Remember. Remember how thoroughly annoyed you got when your parents sat you down for that tongue lashing telling you about how spectacular your life is today compared to how it was when they were growing up. Remember how you rolled your eyes with this incredulous look on your face when you scoffed at how your parent’s lives resembled Stone Age living compared to your posh life today. Remember how eating out for your parents meant sitting on the picnic table in the backyard and now you actually get to eat out a McDonald’s. I never wanted to be that guy, but I feel like Mr. Anderson from the matrix when subconsciously I hear the sounds of the train on the train track screaming inevitability.
I’ve told myself for years that I would never pull that ‘let me tell you how it was’ trick on my children. Well, that must mean it’s David Copperfield time because here are my rants about how it was it my day.
- We had to share a bathroom in our family. You children are lucky that you get your own bathroom. Now drop and give me twenty!
- We didn’t have a garage. People in my neighborhood had to park in any spot they could get and that was that. We actually had to clean the snow off our cars in the winter and you complain about shoveling the driveway once in a blue moon.
- There weren’t any of these fancy video games like X-Box, Shmecks Box. I played Combat on Atari and liked it!
- I’m so sorry your Video On Demand isn’t the one that you like. I had to walk to the local Video Store to get my big old VHS tape and whatever I bought is what I had to watch.
- DVR? Hell no! Maybe one neighbor in the entire neighborhood had a Betamax and after that VHS recording devices hardly worked when you tried them.
- You don’t have a smartphone? You don’t have a smart phone? Try making an emergency breakthrough to your friends at midnight after you keep getting a busy signal.
- TV is boring! Boo-Hoo. Try watching back to back reruns of the Love Boat followed by Fantasy Island on a Saturday night. Ze Plane, Ze Plane, boss.
- Your kindle isn’t getting wi-fi? I got hours and hours of blissful entertainment manipulating a red dot from the 50 yard line to the end zone on my Mattel Electronics football game. Stick you Madden Football 2025 right where the sun don’t shine.
- The back seat of the Infiniti QX56 isn’t comfortable? Try slip sliding with your siblings in the back of a 1976 Impala. We didn’t wear seat belts and entertainment meant playing disappearing ink Hangman. So sorry you don’t have a TV lodged in the headrest in front of your seat.
- My i-tunes isn’t working? Bah Humbug! I’m lucky that my Dad didn’t subject me to two more hours of the O’Jays or Harry Chapin on 8-Track. The Walkman didn’t get here fast enough!
- Dad, just get me a smoothie and a pumpkin scone when you go to Starbuck’s. OK. I’ll give you a Starbucks!!! My parent’s handed me good old Tony The Tiger Frosted Flakes with some milk or jammed a Pop Tart into the toaster!
The rants started and I’m pretty sure that when I got a roll it could really never end. And then it dawned on me that maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I’m becoming that curmudgeon of a parent that I complained about growing up. Or perhaps this evolution is just life’s ways of dealing you a nasty hand and saying, “Hah! Gotcha!” What’s your favorite line you’ve told your kids that really proves you are getting old?
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®, is co-CEO of oXYGen Financial and is a top ranked personal finance blogger (www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com). He is a regular contributor to Investment News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Oxygen Financial is not affiliated with NFPAS.