My grandfather used to drive me crazy with his whenwe stories.

When we were young there was no television. We went outside and made our own entertainment.”
When we were growing up our mothers made all our clothes and we wore them or went naked.”
When we were kids and we wanted to go somewhere, we either walked or took the bus. There was no one fetching and carrying us around like a private taxi!”
When we were small we would never think to talk back to an adult. We had great respect for our elders. MY grandfather used to say, ‘Children should be seen and not heard!’”

Each of his whenwe stories ended with a dig at the younger generation. How spoiled and lazy we were! How easily bored we became! How discourteous we were!

We (thought we) listened politely, while rolling our eyes behind Grampa’s back. But he knew our attitude and shook his head while muttering something about “hard headedness.”

I caught myself telling whenwe stories over this last holiday.

When we were in school there were no computers, let alone cellphones. If we wanted the answer to a question we had to go look it up in a book, or ask an elder. Professor Google wasn’t even an idea yet.”
When we were small we played board games with each other, not individual hand-held arcade games with cross-looking birds being tossed around.”
When we were growing up we sat around the dinner table and actually talked to one another.”
When we were young we took a limited number of photos because the developing costs were quite high. It would sometimes take six months to use a roll.”
When we were kids we would NEVER have thought to point a camera at our own face. Imagine that one woman who published an entire book of selfies! How completely Narcissistic!”

And as my children looked at each other with a particular smirk on their faces I realised I sounded just like Grampa.
It made me wonder what kind of whenwe stories my children will tell.

When we were young we had to actually hold our cellphones and if we dropped them the screen would crack. And we had to download programmes and apps.”
When we were growing up we had to deal with dust and entropy. We had to clean the house, dishes and clothes on a regular basis.”
When we were kids people actually had to leave the house to go shopping, to attend school and to go to work.”

Every generation seems to have their own whenwe stories.

What are yours?

 

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