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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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« Notable Moments in Exceptional Parenting, part 64 | Main | Happy 2009! Ow. »
Monday
Jan052009

Prepare to be shocked, youngsters.

Here’s how old I am:

I remember when Banana Republic sold nothing but faux-safari clothing.

In college, my boyfriend was a computer science major, and I witnessed a rudimentary form of instant messaging between him and another student, someone not even in the room. I thought it was some kind of black magic.

I grew up believing that Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde were skirt-chasing bachelors.

My first job out of college? I used a manual typewriter. Which may be why I quit after one and a half days.

The television I had growing up was made out of rock, and it was powered by a pterosaur.

Your turn.

Reader Comments (254)

In the classroom, one of the most coveted jobs was Filmstrip Monitor. Your got to be the one at the back of the class manually cranking the filmstrip to advance whenever the record player narrating the filmstrip made the "ping!" sound.

Speaking of records, I remember begging my mom to buy Honeycombs cereal because there was a Bobby Sherman or Shaun Cassidy record on the box. Not IN the box. ON the box. You actually cut them out and played them on your 45 player. Sometimes we had to tape a penny on them to keep the needle from skipping.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSheila
I remember riding my Schwinn to the local drugstore to buy a new TUBE for the black and white TV when it went kaput. How sad we were when the Tub machine left the store.

How about corded remotes?
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Remember dating WITHOUT a cell phone...when apparently some people waited at home for the phone to ring...cough, cough, not me of course.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Hannon Fuller
Saturday mornings were special because there were cartoons! On TV!

I happen to own the entire "Friends" series, and I was watching one of the season 1 episodes, and all of them were watching TV late one night, and then the national anthem came on, and that was it for TV programing, as in IT STOPPED FOR HOURS. I was like, "Oh yeah, I remember that." Then I wondered how many people understood what was going on because the characters didn't really explain why they were turning the TV off. Sigh. I am old.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSonja
My first record was a 45 by the BeeGees, but I was the coolest kid in school when I got an 8 Track tape player for Christmas.

Roller skating parties were a must and Pappagallo shoes (and those dumb wooden handles purses) were the way the preppy kids rolled.

Not only do I remember the advent of the "remote" - complete with wire - but I remember that if you stuck a butter knife into it properly, you could get the X rated channels. We had group parties to watch MTV.

Pong was awesome and almost EVERYONE played Dungeons and Dragons.

My dad took us to see the first Star Wars, but I saw Empire Strikes Back on a date.

And not only did Banana Republic sell safari style clothes, I desperately wanted to be Meryl Streep in Out of Africa.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlizneust
Ok, young'uns. My allowance was a DIME. The first time I called somebody and got an answering machine I was FRIGHTENED because it was so CREEPY. Banks used to close at 3pm and if you didn't have cash by that time on Friday you were out of luck, baby. When you called Information (it was called Information, by the way) you talked to a real person who told you the phone number. Candy bars were a dime and a coke was a quarter.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
Holy Crap, Alice. I did not realize we are the same age. *sigh*
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercagey
I remember when:Michael Jackson was black and sang with his brothers.Big Question--Jackson Five or the Osmonds?You just laid your new baby beside you on the bench seat when you were driving so you could keep an eye on them if you didn't have an older kid in the back to watch them.Some of the original seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, Dark Shadows, The Red Skelton Show and Star Trek.

Now I better wheel myself back to my cream of lunch since I am so old. ;-)
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNevermind
You? Are old. But you rock the short hair, so it's all good.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCat
In college, we had to actually go to the library to do research to write a paper. You had to look in the card catalog, pull the research book, stand at the copier and make copies of all the articles you needed, then type your paper on the typewriter. If you screwed up a page, you had to start over. It sucked!
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJune
i remember the early days of banana republic too. i had 3 pairs of gurkha shorts!

i remember when the gap sold only levis

i remember the show "friday night videos", precursor to MTV

I remember when MTV started up and actually showed mostly music videos and that the first video they ever broadcast was "video killed the radio star" by the buggles
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelaine
None of my cultural references will mean anything to anyone else, but I'm old and I don't care.

I remember when you could smoke on London Underground, in every other carriage. I still have a tube ticket that says COVENT GARDEN 20p. Getting into Kew Gardens was 2p. It's £13 now.

