Thursday, September 23, 2010

Because The Witch Trials Were Such a Brilliant Move

Have you ever heard that fruitcake joke? The one about how the last fruitcake was made in 1925 and the ones that are passed around these days in December have been passed around every December since then? I'm pretty sure the same holds true for email forwards. They were all written in the early 90s and every so often they get updated with current names and flashier (read: more obnoxious) animations.

Okay, I have to admit that when I first started in on the whole emailing thing I forwarded everything I got - which was a lot, because everybody was forwarding everything because the whole concept was so cool. However, I got my first email address when I was 12. And twelve-year-olds? Not exactly known for their wise judgment, you know? And after a couple of years when I started getting the same forwards I'd forwarded to the same people who were now forwarding that forward to me (have I confused you yet, lol?) . . . well, I realized how lame the whole thing was. And I stopped passing on forwards.

My mom got an email address the same time I did. I got a forward from her today. This is at least the third time I've gotten this one from her. In recent memory. I'm pretty sure she passes on every on she gets. I'm also pretty sure she doesn't actually read them . . . because I want to believe that if she did she'd recognize them and wouldn't keep passing them along like a hundred-year-old fruitcake. So I tell myself she skips to the bottom and if the last sentence is some cutesy, feel-good something about friendship, girl power, love, God, or whatever she just passes it on without looking at the rest of it. And I suppose it makes me a glutton for punishment or something since I still open them . . . although in my defense, you can't always tell what it is until you open it.

I don't know what it is about this one, but I just had to respond to it. I've seen it so many times that I can't let it go anymore. I guess it's the fruitless-ness (or fruitcake-less-ness, heh) and just plain stupidity of pining for times gone by. Annoyance that some people just can't accept that times have changed. Maybe I'm just in a mood to argue with someone. Whatever. Anyway - response written as if I was emailing a reply to my mom, but consider it directed at whoever originally wrote the email. (also - not including the whole thing . . . I'm sure you've all seen it before and can fill in the gaps!)


1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Yeah, you're okay . . . but I'll bet all the kids born with birth defects attributed to those things wish their moms had known what it was doing to them in utero. Would you want me eating sushi whilst pregnant with your grandchild?

Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

You're right. And while we're at it, let's go back to drinking out of pewter cups like they did in the Middle Ages - because, clearly, most of them must have survived for us to be here! Lead poisoning is just chlorine for the gene pool.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..

You're right - who cares about safety? We'll just put the kid down on the backseat on the way home from the hospital and drive slowly. Once he learns how to roll over he'll be put on the floor until he can sit by himself.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

Ummmmm . . . I still do that when the opportunity presents itself. Pretty sure that didn't stop in the 70s.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight.


Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day.

--And, we were OKAY.

Hypothetical situation - there's a registered sex offender living two streets down from us. Do you still want me letting your grandchildren run around the neighborhood without knowing where they are? Now the guy who cruises around the park in the white creeper van - I'm sure he's on the up and up. He just wants to make the kids happy by giving them candy. Why should anyone supervise that?

We would spend hours building

Our go-carts out of scraps

And then ride them down the hill,

Only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..

I'll bet the kids that did end up doing serious damage to themselves learned their lesson too. Of course, their lesson was more along the lines of "you didn't need a fully functioning brain anyway." It goes without saying that the kids who died - however few - must have deserved what they got for not learning the lesson sooner.

If YOU are one of those born

Between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Those same kids who's parenting styles have had to be adjusted for a new reality? Those same kids who's parenting methods you've just spent this whole email criticizing? I'm sure they'll appreciate your moral superiority.

What is up with the people who write/forward these things? Hello people . . . TIMES CHANGE!!! Sure, some things were probably better back in the day - but does anybody actually want to go back to the way things were in the 50s? Really? Do people really believe that life used to be this absolute utopia that we just have to get back to? That nothing ever went wrong in the world before the 80s? Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure life was not all pretty picket fences back in the day. And to be honest I'm kind of sick of people who have nothing but negatives to say about today. You know what? Maybe life is not perfect, but I'm pretty sure that for most people, on a day-to-day basis, life is generally more good than bad. And if someone can't accept the fact that we have cell phones and netflix - but also creepers and drugs - well . . . why don't you just go live in a hole somewhere and play Pong and drink Tang all day? Watch some "Leave It to Beaver" reruns. Let the rest of us make the best lives we can with the way things are today. Living in the past helps absolutely no one.

I feel better now.

P. ost S. cript

I'm still amazed at how short the temple marriage ceremony is when I think about it. I get the feeling this one was a little bit longer. :-)


  1. That is one of my particularly favorite forwards. Well, ok. Maybe not.

  2. I knew I liked you for a reason.

  3. Bwaahahahahahaha! I love it. I've gotten that email too. I think the secret to understanding it is to remember that the kids who got polio or severe brain injury are no longer available to read this forward because...well, medicine just wasn't the same back then. Those kids are dead. Those who were lured into the candy creeper's van (or station wagon) didn't benefit from things like Amber Alerts or DNA evidence. They're just gone. So the ones who did survive look around and see that everyone from their generation seems just peachy swell (despite having raging diabetes and dentures from all the sweets people ate in the 50's when sugar was considered to have nutritious value) and think they did everything right.

    Also...this kind of makes me want to forward you something just to see what you'll say about it. :-)

  4. I'm willing to bet good money I've already seen it, but send it to me anyway and I'll do a special blog post just for you. :-)

  5. Hahaha! This reminds me of that day we watched all of those wedding bloopers. Good times. :)

  6. Being stuck between the ages, actually I am on the tail endish of the ages included in the e-mail I have to respond-

    I hate all the same old, same old recycled forwards, but there is nothing wrong with nostalgia and remembering life when it seemed idyllyic. And I say seemed because truth be told, moms and dads worried about the creeper vans, the strangers and all of that stuff- we just didn't hear about it and so to us times seemed wonderful.

    But it has been that way for ages- parents worrying that the wolf will come and carry off their children, the crops won't grow because of drought, the neighboring tribe will attack- again so should we or should we not let the kids play outside the city walls?

    When we get old and we get weighed down with bills and mortages and we have to do all the worrying about the kids we begin to long for a simpler time when we didn't have so many things to think about and the time we had few cares and worries is when we were children.

    Someday you will look back to the 80's and 90's with fondess and remember a time when we didn't have cell phones or computers to tie us to the outside world, when you marched with the band/color guard, went camping all summer... and it will all seem rosy. Trust me.(but don't forward it to me and remind your mom not to forward it to me either)

  7. If you didn't live then, don't knock it. You just plain don't know it. Love Grandma

  8. I'm not knocking the time period, or the nostalgia aspect. There are a lot of things that *were* better back in the day. I even agree with some of the things in the email that I skipped - people today ARE pretty sue-happy and a participation trophy for anyone over the age of four is just stupid.

    That said, I am knocking the people who think the entire world has done nothing but go downhill since the 80s. Why are they lamenting the fact that we've discovered that fish in utero and lead-painted cribs can do severe damage to a baby? Why do they think it's a bad thing that babies and small children need to be strapped into cars just as securely as adults? I have a big problem with anyone who thinks those are bad things.