Tonawanda News — “Really, Daddy? How did you watch videos?”
“There WERE no videos you could just get any time you wanted. You had to use a machine called a VCR and tape shows off of TV to watch.”
“What does ‘tape’ mean?”
Ugh. The phone’s ringing, and I’m pretty sure it’s AARP on the other end asking me when I’d like to start my membership.
“Um ... like you know how the cable box can record shows to watch later? A tape is a thing that records the shows, but you take it out and can put it in another machine to watch somewhere else.”
“Oh. Why not just use the cable box?”
“There were no cable boxes. There was no cable, at least in Grandpa’s and Grandma’s house, until I was twice as old as you now. They only invented cable when I was littler than Rigby. Do you know how many channels we got? Six.”
“Wow. Was one of them Nickelodeon?”
“No. It didn’t really exist yet. And even when we finally got cable, I spent more time watching music videos.”
“What’s a ‘music video?’ “
I sighed. So this must have been why my parents sounded so disgusted all those times they told me to “just go outside already and play.” Clearly there’s a generational gap here I’m not capable of filling, at least not at this point in her life.
“It doesn’t matter, sweetie. Point is, I’d have loved to have all the things you have now. And still you want to tell me you have nothing to do?”
Seriously, I mean, kids today have it so good. I love 1980s video games, but the characters looked like bad sketches someone tried to erase but ended up smudging instead. I’d love to play games like they have now (well, I still do, actually, but not with nearly the amount of time I once did).