To get to the fields on the other bank of the Thames, you waited on the bank for David the ferryman, who rowed you across with arms like hams. That's right, no oars! Just arms! And he had a dog called Patch who jumped about in the boat and barked at everything and nothing. And you sat in the big open wooden boat and held on to the plank you were sitting on, with no belt or hard hat or life vest, as though you had common sense and wouldn't take David to court and sue him if the boat sank.

I need to change my pad now. Thanks for listening.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia
I'm so old, I still think water beds are cool. About as cool as Corvette Summer.



Drinking Tang while watching The Little Rascals was a highlight, but not as fun as taking roller disco lessons and learning to skate backwards to The Knack's "My Sharona."
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJS
I was a junior in college the first time anyone, ever, had a computer IN THEIR ROOM.

(Rather than use one at the computer lab. And I had no idea why anyone ever did that.)

Typed all my papers for college. My fancy machine could erase 30 letters back - it RULED.

Pong was the most amazing thing you could to to a tv EVER.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKrisco Crib Ceiling
Oh, and I forgot -

my first concert and album (yes, ALBUM) was Shawn Cassidy.

Oh, the shame, on top of the age...
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKrisco Crib Ceiling
I was a paste up artist, too! For full page color ads, you had to cut out individual layers of color around whatever art you wanted to be in color. One or two of those babies would take a whole shift to finish.

Our first VCR cost $2000.

I thought Liberace was just a flamboyant musician.

Our first video game was the Magnavox Odyssey. The kind where you stuck a film to the tv screen to play different games. I know y'all have no idea what I'm talking about, so here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnavox_Odyssey
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany
In 9th grade, we'd check up on each other by dialing the number and if you got a busy signal, you'd dial up your next friend and if their line was busy you just knew they were talking! It drove my Dad crazy all the times we'd get this one short ring!
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
Like Greeblemonkey, my college newspaper was a "cut and paste."

I also owned a manual typewriter until my dad got me an IBM electric that weighed about 50 lbs (and was the coolest thing in the world.)

I remember when MTV showed videos. (Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were pop stars, not tabloid fodder.)

We had an Odyssey (not an Atari) video game system, which I also thought was the coolest thing in the world.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
There is an 11 year age difference between my hair-stylist and my 11yr old son.

There is a 22 year age difference between my hair-stylist and me.

I could so be her mother. I could probably be your mother.

I hate math. And yes, I got an 'A' in Fortran(with punch cards).
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElfini
I remember playing Frogger and Burger Time on Intellivision.I remember subscribing to YM magazine and reading the "Say Anything" section.I remember when Jamie Fox, Jim Carrey and J.Lo were nobodies on In Living Color.I remember when Jim Henson and Dr. Seuss died.I remember when Disney was a premium channel like HBO that we would get for free for one week once or twice a year.I remember when Nick at Nite was part of Nickelodeon and the stuff on TV Land today was on Prime Time.I remember when East Germany, West Germany and USSR were on the map in my bedroom.I remember when families needed sets of Encyclopedias in the house.

This is fun. I could do this all day.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbeanery
I didnt understand the jokes on Golden Girls.

I had no idea Jim J Bullock was gay.

I wore WonderWoman underroos.

On weekends, we played on my neighbor's Apple II computer, which only made banners. And we waited anxiously for hours, as it printed on the paper with the perforated holes on the side, which always got jammed.

My mom didnt let me see Dirty Dancing in the theatre. But when I finally watched it on HBO at my friend's house, I was so confused as to why Panny was "in trouble".

Before cell phones, my dad had a "hi-tech" pager that had a speaker on it. My sister and I could call into it, and leave him a message, which would immediately be played from the speaker. So in the middle of work meetings, everyone would randomly hear "Beep Beep Beep. Dad, I forgot my lunch. Can you bring it to school?"
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea, 32
I'm so old that I remember when television stations went off at midnight.....all 5 of them. I learned to type on a manual typewriter and remember getting a new tv with the remote attached with a cord to the tv. We actually had to 'dial' the telephone.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLana Martinez
I remember BEFORE the internet existed.That one always evokes shocked silence from my students.
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterclarabella
We got a giant microwave in the early 80s with the dial for the timer... and my parents still use it!

They also still do not have cable TV, no caller ID, no call-waiting... we're lucky they have an answering machine!
January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
This is awesome.

I remember my parents saving and saving to buy their first computer. My mom said she wanted something 'top of the line, so it wouldn't be obsolete in ten years'.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

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