Thursday, March 07, 2013

Crank of the Week: Good Old Days

I'm sure you've seen them on Facebook, G+, and other social sites. The placard post describes how, as a child, the poster didn't have the benefit of electronic toys, they played outside until called for dinner, they got an occasional swat on the rear end if they were bad, and yet they grew up to be useful, law-abiding citizens.

First off, the poster is never the initiator of the placard, they simply share it to garner applause (right on! you're so right, etc.) and Likes or Favs.

I find these placards offensive since I grew up in the time frame the sentiment is usually from--the baby boom era.

These self-satisfied, Me generation posters appear to have had the ideal childhood. Mommy stayed at home a la June Cleaver, Daddy went off to work to bring home the groceries, the family lived in the same house from the poster's birth until they left home for college.

What if the play until dark thing was only because nobody was home because both mom and dad worked. What if there was no dad at all? What if the dark brought a hasty packing and a shushed move out of a shabby rented house to another shabby rented house on the wrong side of the tracks?

What if dinner didn't consist of the entire family sitting down together, grace being said, and big platters of chicken or roast beef being passed around, but a bowl of soup and saltine crackers?

What if Christmas meant one child getting the sort of expensive toy, while the others received socks or a notebook for school work? Or maybe nothing at all?

What if the swat on the butt for misbehavior was not from a hand, but a folded belt?

What if there were no friends to play with since you're always new in the neighborhood, always new in the school?

What if the idyllic childhood described in the placard was not YOUR childhood at all?

Would you post with that self-congratulatory smirk on your face? Oh, you had it so hard, but grew up to be a wonderful person despite the adversity of having to say please and thank you.

I understand that you had it good if that placard describes your childhood. But if your childhood was the opposite of all that Father Knows Best ideal, and you still grew up to be a useful and law-abiding citizen. THEN, I'd think you'd have a reason to congratulate yourself.

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