been shot.
The neighbors coming over to watch TV because we had the first color set on the block. Also includes the NBC peacock.


Watching 9/11 unfold live on TV in 9th grade biology next to the leggy, pale blonde who played guitar that I had a gigantic crush on. Watching all the jocks and preps do this huge weepy prayer circle at lunch that day and realizing it was entirely for show so everyone would know what good Christians they were.

I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized an unprecedented era of freedom, openness, and trust had died along with those 3000+ people.

I remember the casual, cruel racism the prayer circle crowd showed demeaning Muslims in the weeks that followed, and how some of them spent the next three years waiting with bated breath to go kill them some sand ******s for revenge. I remember everyone around me cheering the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, cheering the patriot act.

I was on a path to my current pinko commie excess before then, but I think more than anything, watching the lunatic desperation of fear and hatred descend from the top down upon all of us as the country was still struggling to mourn and recover was what pushed me over the edge.

I can’t swap war stories with those of you who loved through the uproar of the 60s or the economic devastation of the 70s or the ever present fear of annihilation of the 80s…but I remember clear as day when I watched my country’s defeat at the hands of terror. It informs an alarmingly and embarrassingly large portion of my worldview even now.

Ironically, the blonde wound up marrying a dopey, good hearted guy who’s now in the military and she’s desperately hoping we don’t get ourselves embroiled in anything that’s going to put his life at risk.