I had one of those violent-shove-into-reality experiences today. The scene: an off-site visit with two co-workers, each of whom is slightly (less than 8 years) younger than I. While off-site, I saw a t-shirt that read, “You might be older than dirt if…” and then proceeded to list several items, a few of which I will share with you now.
- You remember candy cigarettes
- You remember soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
- You remember S&H Green Stamps
Now, there were others on the list that I recognized, and probably half of the list meant nothing to me.
As I laughed and thought out loud about my fond memories of getting busted with candy cigarettes, buying glass bottles out of the JMM pop machine, and the books of Green Stamps my mom collected, my co-workers looked at me with a combination of sadness and pity.
They had NEVER seen a glass pop bottle?! They didn’t know about Green Stamps?!?! Imagine trying to explain Green Stamps to someone who is too young to remember wooden nickels or the Brady Bunch episode where the boys want to use the Green Stamps to buy a canoe and the girls want to buy a new oven, but they learn to compromise and buy a new t.v. It’s almost impossible!
So, here’s my theory: the generation gap lies somewhere between 1977 and 1979. Both of my co-workers were born in 1981 and they had no idea what I was talking about. As further evidence, I recall a friend born in 1980 who stared blankly when I told him about vinyl and record players and just last week I had someone ask me, “Airplane? Is that like a movie or something?”
Help me out, internet loves… Was it all really that long ago?