All moms should be divas...this one just happens to be in Jersey!

Friday, February 18, 2011

13 Now vs 13 Then

Everyone talks about how different the world is, and it’s true enough. This is really being hit home for me as I think about Son1’s big 1-3 birthday next week. I’ll officially have a teen (insert Vincent Price “Thriller” video laugh), I’ll be exploring all the shades of white (wine) for the next 10 years, and I will now be provided, most assuredly, at least one opportunity a day to be reminded how old I am. How ancient I am. How clueless I am.

Scanning over his wish list, I’m beginning to feel like all of the adjectives he envisions. I started thinking of my 13yr old wish list and it seemed like something dug up by an archeologist compared to the presents & such he’s angling for:

Son1: Xbox 360. Super fancy controller needed for Kinect to supposedly make controllers obsolete. Special board for balance games. Elaborate arsenal for Call of Duty.
Me: Atari. One low-rent joystick style sold. Multi-function use as Frogger steering device, PacMan navigation, Asteroid demolisher

Son1: Droid or Iphone w/4G connectivity, wifi for hi-speed access to Youtube via The Cloud.
Me: A “Bell Telephone” streamline model, or maybe phone in shape of lips with 2 distinct (giant) parts and a (fingers crossed) SUPER long cord so I could take the phone to any part of my room. If truly blessed, this will be my own phone line, as opposed to simply another extension.

As to videos, we got ours the way God and the cable company intended, from MTV, back when they still honored the M in their name. “4G?” Connect Four maybe, but never heard of 4G when I was 13. And what the hell is The Cloud?

Son1: Pocket Flip Video Camera
Me: Kodak Disc Camera. Would never in my wildest dreams ask for video camera, which was big honking VHS thing that looks like current broadcast TV cameras. I will take my phot disc and feel like THE SHIT when I only have to wait 1 hour for processing at the mall. No namby-pamby one week service for me. HA!

Son1: Gift card to Abercrombie & Fitch
Me: Paper gift certificate to Macy’s, though probably not Macy’s at the time. Maybe it was Alexander’s- Let’s see how many Northern NJ readers remember that. Said certificate would represent an accounting nightmare to keep track of store credit until finally the clerks threw in the towel at $5 or below remaining and gave you cash back. Abercrombie was some weird fly fishing outfitter or something. Who the hell would have wanted their stuff as a 13 yr old back then?

Son1: Night at the movies with some friends with drinks and snacks.
Me: Similar, actually. Only I know such a night out did not hit my parents’ bank account to the same level as remodeling the kitchen.

Son1: Cooler, less lame looking bike helmet if I’m going to insist he wears one.
Me: Bike helmet? Huh? We didn’t wear no stinkin’ helmets. By the by… have I ever mentioned I suffered 4 concussions before the age of 18?

The times they are a changing aren’t they? It’s always kind of crazy to think about things that seems so basic- so critical- to our kids’ lives that never even existed 10, 20, 30 years ago. It’s ok, rest assured it’ll happen to them someday. It has for every generation known to man, ever. As to me, by this time next week, I’ll be wondering what happened to the intellect I used to have, back in the day, before my kids made it clear to me I’m an utter jackass. Maybe there is some validity to bike helmets after all.


  1. Macy's was Bamberger's at least at Livingston Mall.

  2. I will be an idiot also.

  3. If I don't have kids, does that mean I am NOT an idiot?

  4. That is a great list. Mine would be even more different since I'm so old!

  5. This is awesome. Though my shop of choice at 13 was The Limited. So I could buy more Forenza sweaters - anyone remember those? The Macy's at Paramus Park used to be Abraham and Strauss. I think.

  6. Girl this was a blast to read. And I'm right there with you. I remember thinking I was hot stuff because I had my own touch-tone telephone in my room. And my parents never bought me an Atari when I was little because it was too expensive. I remember when Cable TV first came out big time, and was upset because my dad wouldn't get it. I had to go around the corner to my aunt's house to watch MTV and hoped I'd catch it on the hour when they would show the Michael Jackson videos. Then I'd be at home wishing my TV was more than just the VHF and UHF dials. And Kodak Disk? I had one! And yellow high top Converse. And now, it does cost a pint of blood to go to the movies, even the matinee, especially when your teen only wants to see the 3D ones. And I can't seem to operate the Xbox 360 or the Wii (or my Garage Band for that matter, gaaahhh!) without his help.
    And speaking of fly fishing, don't those Sperry shoes look like shoes your fisherman grandpa would wear? I am sooo glad my son wants nothing to do with those.
    Whoops. Sorry. I wrote a blog post for a comment. Just wanted to let you know that I feel you.

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